|Photo Courtesy of Hunter Barcroft
There are four species of gar native to Texas, the Longnose Gar, Shortnose Gar, Spotted Gar, and Alligator Gar. Currently, the only species protected by the state is the Alligator Gar. For most of Texas, those regulations are as follows:
- 1 Alligator Gar per Day
- No length/size restrictions/limits
- Required to report your Alligator Gar harvest to the state's Mandatory Alligator Gar Harvest Reporting page or App.
- Falcon Lake (limit of 5 per day) and portions of the Trinity River (restrictions on size and means of taking the fish) have different regulations than the rest of the state.
But, with the increase in the popularity of bow hunting these fish, Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing has argued that studies need to be done and regulations need to be put in place to protect these native fish.
|Photo Courtesy of Kenley Crowe
Now, momentum is starting to build for this idea!
Unfortunately, it is not in Texas yet, but in Minnesota a bill has been passed with bi-partisan support, that will protect native gar species there. It only needs to be signed by the Governor now.
The Environment and Natural Resource Bill includes protection for both Longnose and Shortnose Gar (the two native species to Minnesota) that will require the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to place daily bag and possession limits on each species.
It sounds like many Democrats in the state legislature wanted to take it a step further, by listing these gar species as gamefish. This would have allowed the state to restrict the means by which you could legally harvest gar as well. However, this proposal did not garner enough Republican support to pass.
I know it is not Texas, but I do feel like this could provide more momentum and pressure to protect gar in Texas as well. Let me know what you think Texas should do.
Peace outside, y'all.
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Other Articles You Will Love:
Dave Orrick, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, What’s a gar and why is it the big winner at the Minnesota Capitol?: ‘Slaughter’ of odd fish led to social media outcry., June 25, 2021