NANFA-- gator gar ,always surprising

R. W. Wolff (
Sun, 5 Aug 2001 00:08:57 -0500

This morning I was out on the bank of my gar pond ( or now after new
construction - gar river) for the daily feeding enjoying the early morning
sun and a cup of coffee before the days heat kicked in. The daily feeding
consists of a couple of handfuls of flake food to the shiners, a small
handful of gamefish chow for the large sunfish, and tossing some single
shrimp pellets out for fun to watch the different fish eat them. I was
watching two interesting behaviors of sunfish, one, waddling nose down
causing the pectoral fins to sweep away small patches of silt exposing tasty
bugs and crustaceans. Second was a large warmouth sliding along creases and
roots then quickly turning to see what was flushed out. Then I saw my big
gator gar "Gate" cruise out of the wood jam, and go to take a gulp of air ,
or so I thought. One of the gamefish chow pellets went in its mouth. I
watched sure it would come swirling back out, much like some of them picky
sunfish do. NO!??? What's going on here? I watched as Gate slowly cruised
around sucking the pellets in, sometimes three at a time if they were near
together. It was pretty interesting to see. If you've seen Jurassic Park,
any one of them, imagine the largest carnivore around sucking up loaves of
bread. At any rate, Gate cleaned up the pellets, so I threw out a couple
more handfuls. They were all consumed. I find this odd behavior, seeing that
many of the sunfish turn up their noses at these same pellets. Its my hope
the other gar, bowfin and sunfish learn from gate that this food is not so
bad. Of course the green sunfish gorge on these until they look like little
blue spotted, white/orange trimmed, green tomatoes with red eyes.

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