Alligator Gar Special Restrictions and Reporting

Temporary Closures

When conditions are conducive for spawning of alligator gar, the TPWD Executive Director may temporarily prohibit taking or attempting to take alligator gar in a specified area for a period up to 30 days. Examples include water temperatures between 68 to 82°F and occurrence of moderate flood levels as defined and reported by U.S. Geological Survey gauges. Notice of this action will be posted on this web page, distributed to news media, and shared through social media. The notice will specify the area to be closed and the date by which lawful fishing for alligator gar may resume.

Mandatory Alligator Gar Harvest Reporting

All alligator gar harvested from the public waters of the state other than Falcon International Reservoir must be reported within 24 hours to the department via mobile app or online.

Drawing for Harvest Opportunity on Trinity River

Anglers can enter a drawing that will allow persons selected to receive an authorization to harvest one alligator gar over 48 inches in length from the Trinity River. This covers the section of the river from the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including Lake Livingston and the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard. The harvest authorization can be used day or night, and alligator gar can be taken by any legal means including archery equipment and crossbows. Authorizations are non-transferrable.

Harvest authorizations valid for September 1, 2019 through August 31, 2020 have already been issued.

The next opportunity to apply for a harvest authorization will occur September 1  through September 30, 2020. Anglers will be selected through a random draw  of applicants, and those selected will be notified by October 15, 2020. You will have to possess a fishing license (or be otherwise exempted) to enter this drawing.

Statewide Gar Bag Limits

  • For alligator gar, daily bag limit is 1 fish of any size.
  • No bag limits on other species of gar.
  • Certain areas may be temporarily closed to alligator gar fishing when optimum spawning conditions occur.

Exceptions to Statewide Alligator Gar Regulations

Trinity River Alligator Gar Exceptions

From the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including Lake Livingston and the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard:

  • Only alligator gar less than 48 inches in length may be retained.
  • Daily bag limit = 1.
  • Between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise, no person may take or possess an alligator gar by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow unless they possess a harvest authorization.
  • Certain areas may be temporarily closed to alligator gar fishing when optimum spawning conditions occur.

Falcon Lake Alligator Gar Exceptions

  • For alligator gar, daily bag limit = 5 fish.
  • Possession limit = 10.
  • No bag or possession limits on other species of gar.
  • Mandatory harvest reporting of alligator gar harvested is not required for Falcon.
  • Certain areas may be temporarily closed to alligator gar fishing when optimum spawning conditions occur.