A Service of UA Little Rock
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Return of the Gar

Reid Adams
Credit Chris Hickey
Dr. Reid Adams of the University of Central Arkansas poses beneath a longnose gar.

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer, fisherman, ecologist and University of Central Arkansas professor Mark Spitzer.  

Credit Chris Hickey
Lindsey Lewis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds the skull of an alligator gar.

His book, Return of the Gar, published by the University of North Texas Press (as part of its Southwestern Writing Series) is a sequel of-sorts to his first book Season of The Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America's Misunderstood Fish.

Published by the University of Arkansas Press this is the first accessible book-length study of the gar in the English language.

The second largest freshwater fish in North America—the oft misunderstood alligator gar—is a fish that can grow up to twelve feet long and well over 300 pounds.

Because of their scary-looking faces and man-eating size, they've been demonized as “devil-fish” and monsters.

We also speak with two gar researchers, Lindsey Lewis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and biologist Reid Adams, also a professor at the University of Central Arkansas.

Mark Spitzer (1965-2023) was the author of thirty-plus books, including 'In Search of Monster Fish' (University of Nebraska Press) and 'Monster Fishing' (Torrey House Press).

Other books include novels, memoirs, collections of poetry and literary translations, and a book on writing pedagogy, 'Investigative Creative Writing' (Equinox Publishing).

Listen to the program below and be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, NPR Podcasts, etc. where you can listen to additional episodes.


Below are some additional clips from our interviews that offer additional insight into the world of the gar.

Lewis talks about the history of alligator gar in Arkansas.
Adams talks about what conditions are necessary for alligator gar to successfully spawn.
Lindsey Lewis talks about the last time alligator gar were known to have successfully spawned in Arkansas.

a gar hunt
Hear Lindsey Lewis describe the scene in the photo above, believed to have been taken in the 1940's or 50's on the White River.

Music for this program was provided by Sioux City Kid.

Credit Sioux City Kid Facebook page
Sioux City Kid
Listen to the song "Found" by Sioux City Kid.

Related Content