2016 Alabama Alligator Season Update
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (outdooralabama.com) — The 2016 alligator season proves to be another popular and successful opportunity for many Alabama residents. During the first weekend of the hunts, a total of 35 alligators were harvested within the Southwest Zone, the largest being 12 feet, 3 inches in length and weighing 615 pounds. Additionally, a total of 17 alligators were harvested within the West Central Zone, the largest being 12 feet, 6 inches in length and weighing 562 pounds. Harvest totals for the Lake Eufaula and Southeast zones are not available at this time.
This is the 11th season of alligator hunting in Alabama. The application process was modified in 2014 to incorporate a preference point system in order to allow applicants who were repeatedly unsuccessful a weighted chance to become selected as they continued to apply for the selection for a tag. After surveying hunters throughout the hunt zones, the application process seems to be an improvement over previous methods. This year, a total of 3,845 applications were received in hopes of obtaining one of the 260 available tags.
The tags are divided between four hunt zones: Southeast Zone located in the Wiregrass Region; Lake Eufaula Zone, including the lake proper and its tributaries; West Central Zone located in the Camden area; and the Southwest Zone located in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.
The Southeast Zone was allocated 40 tags and received a total of 480 applications. The Lake Eufaula Zone was allocated 20 tags and received a total of 598 applications. The West Central Zone was allocated 50 tags and received a total of 939 applications. The Southwest Zone was allocated 150 tags and received a total of 1,828 applications.
ADCNR biologists continue to collect necessary data to ensure the longevity of this species. Populations are monitored on an annual basis utilizing established survey routes within each management zone and biological data is collected from harvested animals at check stations during the hunt. These efforts allow for better management of Alabama’s alligator population and ensure the sustainability of the species for future generations.