Florida FWC Alligator Policy Changes

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided Wednesday not to open the door to allowing homeowners to dispose of small nuisance alligators on their own. Rather, they decided to continue the requirement that people contact the FWC, and the agency will dispatch nuisance alligator trappers to remove the reptiles.

FWC Commissioners, meeting in a two-day session in Melbourne, also turned thumbs down to a proposal to issue statewide permits to recreational alligator hunters and agreed to continue issuing countywide permits.

They also decided not to allow daytime recreational alligator hunting or the use of small-caliber handguns to dispatch alligators.

On the other hand, Commissioners did approve, in concept, an array of new alligator management provisions, including use of artificial lures to reel in alligators during statewide harvests and provisions to streamline requirements of the Private Lands Alligator Management Program.

For instance, Commissioners approved removing the 6- to 9-foot closed slot limit on alligators taken in the FWC’s Private Lands Alligator Management Program and to pursue broader public awareness regarding living peacefully with alligators.

Based on the Commissioners' guidance, FWC staff will prepare appropriate rule proposals for further consideration in future Commission meetings.