Trinity River alligator gar harvest authorization drawing to open

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) opens its annual Alligator Gar Harvest Authorization drawing application process Sept 1.

The random drawing authorizes anglers to harvest one alligator gar over 48 inches from a section of the Trinity River.

From Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, anglers holding a valid license-year or year-from-purchase fishing license can use the My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app or online to enter, either as an individual or as part of a small group. Winners will be notified by Oct. 15, and authorizations will be valid from the date issued through Aug. 31, 2024.

Anglers can use any legal means or method to take qualifying alligator gar day or night from a section of the Trinity 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.  This includes the following counties: Anderson, Chambers, Dallas, Ellis, Freestone, Henderson, Houston, Kaufman, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Navarro, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker.

“Fishing for alligator gar on the Trinity River is world renowned and truly a bucket list item for any angler,” said Tim Birdsong, Acting TPWD Director of Inland Fisheries. “With this drawing system, we are able to offer 150 anglers the opportunity to harvest the fish of a lifetime while also fulfilling our resource management goal of conserving this unique resource for current and future generations of anglers.”

In addition, all alligator gar harvested, including those using a harvest authorization, from public freshwater and saltwater waterbodies (other than Falcon International Reservoir) must be reported on the My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app or online within 24 hours of harvest.

“Gathering data on alligator gar harvest through the My Texas Hunt Harvest app and online enhances our understanding of their distribution, sizes and numbers, and helps us maintain the best possible fishing opportunities into the future,” said Birdsong.

Other Trinity River alligator gar regulations that remain in effect include a 48-inch maximum length limit for alligator gar 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 (see above for list of affected counties). Additionally, a ban on the take or possession of an alligator gar by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow is in effect on the same section of the Trinity River between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise (unless using a harvest authorization through the drawing system).

A one-fish-per-day bag limit remains in effect for alligator gar statewide except for Falcon International Reservoir, where a daily bag limit of five fish and possession limit of 10 fish remains in effect.

The My Texas Hunt Harvest app can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information about alligator gar fishing regulations, visit The Outdoor Annual online.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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