The Future of Gar in Texas

How Will We Sustain Alligator Gar Populations?


Researcher with gar
at Falcon Lake

A primary goal of TPWD’s alligator gar management is to maintain or improve our populations in Texas. In the Trinity River, this objective includes retaining fishable numbers of the largest, recreationally valuable fish. Because relatively few alligator gar can be sustainably harvested each year, it's important to closely monitor both reproduction and harvest.

Texas currently has a statewide bag limit of one alligator gar per day. This regulation can be effective when fishing pressure is low, but may not offer sufficient protection to our populations if more anglers wish to harvest alligator gar. The department also has the authority to close waters to alligator gar fishing when conditions are appropriate for spawning. At these times congregations of large adult alligator gar move into very shallow waters of the floodplain and are unusually vulnerable to harvest.

To help keep our alligator gar populations in good shape, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will consider additional regulations at its March 2019 meeting. Public input on the following changes will be accepted at a series of public hearings, a live webinar, and an online comment form,