You might want to spend some time at the gym before hooking an alligator gar. The world record of the species, caught in Mississippi in 2011, weighed 327 pounds and was probably at least 95 years old.
That may explain its growing popularity as a game fish in Texas, one of the last strongholds in the United States for this ancient species. Its late breeding age (at about 10 years) makes it a fragile population that needs dynamic conservation protections to keep the population strong.
The TPW Commission in 2009 adopted a daily bag limit of one alligator gar per person to protect adult fish, allow limited harvest, and ensure population stability.
Know these recent regulation updates regarding alligator gar:
- A temporary ban on gar fishing was enacted May 12 on the Trinity River south of Dallas prohibiting fishing for alligator gar in portions of the river between the Highway 31 Bridge near Trinidad and the Highway 7 Bridge near Crockett due to spawning activity. Read the details in this news release. Watch for gar spawning behavior (video).
- On Falcon Lake only, the limit will be expanded to 5 per day, according to the 2015-16 Statewide Recreational and Commercial Fishing Regulations, effective September 1 in all impounded waters of the Rio Grande from the Falcon Dam upstream to the Zapata/Webb County line.