HJ0141LRB099 21071 GRL 46223 r


2    WHEREAS, Since prehistoric times, Illinois waterways have
3been home to four species of gar that swam alongside dinosaurs,
4mastodons, and pioneers; and
5    WHEREAS, Alligator gar reaching more than six feet in
6length and 300 pounds in weight once patrolled Illinois
7waterways; and
8    WHEREAS, For a century, gar have been misnamed as
9nuisances, threats to sportfish, "trash fish", or worse; and
10    WHEREAS, The largest of these species, the alligator gar,
11was once extirpated from our State, but has been reintroduced
12on a limited basis through the hard work, expertise, and
13commitment of our Department of Natural Resources; and
14    WHEREAS, Our great institutions of higher education,
15consisting of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and
16Springfield campuses, Western Illinois University, and Eastern
17Illinois University, are engaged in research showing the
18intrinsic value of gar species to Illinois waterways, sport
19fisheries, and recreational opportunities; and
20    WHEREAS, Anglers, whether they use hook-and-line or bows



HJ0141- 2 -LRB099 21071 GRL 46223 r

1and arrows to pursue their quarry, are discovering the thrill
2of gar fishing; and
3    WHEREAS, Food lovers across the State are beginning to
4discover the culinary delight that is the flesh of gar; and
5    WHEREAS, The increasing popularity of gar presents new
6opportunities for gar management to ensure the long-term
7viability of the fishery; and
8    WHEREAS, Fully grown alligator gar is our only native
9species capable of eating adult Asian carp; and
10    WHEREAS, Many Illinoisans and tourists look forward to the
11day when giant alligator gar will again swim our waterways,
12presenting a unique trophy fishing opportunity; and
13    WHEREAS, Gar have for too long been falsely accused of
14hurting game species, when studies clearly show healthy gar
15populations lead to healthier game species populations; and
16    WHEREAS, The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has
17taken a two-year hiatus from their efforts to restore the
18alligator gar population; therefore, be it



HJ0141- 3 -LRB099 21071 GRL 46223 r

2SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we urge the Illinois Department
3of Natural Resources to develop protections as needed for all
4Illinois native gar species to ensure the long term viability
5of the shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus), the longnose
6gar (Lepisosteus osseus), the spotted gar (Lepisosteus
7oculatus), and the alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), with
8particular protections developed for alligator gar; and be it
10    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Department of Natural
11Resources to apply these protections as needed and include site
12specific size and creel limits based on the size of the
13reproductively mature gar to protect brood stock from premature
14harvest; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Department of Natural
16Resources to work with partners to identify ways to expand and
17expedite the reintroduction of alligator gar to waterways to
18expedite the creation of a sustainable and regulated trophy
19fishing resource in the State; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
21delivered to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.