Juvenile Alligator Gar Movement Patterns in a Disconnected Floodplain Habitat in Southeast Missouri

Levi E. Solomon, Q. E. Phelps, D. P. Herzog, C. J. Kennedy, M. S. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Telemetry is an extremely useful technique used to study movement patterns of fishes to gain insight into life history. This is especially important when dealing with species of conservation concern, such as the alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula). Alligator gar, despite dwindling populations or presumed extirpation across much of its native range, have received minimal attention in the literature. This study sought to evaluate movement patterns of juvenile alligator gar reintroduced to a historic, now disconnected, floodplain of the Mississippi River. Nineteen alligator gar fitted with radio transmitters were stocked into Mingo National Wildlife Refuge (backwater habitat) during May 2007, and tracked for one year. Over the course of the study, 34.9 ± 5.1 locations per individual gar were recorded and three distinct movement patterns emerged. Thirteen alligator gar (Groups A and B) exhibited site fidelity (range 0.3-17.8 ha) throughout the study while five alligator gar (Group C) showed highly variable movement patterns; at times showing site fidelity, then exhibiting long distance movements. Our study demonstrated various movement patterns (i.e., site fidelity or long distance movement) exist and and future stockings of juvenile alligator gar are likely to show site fidelity to the area in which they are released.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society - Kansas City, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2016Aug 25 2016
Conference number: 146


Conference2016 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKansas City


  • INHS


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