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Friday, August 16, 2013

Arkansas 60-day hunting season for waterfowl

For the 17th consecutive year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl. The vote came today during the Commission’s monthly meeting.

AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor presented the Commission with the late migratory season proposals. “Habitat conditions were improved or similar to last year in many areas due to average or above-average annual precipitation, with the exceptions of southeastern Canada, the northeast U.S., and portions of Montana and the Dakotas,” Naylor said.

With more than 529,500 mallards harvested, Arkansas had the third highest waterfowl harvest and highest mallard harvest in the nation last season. The second highest mallard harvest in the nation was 243,467 in California. No other state’s hunters, in the Mississippi flyway, harvested over 200,000 mallards.

2013-14 duck season dates:

Nov. 23-Dec. 1

Dec. 5-Dec. 23

Dec. 26-Jan. 26

Youth Hunt: Feb. 1-2

The 2013-14 duck bag limits are six ducks consisting of no more than: four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, two pintails, two redheads, one black duck, two canvasbacks, one mottled duck or three scaup.

Federal regulations now allow for a possession limit of three times the daily bag limit. The proposed white-fronted, snow, blue, Ross’s and late Canada goose season is Nov. 14-Jan. 26.

Early migratory bird season dates:

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 1-Oct. 20 and Dec. 21-Jan. 9

Teal Season
Sept. 7-22

Rail Season
Sept. 7-Nov. 15

Woodcock Season
Nov. 2-Dec. 16

Common Snipe Season
Nov. 1-Feb. 15

Gallinule Season
Sept. 1-Nov. 9

Early Canada Goose Season
Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Sept. 21-30

The teal daily bag limit has been raised to six and the possession limit to 18.

The commission also:

· Approved the replacement of a bridge at Temple Island on Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. Cost of the bridge replacement is $91,000.

· Approved a budget increase of $30,000 to fund an additional 12 college scholarships. Money for the scholarships is a result of the AGFC’s Conservation License Plate Program.

· Granted a Glock pistol and portable boat garage to the family of wildlife officer Joel Campora. Campora died May 31 during a water rescue attempt in western Arkansas. His body was recovered June 2 near the location where flood waters from Mill Creek and the Fourche La Fave River also took the lives of Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter and two women.

· Granted surplus boating equipment to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

· Granted a disaster response command trailer to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in exchange for a larger trailer to be used as a command trailer by the AGFC Enforcement Division.

· Approved a budget increase of $84,380 for maintenance and other items of the Enforcement and Education division’s “Scales of Justice” trailer.

· Approved a budget increase of $330,000 to upgrade the agency’s computer network system.

· Approved a budget transfer of gas lease funds in the amount of $34,000 from the Lake Barnett Access fishing pier project to the Lake Charles parking area project. AGFC staff requested the money be moved from the Lake Barnett Access fishing pier project due to land control issues. Currently, the Lake Charles fishing trail parking area is gravel and is subject to erosion during heavy rain events.

· Approved the 2014 fishing regulation changes.

· Approved a land swap with Robert Moore on the Freddie Black Choctaw Island Wildlife Management Area. The land acquired from the Moore family will be developed into a camping area adjacent to Kate Adams Lake.

· Awarded Kiah Gardner the George H. Dunklin Jr. Arkansas Waterfowl and Wetland Management Award. The award is given to an individual whose actions have resulted in significant benefit to Arkansas’s waterfowl and wetlands. Gardner works for the AGFC in the agency’s Russellville office.

In other business, the Commission approved several boating access projects. Money for the projects is derived from marine fuel taxes. The projects are:

· Little Red River – Nimmo Access: A budget increase in the amount of $68,000 to stabilize the bank.

· Ouachita River – Little Bay Access: Phase 3 of a cooperative access road enhancement project with Calhoun County. A budget increase in the amount of $80,000 to chip and seal a 2.3-mile section of the access road. Calhoun County will provide a $40,000 in-kind match for the $120,000 project.

· Ouachita River – Dallas County Access: A budget increase in the amount of $55,000 to chip and seal a one-mile section of access road. Dallas County will provide a $55,000 match for the $110,000 project.

· Lake Maumelle – Sleepy Hollow Access: A budget increase in the amount of $100,000 to pave the access parking area and construct a courtesy dock adjacent to the boat ramp. This is a continuation of the Sleepy Hollow project and a long-term goal for the AGFC-Central Arkansas Water partnership.

· Lake Greeson – Kirby Access: A budget increase in the amount of $100,000 to pave 1.2 miles of road leading to the Kirby Landing Access and the Kirby Marina Access on Lake Greeson. Pike County will provide a $75,000 in-kind match toward the $175,000 project.

· White River – Hudson Landing: A budget increase in the amount of $80,000 to extend the Hudson Landing boat ramp on the White River. The boat ramp is currently unusable during low water.

· Lake Columbia Courtesy Dock: A budget increase in the amount of $30,000 to construct a courtesy dock at the Maurice Lewis Landing. Columbia County will provide a $10,000 in-kind match toward the $40,000 project. The courtesy dock was a request from anglers participating in the recent Lake Columbia Management Plan.

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