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#12742483 - 05/03/18 08:41 PM New Alligator Gar regulations are coming!
slimjim Offline
Angler

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 335
I was browsing through the commissioners meeting minutes from the on the TPWD website, and I saw that they had a great discussion with one of the biologists on our Alligator Gar fishery. Looks like they will be proposing some new regulations this fall. This is a long read, but I thought some of you might enjoy it. It looks like they are using a lot of data collected over a large time period to come to these conclusions.

Work Session Item 15, Alligator Gar, Status of Science and Management, Craig Bonds.

MR. BONDS: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. For the record, I'm Craig Bonds, Director of Inland Fisheries.

And as a point of departure of what Angie is passing around to you right now, it's just a list of some of the research projects that our staff has undertaken over the past decade; and it also includes just some of the major research findings and highlights from those efforts. I'm not going to have time today to go over all of that. So I just wanted to provide you an overview to take with you.

Also, I want to note that this exact same information is going to be made available to the public as part of some of our public outreach efforts very soon; and I'll touch on that here in a little bit.

Texas is unique among the 50 states in that it presently has the best remaining Alligator gar populations in the world. That, in turn, provides fishing opportunities for one of the largest freshwater fishes on the globe. Alligator gar opportune -- I'm sorry. Alligator gar are enjoyed by an estimated 100,000 Texans, in addition to many non-Texans from around the world. Our gar populations are highly significant from not only an ecological standpoint, but are also economically important. Guides benefit from taking persons using rod and reel and bows out to pursue Alligator gar.

In 2009, the Commission undertook precautionary approach to protect our Alligator gar fisheries by accepting staff recommendation to implement a one fish per day regulation. This restriction was largely based on concern for large gar, rapidly increasing interest in Texas gar fisheries, and preliminary work outside of Texas that suggested these fish were declining throughout much of their native range.

Staff requested time to study Alligator gar populations and since 2009, we've learned a lot about our Alligator gar populations and our goal has been and remains to develop innovative, science-based management strategies inclusive of a variety of fishing methods that will sustain this unique resource for future generations of Texans, particularly the very large gar which take decades to reach those sizes.

The good news is that our Alligator gar populations appear to be in relatively good shape. We know how much more -- we know much more about this fish, including its abundance, reproduction, and population dynamics. We also understand its habitat needs, how recruitment can be infrequent and tied to flooding events, and where populations exist across the state.

This precautionary approach has allowed TPWD the time needed to research Alligator gar biology and ecology, as well as gather data about populations throughout our state. Since 2009, scientists at TPWD have become national leaders in Alligator gar research, publishing 19 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals to date; and those are listed in the handout that was passed around to you.

However, to appropriately manage this fishery, we need to know more about those who pursue Alligator gar. The past couple of years, we've been transitioning our research efforts to focus on understanding who they are, where they fish, and how they fish, as well as what their preferences are.

Because Alligator gar are long-lived, mature late in life relative to most species, and because they don't successfully reproduce -- absent good spawning conditions -- it's very important that harvest is kept within sustainable limits. We've presented information before about history of gar; but just as a quick refresher, in Texas, fish over 40 years old are not uncommon and we've aged fish over 60 years old in both the Trinity and the Brazos River systems. And the otolith, the ear bone, in the lower right-hand of that slide is a picture of the 98-year-old Alligator gar world record out of Mississippi; and that aging technique has been validated through research.

Successful reproduction generally occurs only every five to ten years or so in river systems, which should -- absent overharvest -- be adequate because of how long the fish lives. It's important to note that this is considered normal for a periodic life history strategist like gar, similar to other long-lived species like sturgeon and to some extent, paddlefish.

Spawning is tied very closely with large spring and summer floods, and gar spawn over flooded terrestrial vegetation. In the Trinity, we've been fortunate in the past decade or so and have two very strong year classes in both 2007 and 2015, that should help sustain that population into the future.

Our investigations have shown Alligator gar populations can exhibit differing population characteristics, depending on whether they reside in rivers or reservoir lakes or in our bays and estuaries. Localized fishery management objectives, therefore, vary; and, thus, it is appropriate to fine-tune harvest strategies for specific populations of Alligator gar. And although Alligator gar are desired by some as food fish and are safe to eat in some areas of the state, it is noteworthy to mention that the Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a no consumption advisory for gar in the Trinity River. Basically, from Dallas/Fort Worth down to Highway 90 near Liberty. And this is due to extreme levels of PCBs and dioxins. These fish are also highly contaminated with mercury.

While we have a good understanding of Alligator gar, we have limited information about those who pursue Alligator gar. Based on statewide surveys, we know about a hundred thousand Texans pursue Alligator gar and at this time, we're unable to quantify the number of nonresidents; but acknowledge that they do compromise a substantial portion of guided fishing trips.

They are diverse. They have diverse interests, methods that they choose to fish, numbers of fish that they choose to harvest or release, and the types of -- and the sizes of fish that are sought. In spite of our current data, we need more information on their practices and preferences. We believe their input and buy-in are important components to compliance and ultimately, conserving this valuable resource.

Since implementation of the one fish per day bag limit, we've estimated harvest in both the Trinity and the Brazos Rivers, as well as Choke Canyon Reservoir between the years of 2008 and 2013. After accounting for likely levels of non-reporting, we've estimated that exploitation ranges between 2 and 4 percent of the population annually. And I want to explain a little bit about how we've derived those estimates because it is fairly important.

Those exploitation estimates are typically derived through a tag and reporting type study. And what we did, is we tagged a number of Alligator gar in these systems; and then as those reported harvests come into us, then we can estimate what exploitation is. But the scientific literature is replete with these types of exploitation studies and one important factor is: How many are not reported that are caught and harvested?

And so that can be actually measured or you can use assumptions based on the reported literature. And how we did it, is we combed through the literature and we used a fairly liberal assumption of non-reporting. Specific to the Trinity River estimate, we used a 50 percent non-reporting rate; and then for the Choke Canyon estimate, we modeled various different non-reporting rates of anywhere from 20 to 80 percent. So I just want to make that fairly clear; and also, I want the Commission to understand that these estimates have been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Based on our population modeling of those estimates, the level of harvest should be sustainable; but to prevent a substantial reduction in large gar, harvest should not exceed 5 percent annually. That's pretty important. In the Trinity, population continues to offer opportunities to take very large fish based on anecdotal information from guides that we regularly communicate with; and sampling in the Lower Trinity River below Lake Livingston as recently as 2015 as part of a separate study, revealed a robust size and age structure, which was not indicative of a population that was experiencing excessive exploitation in that area.

We recognize that current regulation could allow overharvest if exploitation increased above 5 percent. However, we've been working to educate the public about this fishery; and our hope is that it will help drive greater conservation and less harvest. Public forums are also changing perceptions about gar and are influencing angling activity. We know that several guides that have either fully or partially converted to catch-and-release-rod-and-reel fishing.

And another important point that I want to make is these fisheries, these Alligator gar fisheries, particularly in some of these remote river reaches, are fairly tough to monitor. So getting an accurate, realtime, strong signal coming back to us on the number of fish coming out of those systems and the angler effort is very challenging.

To understand how low levels of harvest can dramatically alter gar populations, we're using population modeling techniques. Here, we provide an example from the Trinity River where we model an adult population of about 10,000 fish. Which I'll remind the Commission that back in 2010, our population estimate of the Middle Trinity from DFW down to Lake Livingston, was about 8,500 fish or so. So this is what an average, unfished population may look like. And fish over 6 feet, which are the most recreationally valuable fish, make up about 23 percent or about 2,300 fish of the population and these fish, as a reminder, are 20 to 60 plus years old typically.

Under no length limits, which is our current regulation, and at 3 percent modeled annual harvest, we see that the population is stable. And as a reminder, we've estimated that 3 percent annual harvest reflects what we believe is the current status of the Trinity River population. But as we model harvest at 5 percent across all size classes, the population does decline; but it is still considered sustainable. We still maintain some of those largest fish, and it is reproductively still viable; but above 5 percent, you start to get into a danger zone and I want to show you what happens at 10 percent harvest across all ages. In each year, the population becomes at risk of being overfished.

At this point, the population is reduced by almost 60 percent and only 12 percent of those large fish remain. In addition, reproductive potential may be insufficient to fully rebuild the population at 10 percent exploitation.

And to prevent overharvest, we can look at alternatives to our current regulation. One alternative could include the use of length limits. By protecting large size classes of fish, we can actually allow greater harvest of other size classes. If we start with no harvest and 10 percent harvest with no length limit as kind of bookend references on this slide, we can see how different types of length regulations will affect the population.

So starting with a 6-foot maximum length limit -- so this would completely protect the largest, oldest fish above 6 feet -- we see this type of regulation really gives little added protection to the population and this is because at 10 percent annual harvest, most fish are harvested before they reach the largest sizes and few fish are left. Remember, it takes about 20 years for most fish to exceed 6 feet in length. Another downside of this potential regulation would likely be unpopular with many of those who seek to harvest the very largest gar. We currently do not know what proportion of anglers fit into this group.

In contrast, if we were to apply a 6-foot minimum length limit -- so protecting fish under 6 feet -- we can see that even at 10 percent annual harvest, most of the population -- about 85 percent -- would be protected and retained. We even sustain about 35 percent of the fish over 6 feet. Because fish less than 6 feet are protected, the reproductive capacity of the remaining fish would likely be sufficient, even at elevated harvest rates.

The advantage of such a regulation, would require limited monitoring and oversight. However, there is a major downside and that is that such a regulation focuses solely on a trophy fishery objective and would be likely unpopular by more harvest-oriented anglers and poses challenges for bow fishers to judge the size of fish before shooting -- choosing to harvest.

An alternative to length-base regulations is to consider requiring all harvest of a gar -- of Alligator gar -- to be reported. If we find harvest is getting too high, we can respond with greater restrictions, such as limiting the number of fish per angler per year through permitted-take opportunities. The main benefit of such a system is that we can gather needed information and also more closely monitor harvest throughout the state or in specific locations.

The potential downsides of such an approach are that they may be viewed unduly burdensome by our anglers, and it would require greater oversight and coordination within our Agency.

Moving forward, we've planned to before inform our public, seek input from our constituents, and seek guidance from this Commission body. To address this need, we've been developing a media blitz that will inform our constituents what we've learned. Following this effort, we plan to launch a survey to gather additional information that we need about our constituents.

The media blitz has been scheduled for this spring to coincide with the gar fishery and will be followed by a survey this summer. The goal is to better understand the diversity of persons pursuing Alligator gar and their preferences, as well as non-anglers that are also interested in Alligator gar.

We've also been working to develop and launch a long-term monitoring program. With this species, our focus is on monitoring reproduction and harvest. Basically, the fish coming in and the fish leaving the system. We plan to use a combination of angler and TPWD collected data to monitor this elements. To better monitor this unique fishery, we do need a better way to identify anglers and know what is being harvested and where.

For some time, we've been exploring the use of a permit and/or a harvest reporting system. This potential process would require additional administrative coordination with other disciplinary expertise within the Agency. And finally, we're looking for guidance from this Commission on fine-tuning our management strategies for conserving Alligator gar in Texas.

That concludes my presentation. I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Commissioner Latimer.

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: If you can't eat these fish, is there any reason to really harvest them, take them out of the water, the fishery?

MR. BONDS: That's an excellent question, Commissioner Latimer. And I would answer that simply by saying there are other motives for harvesting a fish than just consumption.

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: Well --

MR. BONDS: There could be someone --

COMMISSIONER LATIMER: -- if you want a trophy, can you not do like other catch-and-release if you want to keep a trophy? Weigh it, measure it, take it?

MR. BONDS: There are multiple ways that you can keep your -- or have a trophy fish to remember. You could have a skin mount of the actual fish, or you could make a fiberglass replica of the fish. Taxidermists can do both. There are a suite of harvest motives for anglers out there; and I think in the past and typically, our Division has tried to serve the diverse anglers -- types out there -- and try to maintain as many opportunities as possible, while keeping an understanding that we want to make sure that it's sustainable over time.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Do you want to say anything?

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Well, I just -- my interest is protecting from the terminal catch methods, these fish that are 6 feet or longer. And according to your model here -- and I -- is this from actual sampling or...

MR. BONDS: I'm trying to find the slide.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: It's the one with -- the one before that. Keep going back. Go back one more. One more.

MR. BONDS: This is the 6-foot maximum foot length.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: I'm just looking at your -- at the current population slide; and 7-footer, you've got 750 of them in the fishery?

MR. SMITH: It's the 10,000 fish. It's where we kind of start with -- yeah, right there.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Yeah, there you go. Am I reading that right?

MR. BONDS: Oh, in that one, I believe we have about 2,300 fish over 6 feet out of 10,000.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Yeah, I'm looking at 7-foot or more. Because what worries me is the 7-footer, the 8-footer are the target of a terminal method of harvesting in an area where you shouldn't eat the fish anyway. Those are the ones that I want to protect because if you can shoot one a day and you've got 750 of them, you could go through -- I realize it's not as easy as it may appear; but you could harvest a good number of those big fish who are 30, 40, 50 years old, and that's what I want to see protected. And I just don't know -- I mean, that's the direction I want to go or would like to go.

MR. SMITH: Understood.

MR. BONDS: I hear your concern, and I want to state that we share your ultimate goal so that we can conserve across the broad size structure of those populations to provide opportunities for folks into the future and to keep those very largest fish around.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Yeah, Because it's just not sustainable. I mean, I don't need too many studies to -- common sense will tell you it's not going to -- we're the only state left, I believe, that have these big fish. Is that not true?

MR. BONDS: That's an accurate statement, especially at the abundance that we have them. There's certainly large, very large Alligator gar in other states; but I think Texas is truly the stronghold for big fish.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: So catch and release is not a problem, but -- and I don't want to get off on the bow hunting, but that really is the area that is of the most concern to me. So some sort of permit system where you can only shoot one a year? I don't know what it is.

COMMISSIONER SCOTT: You know, Reed, to follow up on what you're saying, perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps we need to do an education process and let everybody know about all the PCBs and about what all they got and perhaps that would just kind of take the interest out of wanting to catch those big ones and kill them, you know?

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: That's my two cents, so.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Well, Craig, I want to say that -- to kind of echo the Vice-Chairman's comments -- that Texas is in a -- as you started off -- in a unique position in this country where this fish is actually been extirpated, I think, in the Ohio River system, maybe the Illinois River system, a bunch of Midwest systems this fish used to -- big fish, like we have, used to be there and they're not there at all. And while Louisiana has large numbers of Alligator gar, they're small in comparison to what we enjoy in this state and given all of the challenges this fish has to recruitment that's uneven over -- it may not -- they're may not being spawn for years because the conditions don't exist and it takes so long to get to these sizes and we have so few of them, that I don't -- I join Reed in saying we want to make sure we don't risk an overharvest of these very large, fabulous, historic fish.

And so I would like to ask you and your team to come back in the next regulatory cycle with a plan on how to add more protection in the Trinity River system for these large gar, including evaluating whether we go to a draw system for so many gar, whatever the appropriate number is determined to be, and a mandatory reporting for any take and that's so easy with today's cell phone technology and our other reporting systems.

So if you will, this fall, come back with the beginnings of a plan that would do -- that would add more protection, ways to assure that we don't risk overharvest of these very large fish. And I don't know whether that's 4 feet and above or 5 feet and above. That's where your expertise comes in.

And by the way, I do want to commend you and the others for the great work you've done. You're obviously respected by peers across the country for the study and science you've done on this. This is a magnificent fish, and we don't want to wake up five years from now or ten years from now and have this one a day result where we're down to three fish that are over 7 feet in the entire system.

MR. BONDS: Yes, sir. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman, I hear your concerns; and I'm hearing the direction that you would like for us to take. There are models outside of Texas where states and Canadian provinces have used some type of permitting system and mandatory reporting systems for species such as sturgeon, paddlefish. Arkansas has a permit system and mandatory reporting for Alligator gar.

What our staff will do, is take a very comprehensive look at those various different models and administrative structures. We'll visit with our various different disciplinary expertise within the Agency to look at what type of challenges we would need to overcome from just a logistical and administrative standpoint to implement something like that, and we'd be happy to report back to you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Okay. We'll look forward to hearing something maybe at the November meeting on where you are.

MR. BONDS: Okay.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: One more comment.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Yes, sir.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: I like the educational aspect. I mean, letting these people know that if they're going to arrow an 8-foot fish that it might be 100 years old. Ninety-seven, was that record that --

MR. BONDS: Ninety-eight.

COMMISSIONER MORIAN: Ninety-eight. Because I'm not sure how widely appreciated that is, but I like that component of it.

MR. SMITH: Yep.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: That's -- I mean, look at Tarpon. I don't know anybody that catches a giant Tarpon and kills it. Anyway, but because we're in a unique position, we need to do what we can do to better protect these large gar from overharvest. So we'll look forward to getting a plan, a couple of ideas from you on how we do that.

MR. BONDS: Okay, thank you.

COMMISSIONER DUGGINS: Thank you so much for all the time you've spent on this.

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#12742523 - 05/03/18 09:04 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
TXMulti-Species Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 11/01/17
Posts: 342
Loc: DFW
Looks like they're going in the right direction! We need to protect these beautiful fish.
_________________________
New to angling. Catch and release. The dream - to catch at least one of every species in our great state (if I can manage to resist carp)!
https://txmultispecies.imgur.com/

PB Common - 20lb 6oz
PB Ghost - 13lb 9oz
PB Koi - 9lb
PB Smallmouth Buffalo - 28lb 12oz

"Take only memories, leave only footprints, kill only time."

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#12742799 - 05/04/18 07:27 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
Marc-62 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/21/18
Posts: 83
We've got way to many down here at Falcon Lake we're able to keep 5 a day . These beautiful fish are eating machines. They should enforce the one a day limit if that is what your lake restrictions are no culling first one you catch is yours. Gar trip is over till the next day.


Edited by Marc-62 (05/04/18 05:30 PM)

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#12742866 - 05/04/18 08:13 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
Uncle Zeek Online   content
Perry Mason

Registered: 09/26/05
Posts: 21469
Loc: Lewisville
Other fisheries in the country have moved to slot limits or reverse slot limits to protect the reproductive capacity of the fish. Pacific halibut in Alaksa come to mind, as well as white sturgeon along the west coast. For that matter, redfish along the Texas coast have a slot & tag system to preserve a healthy fishery.

Would certainly be worthwhile to consider for alligator gar.

(someone remind me to write to this knucklehead Commissioner Latimer and let him know that gator gar are perfectly edible!!)
_________________________
"Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime" ~ Robert A. Heinlein, 1952

I can't give legal advice yet, but this site may have some of the answers you need: https://texaslawhelp.org/

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#12743164 - 05/04/18 11:19 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
gar1970 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/23/11
Posts: 1811
Loc: southwest more west than south...
"Catan" is Spanish for alligator gar. "Chicharones" is fried alligator gar
_________________________
When you catch a fish you feel the door to happiness open

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#12743183 - 05/04/18 11:33 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
Dawson Hefner Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 2954
Loc: Brownsboro, Tx
Zeke, I think they were referring to the contaminated population which is everything from Dallas to hwy 90 near the near the gulf.

They have signs posted at one boat ramp and it is way up by the road, no where near the water.
_________________________

http://www.texasmegafishadventures.com
Licensed guide Dawson Hefner
Guided rod and reel fishing trips for Alligator gar on the Trinity River
903-721-4296
dawson@texasmegafishadventures.com

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#12743201 - 05/04/18 11:51 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: Dawson Hefner]
Uncle Zeek Online   content
Perry Mason

Registered: 09/26/05
Posts: 21469
Loc: Lewisville
Originally Posted By: Dawson Hefner
Zeke, I think they were referring to the contaminated population which is everything from Dallas to hwy 90 near the near the gulf.

They have signs posted at one boat ramp and it is way up by the road, no where near the water.


Ah, then that makes sense. Thanks !
_________________________
"Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime" ~ Robert A. Heinlein, 1952

I can't give legal advice yet, but this site may have some of the answers you need: https://texaslawhelp.org/

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#12743288 - 05/04/18 12:53 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
Dawson Hefner Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 2954
Loc: Brownsboro, Tx
I think the read the between the lines question being asked by the commissioners is "What the hell are these people doing with the fish if they are not good to eat but they are harvesting them.? They aren't stuffing them, they shouldn't eat them, then why are they doing it?
_________________________

http://www.texasmegafishadventures.com
Licensed guide Dawson Hefner
Guided rod and reel fishing trips for Alligator gar on the Trinity River
903-721-4296
dawson@texasmegafishadventures.com

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#12743300 - 05/04/18 01:00 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: Dawson Hefner]
TXMulti-Species Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 11/01/17
Posts: 342
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: Dawson Hefner
I think the read the between the lines question being asked by the commissioners is "What the hell are these people doing with the fish if they are not good to eat but they are harvesting them.? They aren't stuffing them, they shouldn't eat them, then why are they doing it?



The answer to this question is of grave importance. No animal should be harvested just for the thrill of it. I hope they end up asking this directly.


Edited by TXMulti-Species (05/04/18 01:13 PM)
_________________________
New to angling. Catch and release. The dream - to catch at least one of every species in our great state (if I can manage to resist carp)!
https://txmultispecies.imgur.com/

PB Common - 20lb 6oz
PB Ghost - 13lb 9oz
PB Koi - 9lb
PB Smallmouth Buffalo - 28lb 12oz

"Take only memories, leave only footprints, kill only time."

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#12743405 - 05/04/18 02:17 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
Marc-62 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/21/18
Posts: 83
They are probably being ate for food.


Edited by Marc-62 (05/06/18 06:17 AM)

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#12743652 - 05/04/18 06:30 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: TXMulti-Species]
RespectTheFish Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 380
Loc: Abilene, Texas, Fort Phantom
Excellent point! What a great read and thanks for sharing! I am a bowfisherman and have killed a 154 pound gator gar at Amistad many years ago. The guy that taught me said it was probably a 30 year old fish. He personally had a biologist age a 210 pounder and it was 75 years old. There is no getting around it....killing a fish that big and old for nothing more than a few minutes of fun is wrong and I personally will not participate in it. And you can not leave it up to society to do what’s right because too few care.
_________________________
Clay
RespectTheFish on YouTube

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#12743731 - 05/04/18 07:07 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: RespectTheFish]
TXMulti-Species Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 11/01/17
Posts: 342
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: RespectTheFish
Excellent point! What a great read and thanks for sharing! I am a bowfisherman and have killed a 154 pound gator gar at Amistad many years ago. The guy that taught me said it was probably a 30 year old fish. He personally had a biologist age a 210 pounder and it was 75 years old. There is no getting around it....killing a fish that big and old for nothing more than a few minutes of fun is wrong and I personally will not participate in it. And you can not leave it up to society to do what’s right because too few care.


You could always continue to go after them on rod and reel, it's much more impressive and you get to release them that way! fish
_________________________
New to angling. Catch and release. The dream - to catch at least one of every species in our great state (if I can manage to resist carp)!
https://txmultispecies.imgur.com/

PB Common - 20lb 6oz
PB Ghost - 13lb 9oz
PB Koi - 9lb
PB Smallmouth Buffalo - 28lb 12oz

"Take only memories, leave only footprints, kill only time."

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#12743836 - 05/04/18 08:04 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: slimjim]
RespectTheFish Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/04/17
Posts: 380
Loc: Abilene, Texas, Fort Phantom
That’s an excellent point!
_________________________
Clay
RespectTheFish on YouTube

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#12743974 - 05/04/18 09:36 PM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: Marc-62]
Dawson Hefner Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 2954
Loc: Brownsboro, Tx
Originally Posted By: Marc-62
They are probably being ate for food "Signage" does not stop people from doing illegal things. Sounds like banning gar fishing on the Trinity River would be a good place to start with signage at every boat ramp from Dallas/FT. Worth down to Highway 90 at liberty. Ask the fisherman in that area to not post pictures of Big gar on social media. Have TPWD set a fee up for the gar guides to buy a license $ 7,500 one time fee with a buy back program. Charge $360 a year to renew license have them fill out monthly trip tickets. Ban fishing during prime months of breeding so they get a good spawn. Do it just like commercial fisherman have it done to them.


Sir is this hyperbole or are you being literal on all points?
_________________________

http://www.texasmegafishadventures.com
Licensed guide Dawson Hefner
Guided rod and reel fishing trips for Alligator gar on the Trinity River
903-721-4296
dawson@texasmegafishadventures.com

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#12744103 - 05/05/18 05:34 AM Re: New Alligator Gar regulations are coming! [Re: Dawson Hefner]
Marc-62 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/21/18
Posts: 83
Why not protect all gar .


Edited by Marc-62 (05/06/18 06:26 AM)

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