Alligators in Lake Texoma? It's True!




Alligator sightings in and around Lake Texoma have been met with doubt and fear for years. People probably just don’t want to believe it, so many tend to brush off occasional reports of alligators as a hoax.


Well, it turns out there really are alligators in the lake, and a recent news story brought all the other reports into sharper focus this week.


Most of us think that swamps and marshes are the most likely places for alligators to live, meaning the big swampy areas of Florida and Louisiana, for example. But we don’t think about the swampy, marshy patches of watery land in many places around Lake Texoma, especially this year!


Sean Larsen posted good video with photos provided by the Corps and an interview with a Corps engineer. on KXII.com today, including the following:


“Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Specialist Paul Balkenbush says he's seen a couple [alligators], too.


"I've been fortunate to see them, they're not that common so you don't see them that often and you have to be in right habitat to see them," Balkenbush said.
There are occasional reports of gator sightings out in the more commonly visited places on the lake, but they're reclusive, and much more likely to be found in marshier, swampier areas.


"Alligators should be treated with respect," Balkenbush said.”

Here’s some useful information for Texomans and weekenders – It’s illegal to kill an alligator, so you’re supposed to call a game warden if you see one. Although they can grow up to 15’ in length, the young gators can be plenty dangerous, too, especially to small animals they may stalk as prey. Gators can move at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.


In 2012, a 3-foot-long alligator was seen chasing a pet dog around the yard in Platter, Oklahoma, near Platters Flat State Park. The homeowner managed to trap the gator and game wardens removed it to another location, but they didn’t kill it either.

According to an online handbook provided by the Internet Center For Wildlife Damage Management,

“Alligators quickly become conditioned to humans, especially when food is involved. Feeding-habituated alligators lose their fear of humans and can be dangerous to unsuspecting humans, especially children. Many aggressive or “fearless” alligators have to be removed each year following feeding by humans. Ponds and waterways at golf courses and high-density housing create a similar problem when alligators become accustomed to living near people…


"The American alligator is federally classified as “threatened due to similarity of appearance” to other endangered and threatened crocodilians. This provides federal protection for alligators but allows state-approved management and control programs. Alligators can be legally taken only by individuals with proper licenses or permits. Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas have problem or nuisance alligator control programs that allow permitted hunters to kill or facilitate the removal of nuisance alligators. Other states use state wildlife officials to remove problem animals.”


So, there probably won’t be much opportunity to start wrestling gators around Lake Texoma anytime soon. Better take a trip to Louisiana if that’s what you have in mind!




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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast

Saturday

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 71

Saturday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 54

Sunday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 69

Sunday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 44

Monday

Breezy

Hi: 51

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Partly Cloudy

Lo: 42

Tuesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 53

Tuesday Night

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Lo: 45


Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 12/4: 615.64 (-1.36)



Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec. 1)

GOOD. Water lightly stained; 57 degrees; 1.41 feet low. Fishing is similar as we enter in December. Striped bass continue to be good all over the lake, with bird action leading the way to the fish. Limits coming in around 1-10 feet of water using slabs, and when the wind up casting Alabama rigs, and swimbaits. Winter is the best time to catch trophy catfish. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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