ALLIGATORS - AND FISHERMEN


GATORS —  “ FAT ALBERTS FAMILY” 

 WELCOMES YOU TO FLORIDA

CAUTION:  

  • For years I wrote about and fished in Lake Seminole off  of Park Boulevard  and ALT 19 ( Seminole Blvd) and In Seminole. Very popular boating, fishing, cook-outs, and water skiing lake with a lot of room for enjoying a great well kept park with nice trails.  

  • And Gators, and thats where the saga of FAT ALBERT started, and I watched him grow year after year till  reality kicked in and over 11 feet — some thought bigger,  he was captured.  

  • All of the  ponds in Lake Seminole,  have Gators, of varying sizes, so far no one has reported missing family members, Gators are territorial.   This year so far we have had Gator attacks two in June 2022 —  fatalities —  

  • FWC —  Living in Florida means we share the state with an estimated 1.3 million alligators. As the weather warms and their mating season begins, you should keep these things in mind.  

  • Warm spring weather means alligators are more active and courtship begins in April, then mating happens in May or June, according to FWC. They can be very aggressive and dangerous. The males will call with a grunt that sounds like a human barfing, like strong explosion of air coming in a outbound cough.

  • Rising temperatures increase an alligator's metabolism, which means they begin seeking prey, according to FWC. It also means they'll be observed basking in the sun as they regulate their body temperature. 

  • FWC also warns residents and visitors to never feed an alligator. It's not only dangerous, it's illegal. Feeding them can lead the animals to overcome their natural wariness of people and teach them to associate people with food.

  • For pet owners, FWC has a special warning — keep animals on a leash and away from water because they can resemble an alligator's natural prey.  And    Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn, so plan accordingly to reduce the chances of running into them. 

  • Although many Floridians have learned to coexist with alligators, the potential for conflict always exists. Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, but if you are concerned about an alligator, call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286. The FWC will dispatch one of its contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.

  • FWC also offers the following aid:  If you encounter an alligator that is believed to pose a threat to people,  Hotline, toll‐free at 1‐866‐FWC‐GATOR (392‐4286). The FWC’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers for gators over four feet.  Inform others that feeding alligators is illegal and creates problems for others who want to recreate in or near the water.

  • Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators except under permit. Never remove an alligator from its natural habitat. It is illegal and dangerous to do so. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.


ALTERNATIVE PARKS WITH LAKES ARE LOCATED IN LARGO WITH CAUTION— 

CNN)  A man searching a Largo Florida lake for Frisbees may have died as a result of a possible alligator attack, according to a news release from Largo Police Department. 

The victim, who authorities have identified as 47-year-old Sean McGuinness, was discovered along the shoreline of Taylor Lake in Largo, Florida, by a bystander walking their dog early Tuesday morning, officials said.  Largo is located West, close to the beaches part of  Tampa Bay, Florida. 

Investigators believe the victim was looking for Frisbees sometime during the night when an alligator attacked him. “ While the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, it was apparent that McGuinness suffered injuries related to alligators in the lake," the release stated. 

According to management at Taylor Park, McGuinness was known to frequent the park and enter the lake with disregard to the posted "No Swimming" signs, authorities said.   A witness told detectives that McGuinness was known to sell discs back to people within the park, and McGuinness was found within a few feet of a disc in the water.

Two alligators were captured on Tuesday night, however, necropsies revealed no evidence of their involvement with the deceased, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Forest Rothchild said in a statement on Wednesday.   Officials will continue to monitor for additional alligators in the area, the release stated.

Authorities have identified Sean McGuinness, 47, as the man whose body was spotted near an alligator in the lake of a Largo park Tuesday.   The lake where McGuinness was found is next to a disc golf course, and Largo police believe McGuinness was wading into the lake looking for flying discs in the water when he died.

Investigators initially thought McGuinness had drowned, Officer Forest Rothchild, a spokesperson for the Conservation Commission’s law enforcement wing, told the Times on Tuesday. However, investigators soon determined McGuinness had “suffered injuries related to alligators in the lake,” Largo police said.

Alligator trappers responded to the lake Tuesday, according to Largo police. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement Wednesday that trappers captured and killed two alligators — one 10 feet long and another 8 feet long.   Preliminary necropsies of the reptiles “revealed no evidence of their involvement with the deceased,” the wildlife commission said. “Efforts are underway to monitor for additional alligators in the area.”

There are “no swimming” signs posted around the park, but park management said McGuinness was known to disregard those, according to police.  

Witnesses also told Largo detectives that McGuinness was known to sell the discs he found in the lake. New discs can cost from $20 to $30, according to Charlie Goodpasture, 34, the owner of PureLine Disc Golf in Pinellas Park and a professional disc golfer.

Ken Hostnick, 56, was playing disc golf Tuesday at the park where McGuinness was killed. Hostnick said he didn’t know McGuinness, but he’s aware there are people who try to recover lost discs.

“These are people that are down on their luck,” he said. “Sometimes they dive in the lakes, they’ll pull out 40 discs. You may sell them for five bucks apiece, and you may sell them for 10 bucks apiece, depending on the quality.”

Another man retrieving discs was bitten in the face by an alligator at Taylor Lake in 2020. At that time, a state wildlife spokesperson said there had been no other reported alligator attacks in the park for at least 10 years.

Alligators are everywhere in Florida, swimming and sunning themselves around lakes, retention ponds, rivers and golf greens. But attacks are rare. As of last November, no confirmed fatal alligator bites had been documented in the state since 2019, according to the Conservation Commission.

People should keep their distance from alligators and not feed them, the state says. Alligators’ mating season stretches through May and June.  Anyone worried about a specific gator is urged to call the Conservation Commission’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286.


IN A RELATED INCIDENT — 

6/26/2022  —  A person was killed by an alligator near Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, according to police.  The alligator took hold of a person near the edge of a retention pond on Friday, according to a Facebook post from the Horry County Police Department, which responded to the scene.

Following the attack in the Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club, the alligator returned to the retention pond, the Sun News reported. The victim's body was recovered from the pond and the alligator was removed and euthanized, police say. The police department's investigation is still underway, authorities said, and the victim's identity and a cause of death have not yet been released.  But it’s fairly obvious —   
South Carolina is home to alligators that live across the state's coastal marshlands, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


*-07/16/2022