Army Corps releases photos of alligators on Lake Texoma

Alligators on Lake Texoma.
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LAKE TEXOMA -- The Army Corps of Engineers is debunking what some believe to be an urban legend around Lake Texoma -- alligators on the lake.

Corps Rangers showed pictures of large alligators sighted over the years at Lake Texoma, including one that was just recently seen.

"Seen them on Red River, seen them on Lake Texoma," Texoma Bait & Tackle owner Jimmy Koiner said. "Butcher Pen on the lake."

Butcher Pen -- where an Army Corps ranger recently took a picture of a big alligator.

"Rock Creek and Fog Bottom, we've seen alligators there, big ones, several of them," Koiner said.

Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Specialist Paul Balkenbush says he's seen a couple, 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.

Alligators can get as big as 15 feet, and on land can move at up to 20 miles per hour.

"The ones we saw were like 10, 12 foot," Koiner said.

The Corps says it's against the law to kill an alligator, and to contact your local game warden if you see one.

"If you don't eat it, then don't kill it," Koiner said.

Adults tend to be grayish-black in color, with lighter colored bellies.

"An alligator will tear your leg off, if he gets a hold of you, you don't have a chance," Koiner said.

The young can be more colorful, with yellow or white highlights.

"I'm not afraid of them, but I respect them, I'm not gonna go in there and push my luck," Koiner said.

"The lake is a man made impoundment, but it's fed by natural rivers," Balkenbush said.

The Corps snapped several more pictures on the lake last year.

"It concerns me a little bit, I frequent the lake and swim in the water," Christy Weathers said, who works locally in Cartwright at Windy's Catfish.

Others are unfazed.

"I wasn't really surprised, I don't think it's much of a big deal," Carwright resident Devin Fortenberry said.

"People say, oh maybe one or two, no there's a lot of gators here, there's a lot of gators," Koiner said.



 
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