LAKE HAMILTON, Ark. – This Memorial Day thousands will hit the road and head to the beautiful lakes the state has to offer. But, two fishermen in Garland County spotting something a little unusual at Lake Hamilton.
Everyone has a fishing tale and for Billy Morgan and Eric Couch, theirs actually had a tail.
Morgan and Couch were fishing Tuesday night around 10 when they spotted a small alligator.
“It just laid there and let us scoop it up,” said Morgan.
Assuming popular Lake Hamilton wasn’t the spot for a gator, they picked it up.
“We figured the Game and Fish Commission would want to take it, relocate it, tag it, whatever they do with some of the other ones that they caught in the past,” said Morgan.
They tried calling Game and Fish, and with no luck, they called 911. They say the dispatcher got in touch with a wildlife officer and told them what to do next.
“She says, ‘I’m kind of reluctant to tell you this because I live on the lake,’ But she says the Game and Fish Commission told her there were several gators on Hamilton and we needed to release it immediately,” he explained.
Arkansas Game and Fish says the animal is not a danger to swimmers.
“They’re not going to do anything. We’ve never had an attack in Arkansas so just let them be,” said Keith Stephens, spokesperson for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Even though he released it, Morgan was reluctant because where they found it was next to docks and homes.
“We had one in the boat last night we could’ve tagged and relocate it, but it’s swimming around the lake again,” he said.
Even though their story is no tall tale, they say it won’t keep them from coming back every chance they get.
“Obviously, if you’re on an Arkansas lake the potential to have an alligator in your lake is always there,” said Morgan.
Game and Fish says if you see an alligator you shouldn’t pick it up. There can be alligators anywhere from Little Rock to the south.