While bowfishing on Lake Texoma, a man unexpectedly caught a 170-pound, 6-foot, 9-inch long, “prehistoric” fish during the weekend.
Oklahoma Game Wardens posted a picture of the rare catch, an alligator gar, on their Facebook page. “This weekend angler Zachary Sutterfield of Durant, OK harvested this 6’9” approx 170lb Alligator Gar while bowfishing on Lake Texoma,” the post said.
It would have been obviously difficult to pull the giant fish out of the water, but Sutterfield had support.
#BigFishThis weekend angler Zachary Sutterfield of Durant, OK harvested this 6’9” approx 170lb Alligator Gar while…
“Luckily Nic Sutterfield and Billy Sutterfield were there to help wrangle this big prehistoric fish into the boat!” the post said.
The post described Sutterfield as a conservationist and said that biological data collected from the fish will be used for important research. “Zachary prides himself in being a conservationist. He allowed ODWC biologist Richard Snow to come and gather data from the gar for important research,” the post said.
Alligator gars are giant freshwater fishes found in North and Central America, according to National Geographic.
They are olive green or yellow in color and can reach up to 10 feet and weigh up to 300 pounds. They are not known to attack people but their eggs are poisonous to human beings if ingested.
In another case of a rare discovery, a strange-looking, giant fish washed up on a California beach and scientists say it’s a first.
The 7-foot fish washed up at UC Santa Barbara’s Coal Oil Point Reserve in Southern California last week. Researchers first thought it was a similar and more common species of sunfish—until someone posted photos on a nature site and experts weighed in.
What transpired after that surprised researchers from California to Australia and New Zealand.
It turned out to be a species never seen before in North America. It’s called the hoodwinker sunfish.
“When the clear pictures came through, I thought there was no doubt. This is totally a hoodwinker,” said Marianne Nyegaard, a marine scientist who discovered the species in 2017. “I couldn’t believe it. I nearly fell out of my chair.”
In another rare discovery, a Maine fisherman caught a rare iridescent lobster north of Chebeague Island in the Gulf of Maine.
Alex Todd, of Chebeague Island, made the catch and a picture of the creature was posted by Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA) on its Facebook page on Aug. 24.
Lobsters naturally come in different colors.
“A normal lobster gets its color by mixing yellow, blue, and red protein pigments,” the MCFA wrote. “Through different genetic mutations you can get a blue, yellow, or red (uncooked) lobster. You can also get strange mixtures of those colors as well.”
But iridescent is not one of those colors.
“This lobster probably has a genetic condition called Leucism, which isn’t a total loss of pigment (which would make it an albino) but instead a partial loss. This is why you can still see some hints of blue on the shell and color on the eyes,” the MCFA wrote.
One commenter on Facebook dubbed the rare catch a “unicorn lobster.”
Multiple commenters also hoped the creature was released back into the water.
The association noted the lobster was a v-notched female and as such Todd released her. The v-notch is a cut lobstermen make into one of the tail flippers of egg-bearing female lobsters to mark a known breeder and protect them from harvesting.
But rare-colored lobsters usually don’t get killed anyway.
“If someone catches an interesting colored lobster they usually end up in an aquarium someplace or released back into the wild,” said Ben Martens, MCFA executive director, in an email.
CNN Wire Service and Epoch Times reporter Peter Svab contributed to this report.