I paddle in SE AL, SW GA and FL panhandle. When is the gator mating, nesting and hatching seasons for this area? I just want to be alert to what is going on since I usually have 5 year old in canoe with me.



Here’s a link. Unless someone
on is a real expert on alligators, its better to inform yourself from more expert sources.

My own experience paddling and fishing around gators is the basically leave you alone on the water as long as you are in the boat. A small child in the boat will most likely be safe.

Another Link

– Last Updated: Feb-23-08 12:52 AM EST –

I have never had any problems either. We will be doing more camping this year and I don’t want to inadvertently set up close to nest or babies.


Saw some baby gators 1-2 weeks old
Feb 9 on the Silver River. Didn’t think they would be hatching in Feb but that’s what I get for thinking. It has been a pretty warm winter again here in Florida.


That means they were laid 70 or so
days before you saw them…incubation of the eggs is 65 days… Still seems a bit unusual for this time of year even in South Florida.

other sites & my two cents

– Last Updated: Feb-19-08 10:45 PM EST –

Other sites:
I think these three sites will keep you busy with some worthwhile reading.
My two cents:
Amusing experience: Last October while guiding two other canoes at a local state park I was greeted with bellows from "Ol' Moe", a gator I had seen many a time in the same location. He came off the grassy bank, swam about 10 feet from the bank and began bellowing (could my paddling a green w/black trim solo Dagger Tupelo have had something to do with it?). He kept it up long enough to where we could hear him two bends downstream (good for giggles). Paddling back was I different story. As soon as he saw the canoe he came off the bank and was swimming at a good clip on the surface in my direction. I waited until he got within 15 feet of the canoe when I smacked the water with the blade of the paddle and informed him under no uncertain terms I was not what he wanted. He braked, turned right, went under and when I saw him again he was under a deadfall a good 60 feet away. I hated having to dissappoint him like that but ain't no way I'm going to wait until he got along side me before discovering the guide canoe wasn't a female gator.
Serious stuff: Unless you train your dog how to behave in gator territory do NOT take them with you in a canoe or even along a bank of any body of water. Gators consider them a gourmet food item (ask the ohio woman who unleashed her cairn terrier in Al Lopez Park, Tampa, FL just last week).
More serious stuff: Be extremely aware of your surroundings in urban gator locales (lakeside communities, river parks, etc.) as they lose their instinctive fear of humans due to humans being an all too common a sight (as well as people feeding them). Don't dangle your feet off a dock or culvert(Young adult female killed - Miami-Dade area), don't nap or pass out on a bank (Young adult female killed or already dead through possible drug overdose - Pinellas Co.) and don't go naked through swamp high on crack in the middle of the night, all your screaming from the big gator grabbing your ass (litterally) ticks off the neighbors and they'll call the law. Then the law gets ticked off for having to wade into the swamp and having the four of them spend twenty minutes trying to separate you from the gator. They should've made the gator an honorary deputy instead of "harvesting" him (40ish adult male crackhead survived (unfortunately) - Polk Co.). That one made for one hilarious story in the papers.
Another good one was two thieves were breaking into cars at night at a seminole gambling resort between the Everglades and Miami. Cops came. One thief (the smart one) gave up. The other decided to take his chances by jumping into a lake separating the casino from the swamps in the 'Glades. Employees began yelling a warning at him of a rather large gator in the lake. He finally heeded their advice. Too late, however. The gator got him as everyone watched helplessly.
All these 'serious stuff' episodes occurred within the past three years and can be confirmed by emailing the Tampa Tribune, our local newspaper.

Being the wimp that I am…

– Last Updated: Feb-22-08 2:57 PM EST –

...I avoid canoeing/camping anywhere there are gators or serious creepy-crawlies. Give me a black bear anyday.

Bad link by kayakcrazee
The correct link is:

near New Orleans in past years its been in Feb…in March we like to find the new babies by canoe…only about eight or so inches long…

The wild gator is terribly shy…we bring about 40 people to a pond for canoe instruction (including kids) and some fall in…the gators have long fled.

Dogs are another matter…a bad idea… My Golden would probably be safe, a Jack Russel a gator taco.

No dog(unless properly trained)is safe
Even a 175# newfundland isn’t safe from a gator as small as six, seven ft. This means your golden retriever won’t be safe either.

A few years ago a man was attacked and killed on Captive Island by a large gator that was initially going after his small dog, which was on a leash. The man tried saving his pet by picking it up, so the gator went after him, and got him instead.

I witnessed a large (app. 14 ft.) gator take out a feral hog that weighed app. 400 lbs. as it was drinking from the edge of Trout Creek.

So, as I stated above, no dog is safe (unless trained) in gator territory. If you’re paddling or camping where gators are known to hang out, don’t take you’re dog with unless it’s been trained to know better than to drink from the water’s edge.

when I am canoing I see many bubles on the center of the river. I looks like the boubleing stops as son as I get close to it. Does anyone know if those boubles be comming from alligators or from some algae?

May be a 300 lb alligator snapping
turtle. Turtles do make bubbles. It could be rotting veg matter.

Say what you will
about paddling New Jersey’s Pine Barrens rivers, at least we’re at the top of the food chain. Want to dangle a foot or take a dip, go for it.

"Does anyone know if those boubles be comming from alligators or from some algae?"

Turtle, scuba diver or a snorkler with gas…

ok thanks

Differentiating bubbles
If it’s a twin set of bubbles anywhere from a 1/2" to 8" then it’s a gator (if you see any set of bubbles that seem to be more than 3" apart don’t use anything to measure the distance of separation or you might get to see the animal a lot closer than you want and it maybe the last thing you’ll ever see, especially if you’re in an urban setting at the time of the sighting).

If it’s just one set of small bubbles coming from one spot paddle up to them and strike a lighter or a match right where the bubbles are breaking the surface. If it flares up slightly it’s methane.

Top of the food chain?
A bit of false arrogance on the part of we humans, isn’t it? Microscopic germs whuppin’ our asses all over this planet, grizzlies, moose, pythons, gators, crocs, when you include the bigger beasties… Besides life would be damned dull if we didn’t have something to keep us on our toes.

Yeah, I hear a lot of that ‘top of the foodchain’ crap. It’s just a lie to make the insecure feel better about themselves and just an excuse for we humans causing the extinction of so many species we considered threatening (and even those that weren’t).