Posted by Kerry Grissett on September 23, 2003 at 07:41:53:
In Reply to: Re: Rough estimate of gator length posted by David Price on September 23, 2003 at 00:29:00:
I have no idea how the gator population actually got started around here, but they have been here a long, long time.
You are definitely correct about feeding them. I am not sure about the legality of feeding gators, but it is a bad idea. I know some states have made it illegal, but I am not sure about Alabama.
I also think you are right about the small population being the most likely cause of the larger sizes being spotted occasionally. Less gators and an abundant food supply probably allows our gators to grow at a much faster rate than in some places. Also, most of the gators live in protected areas and the gators themselves are protected. It is illegal to harm them.
The rash of sightings this year is most likely due to the flood we had earlier this year which displaced many of the gators. This put them in places where they would not normally or usually be seen. This happened after the floods in late 1990 and early 1991 also. Since the areas the gators normally stay in are known for springs (relatively constant water temperature) and the places many of the gators have been spotted lately aren't known for springs, it is likely that many of these displaced gators will not make it through a very cold winter. However, anything is possible.
I suspect that, until we have a very cold winter, these sightings outside of their normal areas will continue. There are only a few places I know that one could go and have a good chance of spotting a gator or gators on a regular basis consistently.
Good luck and good fishin'
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