Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 15, 2015

Gar Fishing on Trinity River

TPWD Temporarily Closes Alligator Gar Fishing in Trinity River Downstream of Dallas

AUSTIN — Due to flooding conditions on the Trinity River, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is temporarily prohibiting fishing for alligator gar in portions of the river between the Highway 31 Bridge near Trinidad and the Highway 7 Bridge near Crockett.

TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith issued the emergency order on Tuesday, May 12, to temporarily prohibit taking or attempting to take alligator gar in order to protect spawning alligator gar, which is a species of conservation concern in the Trinity River. The order takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for not more than 30 days and can be rescinded before that date if conditions warrant. While the order is in effect, anglers cannot fish for or harvest alligator gar in the Trinity River and flooded backwaters in the reach of the river specified above.

The temporary prohibition does not affect alligator gar fishing in parts of the state other than those areas of the Trinity River detailed above.

Department staff has been monitoring water conditions this spring for indications of conditions that normally trigger spawning by alligator gar. Water conditions targeted by staff, such as water temperature above 68degrees F and presence of a flood level at the moderate stage as reported by U.S. Geological Survey gauges http://www.srh.noaa.gov/wgrfc/ are currently occurring.

Typically, alligator gar do not spawn every year. Research data indicate alligator gar in Texas have the greatest chance at spawning successfully if the creation of preferred spawning habitat (the seasonal inundation of low-lying areas of vegetation) occurs in late spring through early summer. Because the conditions for spawning do not exist on a regular basis, and because spawning occurs in shallow waters where numerous gar can be concentrated in one area, alligator gar are extremely vulnerable to harvest during spawning.

The TPW Commission in 2009 adopted a daily bag limit of one alligator gar per person, which was intended to protect adult fish while allowing limited harvest, thus ensuring population stability. This action was taken to protect alligator gar populations in Texas, as Texas is one of the last remaining strongholds for the species in the U. S. Since 2009, the department has been conducting research to determine the estimated harvest of alligator gar, quantify reproduction, understand habitat usage and determine geographic differences in populations.

gar

July 17, 2011

Three Indicted in Alligator Gar Smuggling Operation

BEAUMONT, Texas – Three men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for smuggling alligator gar in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Loren Willis, 62, of Eminence, IN, Gerard Longo, 46, of Greenacres, Florida, and Michael Rambarran, 55, of Miami, were charged today with Lacey Act violations, specifically conspiracy to submit a false label for fish transported in interstate commerce, conspiracy to transport fish in interstate commerce in violation of state law or regulation; and conspiracy to transport and sell fish in interstate commerce in violation of state law or regulation.

According to the indictment, on July 26, 2010, the defendants are alleged to have conspired to develop a scheme to transport fish, specifically alligator gar, harvested from the Trinity River in East Texas for the purpose of selling them in Japan.

If convicted, they each face up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

This case is being investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department of Special Operations Unit and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reynaldo P. Mori.

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Alligator gar smuggling can be lucrative. A dealer in Tokyo proposed to pay these guys $15,000 for four alligator gar…and an eight-footer would have brought $30,000!

Japanese want alligator gar to put in their huge aquariums.  The aquariums are so large that you could swim in them.   Not sure if you would swim with the alligator gar.

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Alligator gar are prehistoric-looking fish unlike anything you’ve seen before. Even their scales
are unique. They are bony plates that overlap and secrete a slimy coating. Some people even
dry and bleach the scales for use in jewelry.

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