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Mar 25th, 2012
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60 Year Old Alligator Gar #6919455
10/13/17 08:15 PM
10/13/17 08:15 PM
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jeffbird Offline OP
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60-Year-Old Alligator Gar New Brazos River Record

AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department research biologists have confirmed the new alligator gar bow fishing water body record for the Brazos River is 60-years-old, among the oldest fish aged and documented by the department.

Angler Isaac Avery of Longview caught the 197 pound, 7.39 foot alligator gar bow fishing in the Brazos River Sept. 9 – beating the previous record by more than 4 pounds.

After noticing a TPWD research tag left of the fish’s dorsal fin, Avery called TPWD Inland Fisheries district biologist Michael Baird, who previously tagged the fish in March 2012. According to Baird, tags returned by anglers provide biologists with information on harvest, abundance, size structure and survival.

“I tagged this fish near Tawakoni Creek, a large Brazos River tributary just down from Waco, back in March 2012 while doing a mark-recapture study,” Baird said. “It appears she hadn’t moved much since we tagged her in 2012, and she grew approximately 65 mm (2.55 inches) since tagging.”

Baird assisted the anglers with locating a scale big enough to weigh the fish at the Brazos Feed and Supply Store. After weighing the fish, taking measurements and collecting the otoliths (bony structures found in the alligator gar’s inner ear), the data was sent to the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center (HOHFSC), where researchers are conducting studies to learn more about key population characteristics of alligator gar. Researchers then used the otoliths to age the fish by counting growth rings similar to those on a tree.

“We aged the fish at 60, which indicates it hatched in 1957,” said research biologist David Buckmeier. “I looked at the gauge data from Waco around that time and sure enough there was a huge flood from April to July in 1957. What we’ve seen is that fish over the age of 50 typically come from times when these huge flood pulses occurred, and those events likely create giant year classes of these fish.”

According to Buckmeier, alligator gar typically do not spawn every year but prefer spawning habitat created by seasonal inundation of low-lying areas of vegetation – like the floods of 1957. Research on the Trinity River confirmed that the years of highest reproductive success of alligator gar coincided with years of good spring rains.

As big as this fish was, other Texas rivers and lakes hold trophy alligator gar that are even bigger. Angler Marty McClellan set the state bow-fishing record for alligator gar in 2001 with an 8 foot, 290 pound fish from the Trinity River – a record that still stands to this day. The world record, caught in Mississippi in 2011, measured 8 feet 5 inches and weighed 327 pounds. TPWD researchers examined otoliths from that fish and estimated its age at 95 years.

HOHFSC biologists are conducting several studies to learn more about Texas alligator gar populations with the goal of providing management recommendations for the sustainability of this species for present and future anglers. Past and ongoing research projects include sampling alligator gar populations in five river systems, tagging individual fish and recording their movements, and working with gar anglers to learn how they use the fishery.

Currently, Texas permits the harvest of one alligator gar per day with no minimum length limit. Bow fishing, rod and reel and jug lines are all legal methods for harvesting the limit of one fish per day.

For images of the record catch, visit the TPWD News Images online. To learn more about alligator gar, view range maps or explore previous news releases, magazine articles and YouTube videos, visit the TPWD news roundup.


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Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919460
10/13/17 08:21 PM
10/13/17 08:21 PM
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Flower Child isn't going to like this.

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: JCB] #6919464
10/13/17 08:25 PM
10/13/17 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: JCB
Flower Child isn't going to like this.


Have to admit I'm not too keen on it myself.


Professionally trained and certified pistol and license to carry instructor.
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919497
10/13/17 08:57 PM
10/13/17 08:57 PM
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That would be beyond the average life span age and likely no longer reproductive. If one believes in selective harvest it would be better to take that fish than say a 20 year old fish or whatever the age they are at prime spawning age. There is no damage from the take of a single older record size fish, but publishing it's location with a statement that there are bigger ones out there could be. Guys like Flower and social media have already already created a considerable amount of increasing fishing pressure on these fish both from individuals and guides.

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919518
10/13/17 09:15 PM
10/13/17 09:15 PM
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Kind of indifferent. I use to be a pretty active bowfisher, it was rare I went a week or two without going and most times it was more than once a week during spring/summer/early fall. I'm glad they put a limit on gator gar but I'm glad you can still shoot them. Today I doubt I would shoot a fish like that just because I wouldn't want to do anything but take a picture with it. In years past I would have let an arrow fly. I wish they would open it back up to catfish, I enjoy bow fishing and liked being able to shoot and eat fish.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919526
10/13/17 09:30 PM
10/13/17 09:30 PM
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Shoot and eat gar, then. They’re delicious.


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919532
10/13/17 09:33 PM
10/13/17 09:33 PM
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Dang them fish get old.
I wonder if the TFF is slammed with "age this fish" posts.



"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: Sneaky] #6919545
10/13/17 09:50 PM
10/13/17 09:50 PM
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Rockport, Tx.
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Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Shoot and eat gar, then. They’re delicious.


Yep.

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919610
10/13/17 10:43 PM
10/13/17 10:43 PM
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interesting


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919691
10/13/17 11:56 PM
10/13/17 11:56 PM
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Last edited by doogie; 10/13/17 11:58 PM.
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6919704
10/14/17 12:05 AM
10/14/17 12:05 AM
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Over yonder.....
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Over yonder.....
Originally Posted By: jeffbird
Originally Posted By: JCB
Flower Child isn't going to like this.


Have to admit I'm not too keen on it myself.

Ditto.....


Originally Posted By: skinnerback
Milf does the trick.

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Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920066
10/14/17 12:56 PM
10/14/17 12:56 PM
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It always gives me pause too.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920106
10/14/17 01:41 PM
10/14/17 01:41 PM
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My PB is a 191 from the Trinity River. I love bow fishing alligator gar.

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920442
10/14/17 08:02 PM
10/14/17 08:02 PM
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my buddy is a bowfishing guide and people come from all over the country to shoot trophy gar.

He kills so many of them I wonder if we will see many 6'-7' fish in the future.

I don't love them but I don't want them extinct either.


I would like to shoot one big one for a mount one day then I would be done with it


Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920446
10/14/17 08:05 PM
10/14/17 08:05 PM
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Sorry, but I'm not following the issue. Why is this an issue? Is it because he killed it with a bow, instead of catching it with a rod and reel to release?



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Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: ChadTRG42] #6920489
10/14/17 08:48 PM
10/14/17 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Sorry, but I'm not following the issue. Why is this an issue? Is it because he killed it with a bow, instead of catching it with a rod and reel to release?


The issue I believe is killing a 60 year old animal


Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: ChadTRG42] #6920518
10/14/17 09:15 PM
10/14/17 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Sorry, but I'm not following the issue. Why is this an issue? Is it because he killed it with a bow, instead of catching it with a rod and reel to release?


I don’t know. TPWD has a limit in place, so they seem to be keeping an eye on things.


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920599
10/14/17 10:50 PM
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They're good for nothing as far as I'm concerned. Why do we need them in the river?

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920680
10/15/17 12:21 AM
10/15/17 12:21 AM
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Revenue


One shot is all it should take.
Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: txtrophy85] #6920737
10/15/17 12:57 AM
10/15/17 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted By: txtrophy85
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Sorry, but I'm not following the issue. Why is this an issue? Is it because he killed it with a bow, instead of catching it with a rod and reel to release?


The issue I believe is killing a 60 year old animal


The age is irrelevant to me. Why is killing a 60 yr old gar any different than killing a 7 yr old deer?

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920780
10/15/17 01:22 AM
10/15/17 01:22 AM
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I think some are concerned we maybe don't know enough about their numbers/sustainability. Kinda like we used to see a lot of big to giant alligator snapping turtles, but not so much anymore. That's my concern.

It is different than a 7 year old buck because it takes 60 years to grow one. Not 7.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920789
10/15/17 01:28 AM
10/15/17 01:28 AM
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Nog, you’re going to have to teach us to age fish from the boat, cause we don’t know how. grin


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: jeffbird] #6920815
10/15/17 02:00 AM
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Lol.

I'm not professing to be a gar expert, but I'm guessing the giant ones are the old ones.

When I was a kid, the men used to bring in giant alligator snapping turtles and giant ops (yellow cat) they caught on trot lines from local creeks. The turtles would fill up half a pickup bed.

Don't see that anymore. (Do see big ops, but not hardly any from the smaller waters anymore.) Would be a shame if same thing happens with the giant gar. IDK if it will or not. My concern is nobody really knows. I do know this: if you do take all/almost all - it would take 50-60 years (if you then try to get a handle on it) to grow more that size.

I think TPWD is studying it, so maybe my concerns will be unfounded.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6920824
10/15/17 02:12 AM
10/15/17 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think some are concerned we maybe don't know enough about their numbers/sustainability. Kinda like we used to see a lot of big to giant alligator snapping turtles, but not so much anymore. That's my concern.

It is different than a 7 year old buck because it takes 60 years to grow one. Not 7.


When you throw in the average life span of each animal then it's actually worse to kill the deer.

Re: 60 Year Old Alligator Gar [Re: BOONER] #6920842
10/15/17 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: BOONER
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think some are concerned we maybe don't know enough about their numbers/sustainability. Kinda like we used to see a lot of big to giant alligator snapping turtles, but not so much anymore. That's my concern.

It is different than a 7 year old buck because it takes 60 years to grow one. Not 7.


When you throw in the average life span of each animal then it's actually worse to kill the deer.


My point is: you kill every 7 year old deer (which ain't going to happen and we know it), it takes 7 years to grow them back. You kill every 60 year old gar (which we don't know if we are on the road to doing or not), it takes 60 years to grow them back. The difference: 53 years.

The main point is we are steeped in deer knowledge and management of them is detailed and ongoing.
Alligator gar? Not so much.

You can legally only take one or two 7 year old bucks a year.
Yet, you can legally take one 60 year old alligator gar every day.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


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