Watch out! These 20 Florida lakes have the most alligators.

Lake Okeechobee is the most alligator-infested lake in Florida.

By Crystal Harlan

May 10, 2024

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission does an annual alligator census at 50 different sites throughout the state to monitor the reptile’s population.

There are more than 1.3 million alligators in Florida, but that wasn’t always the case.

Forty years ago the alligators were hunted close to extinction ​​, but after they were added to the endangered species list, hunting was prohibited, and their habitat was protected, they made a dramatic comeback.

Today, the state of Florida issues a limited number of alligator hunting permits to keep their numbers in check, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission does an annual alligator census at 50 different sites throughout the state to monitor the reptile’s population.

How do they do it? At night, scientists go out on airboats and count the red-glowing eyes of the alligators. It’s important to note that the census data provides exact counts of alligators. Total population estimates are much higher.

Using this data, A-Z Animals put together a list of the Florida lakes with the most alligators, and here are the top 20:

1. Lake Okeechobee
Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach counties
9,308 alligators

2. Orange Lake
Alachua County
2,732 alligators

3. Lake George:
Volusia County
2,660 alligators

4. Lake Jesup
Seminole County
2,414 alligators

5. Lake Kissimmee:
Osceola County
2,065 alligators

6. Lake Istokpoga
Highland County
1,321 alligators

7. Lake Hatchineha
Polk County
1,287 alligators

8. Kenansville Lake
Indian River County
1,188 alligators

9. Lake Rousseau
Levy County
708 alligators

10. Newnan’s Lake
Alachua County
657 alligators

11. Lake Apopka
Orange County
657 alligators

12. Lake Panasoffkee
Sumter County
576 alligators

13. Hancock
Polk County
559 alligators

14. Lake Griffin
Lake County
534 alligators

15. Blue Cypress Lake
Polk County
499 alligators

16. Lake Miccosukee
Jefferson County
472 alligators

17. Lochloosa Lake
Alachua County
338 alligators

18. Lake Pierce
Polk County
314 alligators

19. Marion
Osceola County
275 alligators

20. Lake Seminole
Pinellas County
238 alligators

Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

CATEGORIES: ANIMALS | COMMUNITY

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