American alligators are the largest reptiles in the United States. Louisiana has the highest population of alligators with more than 2 million. This is almost hard to believe, as the American alligator was once considered overharvested. The alligator has been fished for over 200 years, beginning in the early 1800s. The demand grew for their hide during the Civil War to provide saddles and boots for soldiers. In 1962, alligator hunting became illegal. Over time, through proper management by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana alligator saw a rebound. Today, there is a hunting season, and only so many tags are given out per hunter based on the number of acres of property that hunter retains.

  • Average size: They can grow to be over 12 feet long and they have strong jaws and a long, powerful tail.
  • Habitat: Alligators thrive in freshwater and can be found from bayous and canals to rivers and lakes, however, the most populated areas are the coastal marshes.
  • Limits: Learn more about hunting alligators on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website.