RL Reeves Jr Considers The Louisiana Alligator

RL Reeves Jr Considers The Louisiana Alligator

We are fascinated by alligators and have been since we were little kids when we tried to coax our father into letting friend Joe Burns stock one of our fishing ponds with baby gators.

That didn’t go over so well.

Daddy was not having it, and furthermore was not interested in gators roaming our Appalachian mountain farmstead.

Big changes are coming to the Louisiana alligator ranching industry. Writing in the Advocate, Faimon Roberts III relates the news that starting with eggs harvested next year, gator ranchers will only have to return 10% of their 4′ foot long alligator stock to the wilds of Louisiana. Formerly it was 12%

That’s a big difference.

The wild alligator harvest program was put in place back in 1972. That first year, 59 hunters took down 1350 gators. Since then over 940,000 wild gators have been taken and 4.9 million farm-raised gators have been sold.

With the new percentage program that goes into place next year Louisiana gator ranchers can expect to be able to sell an additional 98k alligators over the next 40 some odd years. Wildlife experts estimate each alligator to be worth $378.94. This new rule will add roughly $37 million to gator ranchers coffers.

Alligators are noble animals, and the state of Louisiana has done an admirable job of managing them as a resource. The next time you’re throwing some gator sausage on the smoker or eating gator on a stick at the county fair give thanks to living in a state that places a premium on thoughtful treatment of its natural resources.

Read the Faimon Roberts III article.

and check out part one of our Consider The Alligator series.

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