Biologist Steve Robillard took a look at an e-mailed photo of the gar caught by Charles ``Mac'' Sloan from the Kankakee just after midnight this morning and said, ``It could go either way.''
He said it is a tweener between a longnose and shortnose gar. ``I will be down there tomorrow morning with my ruler,'' Robillard said.
The fish is at Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine, where it weighed 5 pounds, 1 1/4 ounces on their certified scale, a fraction of an ounce heavier than the Illinois record for shortnose gar.
``Please God, be on my side,'' Sloan said when told what Robillard said.
It was the first gar Sloan caught. He owns Mac's Bait Shop on East 75th. He first weighed it on a digital scale at his shop at 5.24 pounds. When he realized that would be a record if a shortnose, he took it up to Henry's certified scales.
William Meyer, a well-known gar fisherman formerly from New Lenox now of Morris (ADDED), caught the Illinois shortnose gar record (5-.96) from the Vermilion River in LaSalle County on July 20, 1999.
CORRECTION: Kentuckian Nathan Merideth caught the Illinois longnose record (22-1), from the Ohio River in Massac County on May 6, 2006. That surpassed the (17-5.28) caught by Steven Ludvigsen caught from the Kankakee on July 15, 2002, which I first listed as the standing record.