Imagine you're having a nice stroll by the lake when you suddenly come across this.

Image Courtesy of Olivia Lewis Johnston

Even if you knew what it was, chances are you'd be at least a little startled!

Our friend, Olivia Johnston, was at McGregor Park this past weekend when she came across the body of an alligator gar pinned down by a tree branch.

Olivia moved the branch to get a better view of this fascinating fish.

Image Courtesy of Olivia Lewis Johnston

Here's a look at its underside and that long snout.

Image Courtesy of Olivia Lewis Johnston

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, alligator gar are the largest of the seven gar species found in North and Central America, and the largest, weighing a whopping 279 pounds, was caught in the Rio Grande River. All gar species are popular with fishermen, but because spawning conditions for gar are not always ideal, the State of Texas places as one-per-day limit on alligator gar.

Have you ever caught one of these beasts or seen one washed ashore at Lake Belton?  If you got a photo, we'd love to see it!