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Any legal way to own a spotted gar?

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Years ago I had a spotted gar that was probably the best fish I've ever owned. I'd love to get another one, but it's my understanding that they're now classed as noxious? Is there any practical way of getting some kind of permit or something? Google hasn't been too helpful in this regard. Cost isn't too much of an issue for me. My work means that I have to go with a 100% legal method, even if that method is a loophole etc.

(Just in case anyone is interested) I got my last one at about 9-10cm. At that size he was happily taking pellets and bloodworms. His growth was rapid and he seemed quite sociable with his tankmates (Sailfin pleco, gold spot pleco, silver dollars, clown loaches). I had initially planned to move the smaller fish before he grew large enough to eat them, but they seemed to interact in a friendly manner, so I wound up leaving them together. Within a week he was recognising me and would get excited when I approached the tank (gars have an adorable waggle when they're excited). At that point it was probably just the food he was interested in, but later he would actually rub himself against my hand in the tank. It was almost like having a puppy at times. At 10cm his only obvious marking was a black line along his side. The spots began to appear by about 12cm and he was completely patterned by 15cm.

As he got bigger I started giving him live food as well as his pellets and worms. Initially this was feeder gudgeon and small shrimp, though later it included some small cichlids that a breeder friend didn't consider up to standard. He'd eat as many as I put in, getting to roughly 3 times his normal circumference, then spend a few days digesting and growing at a ridiculous rate. While he'd eat anything new that I put in, the fish that he grew up with didn't seem to register as food to him. More than once I saw a clown loach doing that lay on their side/nap thing on his snout without any problems.

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wanted them as well but gave up. I looked for all possible legal ways to own them a few years ago but time was not on my side. its a deadend case for that specie. if you knew someone who has one and in QLD. it's either they owned it with a permit or possessing it illegally. all qld legally owned gars are just waiting for the specie to die as there is no way to transfer ownership, even relocating them are a tedious process.

if you really really want to own them legally, you will need to transfer interstate where they are not on the noxious list yet.

not intending to discourage you, but it's better to know than being worried each time someone knocks on your door. You have other exotics to consider - as long as they are NOT on the noxious list, you can own them for life even if they subsequently end up on the noxious list - prospective application of laws apply (you just need to register them).

Goodluck with your hunt.

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Alligator Gar are Atractosteus spp. (excluding Atractosteus spatula) (Lepisosteidae family) - American Gar, Armoured Gar

Spotted Gar are - Lepisosteus oculatus

Very nice monsters and unique specimen on any collector's tank.

[MENTION=12090]Tristan[/MENTION] alligators are listed on NSW noxious, but reading (not sure if i'm understanding it well) on the penalties, I think you can ignore it and hide your fish and if caught just pay the $5.5k penalty. I might consider transferring in Sydney with that rule. That $5.5k is negligible loss.

Currently listed noxious fish and marine vegetation | NSW Department of Primary Industries

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I should probably clarify, at the time and place I had one, it was legal for me to do so. It's looking like I'll have to go with another option, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. Thanks for all your replies.

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