- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A 319-pound alligator has set the state record for female weight, beating the old record by nearly 24 pounds, Mississippi’s alligator program coordinator said.

The gator taken by Craig Jones of Mendenhall was 9 feet, 11 inches long - one inch shy of the record set in 2013 by Brandon Maskew of Ellisville, said Ricky Flynt of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. That alligator also set the previous weight record of 295.3 pounds.

“Though it is not as massive and impressive as the large male gators, this is a very significant specimen,” Flynt said. “The largest female alligators ever officially recorded are 10 feet 2 inches long, one measured in Florida in 1984 and one in Mississippi in 2009.” Both were measured during research by state wildlife agencies, he said.

He said females grow fast until they’re 6 to 7 feet long, then the rate slows drastically.

Jones’s record was the fourth state record in two days. A male that was 14 feet, one-quarter-inch long and weighing 826 pounds broke Mississippi records that other alligators had set earlier that day for length and weight.

The new female record-holder was caught at Eagle Lake, initially using a rod and reel with a snatch hook.

The alligator season in public waters continues until noon Monday.

___

Online: www.mdwfp.com/alligator


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