A bowhunter shot a fish identified as an alligator gar in the lake in August. The gar was four feet long and weighed 27 pounds.
The problem is, alligator gars don't grow in Lake Wateree – or in any other waters in the Southeast. They are native to the Midwest and the Lake Wateree gar is as far east as it has ever been documented.
Wildlife officials believe someone put the fish in the lake, probably after it outgrew an aquarium. But alien fish can wreak havoc on the local environment and some may even decimate native fish species.
"Just one more complication to our ecosystem," said Scott Lamprecht, S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologist. "It just creates an ecological disaster
Lamprecht said a 10-inch alligator gar can be purchased online for $700, with live delivery guaranteed.