YIKES! Bell County is One of 100 Counties in Texas With Alligators
They say you learn something new everyday and today I learned that alligators are among us.
KCEN reports that Bell County is one of over 100 counties that have an alligator population.
Alligators at Stillhouse Hollow Lake
According to the KCEN report, someone on Facebook posted an image of an alligator at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Turns out both Stillhouse Hollow and Belton Lakes are the perfect places for alligators to call home.
Okay, this surprised me. Being somewhat new to Central Texas, I had no idea of the alligator population in the local lakes. I did a google search and found that back in 2015, CBS 19 reported on the death of an 11-foot alligator above Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
The alligator had been seen in the Lampasas River for several years but there were never any reports of dangerous interactions.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Jonathan Warner tells KCEN,
"There are alligators in over 100 counties in Texas, including in Bell County. There isn't a large population, but they have been observed in the Stillhouse lake area and along the Lampasas river for many, many years now."
Warner says that normally alligators tend to stay away from humans unless they are approached, harassed or fed. Good to know!
Can You Hunt Alligators?
Yes, but only during the designated hunting season which is April 1 through June 30. You'll need a special tag to hunt them and you're only allowed to kill one per year.
What to Do If You See an Alligator
Property owners with an alligator problem can call the state's Nuisance Control Program at (512) 389-4848 and trained personnel will deal with the issue.
Warner reminds us, "This is a native Texan and a natural part of our ecosystem."