Danny Smith II displays a 39.5-pound alligator gar, measuring 4 feet, 6 inches, which he caught in the Neosho River in southeast Kansas. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks officials say the fish is not native to Kansas and previously have not been documented there.

Kansas angler lands 4-foot alligator gar

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This is a real big fish tale: A fisherman in Kansas tossed a line in the water and caught a prehistoric predator fish that dates back nearly 100 million years.

Danny “Butch” Smith II of Oswego, Kansas, who landed the fish, a 4-foot, 6-inch alligator gar, weighing 39.5 pounds, knew he had caught something unusual. His fishing buddy identified the fish and said, “They ain’t supposed to be here (in Kansas),” Smith said.

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks officials confirmed the identification and are investigating how the fish, called a “living fossil,” got into the Neosho River in southeast Kansas, east of Parsons.

Kansas is home to three native types of garfish, the most common being longnose gar, which can be as large as 5 feet long, along with shortnose and spotted gar, the department says. Alligator gars have snouts that resemble American alligators, razor-sharp teeth and can grow beyond 10 feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds, according to NationalGeographic.com.

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