Anglers Urged To Voice Opinions at May Fishing Meetings

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LITTLE ROCK – In a short meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners last week were briefed on proposed fishing regulation changes. AGFC fisheries chief Mike Armstrong also informed the commission of the 12 public meetings scheduled across Arkansas in May to allow sportsmen a voice on the proposed fishing regulation changes for 2009.

 The input meetings are part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s regulations-setting process, Armstrong said. “Staff members will contribute suggestions, recommendations from both the public and the staff. They will be reviewed by the Commission’s Regulations Committee, and then the rules for the next calendar year will be set by the Commission at its August meeting,” Armstrong said.

All the public meetings will start at 7 p.m.
Dates, locations and phone numbers are:

May 1
McMullan Lecture Hall
ASU Mountain Home Campus
1600 S. College
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(877) 425-7577
Monticello Regional Office
771 Jordan
Monticello, AR  71655
(877) 367-3559
Camp Robinson SUA Club House
331 Clinton Road
Conway, AR  72032
(877) 470-3309
May 6
Camden Regional Office
500 Ben Lane
Camden, AR 71711
(877) 836-4612
Russellville Regional Office
1266 Lock and Dam Road
Russellville, AR 72801
(877) 967-7577
May 8
Brinkley Regional Office
1201 Hwy 49 North
Brinkley, AR  72021
(877) 734-4581
Greenwood City Hall
City Office Building (Intersection of Center and Bell Streets)
Greenwood, AR 72936
(877) 967-7577
May 13
Hope Regional Office       
P.O. Box 6740
7004 Hwy 67 East
Perry town, AR  71801
(877) 777-5580
May 15
Jonesboro Regional Office        
2920 McClellan Drive
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(877) 972-5438
May 20
Beaver Lake Regional Office
455 Dam Site Road
Eureka Springs, AR 72631
(877) 631-6005
May 22
Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center
350 Fish Hatchery Road
Hot Springs, AR 71913
(877) 525-8606
May 29
AGFC Main Office
C. Maurice Lewis Jr. Natural Resources Complex
#2 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR  72205
(800) 364-GAME


Fishermen may bring their ideas to the meetings or they can send written comments to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, c/o 2009 Fishing Regulations, #2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. Comments can also be sent by email to: information [at] agfc [dot] state [dot] ar [dot] us. “The written comments should get to us by May 26,” Armstrong said.

A brief outline of the proposed fishing regulation changes include:

  1. Clarification of the “live” wild-caught bait regulation on Lake Norfork. Baitfish may be used and it may also be taken “from the watershed above Lake Norfork.”  Another addition to this code is to allow bait purchased from a licensed dealer to be used in Lake Norfork.
  2. Place a 14-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on the lower Ouachita River from Tate’s Bluff (Ouachita County) to Felsenthal Lock and Dam (Union and Ashley Counties) and the lower Saline River from Stillion Bridge (Ashley and Bradley Counties) to the mouth of the river.
  3. Place a 20-inch minimum length limit on flathead catfish for commercial fishing on the Ouachita River between Camden and the Little Missouri River.
  4. Place a 20-inch minimum length limit on flathead catfish for recreational anglers on the Ouachita River between Camden and the Little Missouri River.
  5. Prohibit the placement of any material, that extends above the water surface, into the substrate of AGFC-owned lakes.
  6. Clarification of the downstream boundary for the Narrows Tailwater Trout Area. The downstream boundary for the Narrows Tailwater Trout Area (Little Missouri River) will be changed from the Arkansas Highway 27 bridge to the Little Missouri River bridge on Muddy Fork Road near Murfreesboro in Pike County. 
  7. Rescind the 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Lake Jack Nolen.
  8. Reduce the limit for harvest of largemouth bass from the statewide limit of 10 to 6 per day on Lake Jack Nolen.
  9. Require snaglines to be checked daily.   
  10. Clarification of special regulation area boundaries on Bull Shoals and Greers Ferry Tailwaters.
  11. Place a 24-inch minimum length limit of one fish per day for brown trout on the Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwaters.
  12. Addition of the Entergy Park Pond (Hot Springs) in the Family and Community Fishing Program under the Community Fishing Regulation.
  13. Clarification of language on “how to measure a fish.”To accurately measure a fish, it must be laid flat on a rule on its side.
  14. Requirement for fish farmers to keep all records of sales and shipments for inspection for a minimum of three years.
  15. Add shovelnose sturgeon to sportfish daily limits, with a daily limit of two.

In other business, the Commission:

*Approved the Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwater Trout Management Plan.
*Approved a budget increase for the purchase of bulletproof vests for AGFC wildlife officers.
*Approved a $50,000 project to re-seal a two-mile section of a county road serving the Lena Landing on Lake Ouachita.
*Received an update on the deer harvest report and Choctaw Island WMA deer research project.