Alligator Workshop

Though it was a bit warm, this was a great workshop. The class filled quickly as only a limited number of spaces are available.This workshop was held at the Murphee Wildlife refuge outside of Port Arthur, Tx. Our instructors were K.J. Lodrigue and Amos Cooper. After all had arrived, around dark, we headed out into the night for a boat ride. This ride was to teach us how to take surveys on alligator populations. We covered a large area, and though not as many gators were seen as we had hoped, plenty enough were around to teach us how to judge length. After returning, we relaxed and compared notes on our experience. The next day had a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Classroom covered habitat, preservation, game laws, biology, etc.. Once outside, we got first hand, and in hand experience with the alligator. We learned of a method of testing the gator's diet called the LeVage. This is where water is pumped into a gator, it's sides are compressed, and it expells the contents of it's stomach. I was assured this does no harm to the gator, just makes him hungry. Sound gross? Really, it wasn't bad. You get so involved in dialog, the gross factor disappears. We were taught methods of taking DNA samples from the alligators tail. And told how this information as well as dietary information is used by colleges, other wildlife depts., and various study groups.

The last thing on the list was a trip to some nesting sites. The area of these sites is protected marsh, though very near refineries. The nest we seen had several eggs. We were told there is a certain way to lift eggs. If done improperly, the egg will never hatch. We were also how the refuge gators were caught without harm, kinda fishing without a hook. K.J. even brought a gator up next to the boat for us.

This was a very informative workshop and I would like to thank the staff at the refuge for putting it on. This class also certified me to do area surveys for gators, an added bonus.

 swamp buggy group pic  classroom 
 on the board  nest  outdoor session
 strap down  Dukes turn  my gator

Home | Hunter Education | My Kids | Product Review | Contacts | Fishing and Hunting Reports| Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2005