Residents along the lower portions of Lake Worth have reported alligator sightings. The Fort Worth Nature Center (FWNC) staff believes high water and swift currents can displaced alligator population into lower Lake Worth.
The Fort Worth Marshal’s Lake Patrol office and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens assigned to Tarrant County have jurisdiction over the FWNC and frequently patrol the area by boat and vehicle.
Description: Alligators are the largest reptiles in North America and can reach an adult length of more than 10 feet. They are generally black with yellowish or cream cross bands that become less apparent with age. An alligator’s body is usually not seen when in the water. An alligator’s size can be determined by estimating the distance between the eyes. For each inch between the eyes, add one foot to the length, i.e. 4” between the eyes = 4’ alligator.
Habitat: Alligators are native to the Trinity River watershed or region. Any freshwater habitat is suitable, but alligators are most common in areas with aquatic vegetation and suitable basking sites. They prefer areas with little human activity, but will follow their food source. Alligators have been seen at Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake.
Diet: Consists of rough fish (carp, gar), small mammals, birds, turtles, snakes, frogs and invertebrates. The diet changes as the alligator grows with preferred food items getting larger with age.
Status: Alligators were once an endangered species but they are now a protected game animal in Texas. A permit is required to hunt, raise or possess an alligator.
State law prohibits feeding, killing, disturbing or attempting to move an alligator.
- Never feed alligators.
- Avoid swimming and other water activities in areas with large alligators.
- Swim only during daylight hours.
- Do not dispose of fish scraps in the water.
- Closely supervise small children in and around water.
- Do not allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in waters where alligators may be found.
- If you hear an alligator hiss, move away. You are too close.
To report alligator sightings, please call the Fort Worth City’s Marshal Office at Lake Worth at 817-238-9090.
To report an alligator that poses a threat to human safety, please call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s district office weekdays at 817-831-3128 or after hours and weekends at 1-800-792-4263.
For additional alligator information, please call the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge at 817-392-7410.
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