TPWD Temporarily Closes Alligator Gar Fishing in Segment of the Trinity River
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 287 bridge near Cayuga and State Highway 7 near Crockett.
TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith issued the emergency order on Monday, May 6, to temporarily prohibit taking or attempting to take alligator gar 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 The order takes effect immediately and will remain in effect for not more than 30 days and can be rescinded before that date if conditions warrant.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 law is enforced, anglers cannot fish for or harvest alligator gar in 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 the area of the Trinity River detailed above.
Department staff has been monitoring water conditions this spring for indications of situations that generally trigger spawning by alligator gar. Water conditions targeted by personnel, such as water temperature above 68 degrees F and presence of a flood level at the moderate stage as reported by U.S. Geological Survey gauges are currently occurring.
Typically, alligator gar does not spawn every year. Research data indicate alligator gar in Texas have the highest 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 regularly, and because spawning occurs in shallow waters where numerous gar can be concentrated in one area, the alligator gar is extremely vulnerable to harvest during spawning.
Check for updates on the closure at www.tpwd.texas.gov/gar-closure.