Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

  • Agency: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
  • Address: 2 Natural Resources Dr., Little Rock, 72205 AR
  • Chief:
Phone: 800-364-4263
Fax:

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is located at 2 Natural Resources Dr., Little Rock, 72205 AR. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission phone number is 800-364-4263.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission News

Arkansas Wildlife, S4. E13: Mulberry River, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Celebration https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-uPqBLwmvOA

Increased enforcement efforts on lakes, rivers and streams June 29-July 1 LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas wildlife officers will join boating safety officers throughout the United States this weekend to crack down on boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The special awareness action, dubbed “Operation Dry Water,” is an annual event held the weekend before Independence Day to prevent boating accidents from irresponsible boating caused by drinking. According to Capt. Stephanie Weatherington, boating law administrator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Boating while intoxicated can be even more dangerous that driving a car while intoxicated, as most boaters have less experience operating a boat than they do operating a car. Boats don’t have brakes, and slower responses to a sudden danger can be the difference between life and death. “The sun, heat, wind and motion all intensify alcohol’s impact on a person,” Weatherington said. “Someone who could enjoy a beer or two in the air conditioning at home or in a restaurant and not feel any effects may become impaired by the same amount of alcohol onboard a boat in the summer sun.” The penalty for boating under the influence in Arkansas can include losing your driver’s license. Weatherington says this penalty has become more common throughout the U.S. and may be causing a decline in alcohol abuse on the water. Weatherington says the added impact of alcohol can be a danger to passengers as well as drivers. Although not illegal, passengers who consume too much alcohol can make poor judgements that can lead to injuries and death as well. “We want people to go out and have a good time on the water, but we also want them to use good judgement,” Weatherington said. “Holiday weekends can be very crowded, and there may be a lot of people out there that aren’t extremely experienced at piloting a boat. An accident or fatality isn’t any fun for anyone.”

AGFC MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN Position Number: 22079780 Education Division Location: Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff, Arkansas For more information and to apply online visit https://jobs.agfc.com. Applications must be submitted by midnight on July 13, 2018.

Falling turkey harvest common theme in southeastern U.S. BISMARCK – Arkansas’s harvest of wild turkeys during April’s 16-day season continued in the declining direction seen for the past 14 years. The 7,885 birds reported harvested by hunters, which included those harvested during a two-day youth hunt preceding the regular season, was a precipitous and concerning fall from 2017’s 10,000-plus harvest turkeys in state. Arkansas hunters know that cold temperatures during this timeframe didn’t help the situation, but this just puts an exclamation mark on what has been a steady decline. FULL STORY: https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/06/27/falling-turkey-harvest-common-theme-in-southeastern-u-s/

Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report for June 27, 2018 https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/06/27/arkansas-wildlife-fishing-report-46/ Hot Spot: Greers Ferry Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) says that just about anything you want to fish for is biting well in the lake. Bream fishing is good with the fish being on beds. The walleye are eating crawlers on jigheads and drop-shot rigs in 12-28 feet of water. Crappie are holding in their suspended state throughout the lake in 12-28 feet in and around brush piles, pole timber and sometimes just out in the middle of nowhere. Catfish are good all around the lake, as it is that time of year – flatheads are spawning, really an untapped resource here; you can use a variety of baits and techniques to catch them. Bass catching is good with the last spawners eating well, as are the rest, from right on the shoreline out to 45 feet. And, as with the photo above, the hybrid bass are eating well, as are the white bass, on spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and hair jigs at different times throughout the day and night. It’s a timing deal. Stay around the shad, for sure, in 25-55 feet of water.

Twenty-nine Arkansans win elk permits JASPER – Twenty-nine Arkansans will have the hunt of a lifetime this fall as they chase elk on public land in The Natural State. Their names were chosen during the 21st Annual Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper last weekend. Representatives from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission oversaw the drawings for this year’s elk hunt. Permits were drawn from a squirrel cage in front of an anxious crowd throughout the day. Twenty-six of the permits were drawn from applications submitted online in May. Three other permits were selected from special applications submitted on site during the festival. Hunters are allowed to choose their weapons from archery, including crossbows, muzzleloaders, modern rifles, modern shotguns and handguns. All public land hunts occur on the Buffalo National River, Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area and Bearcat Hollow Wildlife Management Area. Hunters are assigned to specific zones within these public lands. Public land permit holders are required to attend an orientation before the hunt and will be notified of the time and location. Arkansas 2018 elk hunt permit winners: Oct. 1-5: Zone 1 Either sex (onsite draw): Jeremy Jensen, Bella Vista Zone 1 Antlerless: John Spencer, London Zone 2 Antlerless (onsite draw): Walter Lloyd, N. Little Rock Zone 3 Antlerless (onsite draw): Seven Fore, Powhatan Zone 4 Antlerless: Bradley Kohler, Fort Smith Oct. 27-Nov. 2 (Youth Hunt): Zone 2 Youth either sex: Zane Yacks, Harrison Zone 3 Youth either sex: Caden Parrson, Fordyce Oct. 29-Nov. 2: Zone 1 Either sex: James Younger, Paragould Zone 1 Antlerless: Jason Price, Hoxie Zone 1 Antlerless: Edwin Levay, Conway Zone 2 Either sex:Wesley Meyers, Harrison Zone 2 Antlerless: Dawn Born-Roaf, N. Little Rock Zone 2 Antlerless: Regina Ellis, Mountain Home Zone 2 Antlerless: Garvin Gibbins, Harrison Zone 2 Antlerless: Earnest Malloy, Manila Zone 2 Antlerless: Tim Kizer, Fayetteville Zone 3 Either sex: Robert Brashears, Rogers Zone 3 Antlerless: Patrick Joseph, Bentonville Zone 3 Antlerless: Derek Stroot, Flippin Zone 3 Antlerless: Ronald Burks, Lonoke Zone 3 Antlerless: Kelsi Owen, Greenbrier Zone 3 Antlerless: Jared Walker, Howell Zone 4 Either sex: Nicholas Nolan, Little Rock Zone 4 Either sex: Larry Bobbitt, Gentry Zone 4 Antlerless: Johnny Schrader, Fayetteville Zone 4 Antlerless: Jeremy Mosley, Beebe Zone 4 Antlerless: William Collins, Batesville Zone 4 Antlerless: Clarence Graham, Lowell Zone 4 Antlerless: John Coates, Fort Smith

WMA road opening update Beryl Anthony Wildlife Management Area Clear Lake Road has been reopened to all vehicular traffic. Road conditions and weather will continue to be monitored. For up-to-date information, call the Wildlife Hotline at 800-440-1477 for current road info.

Advanced Crappie Fishing | June 28, 6:30 p.m. McGee Center 3800 College Ave, Conway, AR 72034 Jerry McCready, four-year member of Team Crappieholic, will demonstrate advanced single-pole, spider-rigging and habitat preparation techniques for crappie fishing. These techniques from the tournament trail are sure to help crappie anglers increase their catch. Call 501-676-9506 to register.

2018 public land elk permit winners. Oct.1-5 Zone 1 Either Sex (onsite) Jeremy Jensen, Bella Vista Zone 1 Antlerless John Spencer, London Zone 2 Antlerless (onsite) Walter Lloyd, N. Little Rock Zone 3 Antlerless (onsite) Seven Fore, Powhatan Zone 4 Antlerless Bradley Kohler, Fort Smith Oct. 29-Nov. 2 Zone 1 Either Sex James Younger, Paragould Zone 1 Antlerless Jason Price, Hoxie Edwin Levay, Conway Zone 2 Either Sex (youth) Zane Yacks, Harrison Zone 2 Either Sex Wesley Meyers, Harrison Zone 2 Antlerless Dawn Born-Roaf, N. Little Rock Regina Ellis, Mountain Home Garvin Gibbins, Harrison Earnest Malloy, Manila Tim Kizer, Fayetteville Zone 3 Either Sex (youth) Caden Parrson, Fordyce Zone 3 Either Sex Robert Brashears, Rogers Zone 3 Antlerless Patrick Joseph, Bentonville Derek Stroot, Flippin Ronald Burks, Lonoke Kelsi Owen, Greenbrier Jared Walker, Howell Zone 4 Either Sex Nicholas Nolan, Little Rock Larry Bobbitt, Gentry Zone 4 Antlerless Johnny Schrader, Fayetteville Jeremy Mosley, Beebe William Collins, Batesville Clarence Graham, Lowell John Coates, Fort Smith

While it’s not beaver season here in Arkansas, it will be in Omaha tonight! #OmaHogs #CWSFinals #ThisIsBaseball #ArkansasRazorback.

Apply for an Alligator permit through June 30th. Alligator Zones 1, 2 and 3: Sept. 21-24 and Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2018 See details: https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/alligator/

Biologists box bass, crappie at DeGray Lake More than 11,000 cubic feet of new cover for anglers to fish sits at the bottom of DeGray Lake in Clark and Hot Springs counties, thanks to the efforts of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff from across the state. Two-hundred and forty near-permanent fish attractors were dropped in various locations of the 13,800-acre Corps of Engineers reservoir. MORE: https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/06/20/biologists-box-bass-crappie-at-degray-lake/ Interactive Map to view attractor locations: http://gis.agfc.com/ Download files for your GPS: https://www.agfc.com/en/fishing/where-fish/fish-attractors/

In the past five years, over 18,000 Arkansas hunters have stopped hunting. AGFC wants to thank the Arkansas Dog Hunters Association and its members for their support in establishing a new program to provide more hunting opportunities for beginners across the state. Over 50 ADHA members have already pledged to be mentors with the Hunt Natural Mentorship Program this fall, and the ADHA has signed on as an official partner. Pledge to be a mentor at huntnatural.com. Check out what the ASHA is doing at https://www.facebook.com/ADHAstate/.

WMA road closure update. Beryl Anthony WMA The Clear Lake Road is temporarily closed to all vehicular traffic. Road conditions and weather will continue to be monitored. For up-to-date information, call the Wildlife Hotline at 800-440-1477 for current road closure status.

Anglers encouraged to offer feedback on Lake Ouachita Management Plan HOT SPRINGS - The AGFC is holding a special follow-up meeting to its Lake Ouachita Management Plan revision, from 6-9 p.m., June 26 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Biologists have worked to include public input gathered at a previous meeting held, June 7, to create a new fisheries management plan focused on Lake Ouachita. At the first meeting, biologists offered presentations on the lake’s black bass, striped bass and crappie fisheries as well as results of the latest genetic testing to evaluate the success of experimental stocking of Florida largemouth bass that took place from 2007 to 2014. They also offered attendees the opportunity to work in focus groups to present public comments to be included in the focus of the next management plan. At this meeting, biologists will present a draft of the revised plan and offer the public an additional opportunity for input. All anglers interested in the future management goals of this great fishery should plan to attend and offer their feedback.

Snakeheads undetected in Pool 2 of Arkansas River DUMAS – Recent electrofishing surveys for northern snakeheads, which have been found downstream of Wilbur D. Mills Dam in Desha County, have not been able to locate any of the invasive species in the river or backwaters upstream of that dam. Mike Sundberg, fisheries biologist specialist at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Monticello office says an angler reported a snakehead in Old Merrisach Lake last year, and biologists were able to electrofish and eliminate eight more of the fish from that body of water, which is nearby but isolated from the river. This year, biologists sampled Coal Pile Lake, Moore Bayou, Post Lake, Merrisach Lake and Post Canal as well as Old Merrisach Lake. “No snakeheads were found in the river or canal and only one was caught in Old Merrisach Lake during our electrofishing samples,” Sundberg said. “We will continue to monitor for the species upstream of the dam and keep an eye on any population growth in Old Merrisach as well.” Biologists first documented northern snakeheads, an invasive species from Asia, in Arkansas in April 2008 when a farmer near Brinkley reported one wriggling along a gravel farm road near a shallow ditch. The species is similar to bowfin, and has a primitive lung that allows it to gulp air for oxygen and survive for a short time out of the water. Despite a massive effort by fisheries biologists to eradicate the species in the area where it was discovered, some persisted and have been able to spread through portions of the White River and even as far as Mississippi. While it’s unclear what impact the snakeheads will have on shallow-water fisheries in Arkansas, biologists ask anyone who catches a snakehead to kill it and report it to their local AGFC office as soon as possible.

AGFC temporarily suspends issuing new permits for importing, breeding, selling venomous or poisonous species LITTLE ROCK – Commissioners voted to temporarily suspend the issuance of new Wildlife Importation and Wildlife Breeder/Dealer permits for venomous or poisonous wildlife species at today’s regularly scheduled meeting. The 120-day suspension only affects people seeking to apply for a permit to import, sell or breed venomous or poisonous wildlife species. This suspension does not impact anyone who already possesses a Wildlife Breeder/Dealer or Wildlife Importation permit, nor will it impact people who wish to keep native nongame wildlife species under Code 09.14 of the AGFC Code of Regulations. Under that code, anyone may hand-catch and keep up to six individual animals of native nongame wildlife species (other than birds, bats, alligator snapping turtles, ornate box turtles, hellbenders, Ouachita streambed salamanders, collared lizards, cave-dwelling species or endangered species). Accredited members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association also are exempt from this suspension of new permits. During the suspension agency staff will work to revise criteria for Wildlife Breeder/Dealer and Wildlife Importation permits and captive wildlife requirements. This revision will be conducted in cooperation with other government agencies, experts in the field and other stakeholders. Once revised regulations are prepared, they will be distributed for public comment. During yesterday’s committee meetings, Steven Beaupre, P.hD, ex-officio commissioner, reflected on his experiences as a reptile expert, being called to houses with venomous reptiles requiring identification and relocation during police or fire department activities. “Our facilities for these sorts of animals at the University of Arkansas have to meet certain standards to prevent escapes or mishandling that could cause a dangerous situation,” Beaupre said. “This should not be an attempt to prevent responsible owners and educators from having reptiles. Rather, responsible ownership should ensure public safety and protect native wildlife from escapes of unwanted invasives.”

AGFC unveils new email address for reporting sick animals LITTLE ROCK – Jenn Ballard, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s veterinarian, has introduced a new program to report sick or dead animals and fish that she hopes will help the agency stay on top of health problems affecting wildlife. If someone encounters a sick or dead animal or fish -- anything other than a deer – the AGFC asks that it be reported via email to agfc.health@agfc.ar.gov. Those reports will be reviewed by the AGFC’s fish and wildlife health professionals and, if possible, investigated in person. If more information is needed by the investigators, the person submitting the report may be contacted. Read more: https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/06/20/agfc-unveils-new-email-address-for-reporting-sick-animals/

The June 21, 2018 meeting of the AGFC will begin at 10 a.m. this morning. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7p0rvlVCj4&feature=youtu.be to tune in live.

AGFC SENIOR SOFTWARE SUPPORT ANALYST Position Number: 22095858 Information Technology Division Location: Little Rock For more information and to apply online visit at https://jobs.agfc.com. Applications must be submitted by midnight on June 29, 2018.

Three elk permits available onsite at Buffalo River Elk Festival JASPER - If you didn’t get around to applying for one of Arkansas’s coveted public land elk-hunting permits in May, you still have a shot to claim one of the best big-game tickets in The Natural State. Three special public land elk hunting permits will be available to register for on-site at the Buffalo River Elk Festival, June 22-23. “We want to offer multiple ways for people who are serious about wanting an Arkansas elk tag to get a chance,” said Wes Wright, elk program coordinator for the AGFC. “It also adds a little extra excitement to the drawings at the festival.” One on-site permit is for either a bull or cow elk, and the other two are for antlerless elk only. While thousands of applicants apply for the main public land permits, only a few hundred have their name in the hat for the on-site tags. “People can register for the on-site permits from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Newton County Senior Center,” Wright said. “The regular permits are drawn from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and we wrap up the elk permit drawings with the onsite permits at 5 p.m.” Applying for an onsite permit is free, but applicants must have a current resident sportsman’s license when they apply. “Youth and adults who are residents of Arkansas are eligible for all three on-site tags,” Wright said. As with online hunt permits, anyone with 12 or more violations points on their license is ineligible to apply for an elk permit. Wright says despite the recent discovery of chronic wasting disease, the elk herd remains stable. “Before CWD was found in Arkansas, the herd had been slowly increasing,” Wright said. “Now we have regulations in place that let deer hunters take any elk that goes outside the elk management zone.” All elk harvested in Arkansas must be submitted for a mandatory CWD test upon harvest. “Samples tested from previous hunts have shown the CWD prevalence remains low in the elk herd,” Wright said. “But it’s just good practice to get any deer or elk from the CWD endemic zone tested. The test is free for all elk and if it comes up positive, we can help the hunter dispose of the meat properly.”

Arkansas Wildlife Fishing Report - June 20, 2018 https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/06/20/arkansas-wildlife-fishing-report-45/ Beat the Heat at These Cool Hot Spots With the heat that has hit Arkansas in mid-June, most of our Fishing Report sources are suggesting early in the morning or late, after sunset, for seeking out bass, Or, at least seek some shade around tree overhangs if you're out there around midday. There are examples of really excellent bass bites going on now throughout the state, but it's mostly over by midmorning until the sun drops. Now, you can be out throughout the day in places such as the tailwater of Beaver Lake. Guide Austin Kennedy, our reporter from there, said fishing has been great this past week. The Army Corps of Engineers is generating at Beaver Dam around 9 a.m., so if you get out early, you don’t have to contest with flowing water. Trout are biting on various PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. Quarter-ounce spoons and Rapala hard baits are also catching some nice fish. The hot spot is going to be between Spider Creek and Bertrand Access. The water temperature has been between 45-50 degrees between U.S. Highway 62 bridge and Houseman Access. Further downstream toward Holiday Island the smallmouths and Kentucky bass are biting well on soft plastics, fished in 5-6 feet of water. Crappie are hitting along the banks and structures on live minnows and jigging soft plastics. A few white bass have been caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island throwing an Alabama rig with white grubs. Walleye are still very active on the lake, he said. If you're in that area and searching for striper, the bite remains fairly strong there, according to guide Mike Bailey, who provided the photo above. That couple is Mike and Florence Galloway of Kansas, who caught a nice limit of striper Tuesday morning Bailey on Beaver Lake. They had that limit by 7 a.m. Bailey says that Mike Galloway is a disabled Navy veteran and avid angler that caught striper fever a few years ago. As for as a few quick hits: Catfish are excellent on Crown Lake; largemouth bass remain strong at Lake Maumelle, though nothing might top last week's Tuesday night tournament results; catfish and crappie are still hungry at Lake Chicot at Lake Village; bream are excellent at the Saline River access in Benton; and fishing for all species is still going very well at Greers Ferry Lake near Heber Springs

Thank you Stone Ward Advertising and the Telly Awards Judging Council for the recent selection of this video PSA as a recipient of a Silver Telly Award. Four video campaigns promoting safe, ethical hunting and angling derived from our partnership were given this prestigious honor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uItadkM6V6U&list=PL3rIRKv4Y6n5e3uv5fMeaNfmHHWLRdoVt

Alligator hunt permit application period is open, new hunting zone open Applications for the 2018 Arkansas alligator season will be available at https://ar-web.s3licensing.com/ through midnight June 30. Arkansans now have more opportunity than ever to score an alligator tag, as the south-central portion of the state has been opened to harvest. Mark Barbee, wildlife biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Monticello Regional Office, says Zone 2 has been closed to all alligator sport hunting since the hunts began in 2007. It was used as a control area to analyze the impact of hunting on alligator populations in the two open zones (southeast and southwest Arkansas). Now, in the 12th season of modern-day alligator hunting in Arkansas, that control is no longer warranted and justified. “We’ve been able to show that Arkansas’s alligator population is stable and can support a limited sport hunt,” Barbee said. “Opening the zone offers more opportunity for hunters to draw a tag and may potentially address some nuisance alligator situations.” Barbee says nuisance alligator calls have dropped since alligator seasons began, but not necessarily because of population changes. “I think the hunt gives landowners an opportunity to draw a tag and take the alligator themselves,” Barbee said. “Some may also see having a gator on their property as something worth advertising to friends in case they draw a tag as well.” One hundred and seven permits will be available in this year’s drawing. Private-land-at-large tags are available through the regular draw application process, but people who are drawn must provide written landowner permission and a map identifying their hunt area at a mandatory orientation. Each permit authorizes the harvest of one alligator, which must be at least 4 feet long. Alligator hunting is allowed 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise during the approved alligator hunting season dates – Sept. 21-24 and Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Each permit holder may have up to three assistants with them on the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon or dispatch the alligator. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age the day the hunt begins, and only Arkansas residents or holders of an Arkansas Lifetime Sportsman’s Permit may apply. Applicants with 12 or more AGFC violation points are ineligible to apply. As with the rest of the AGFC’s permit application system, alligator-hunt applicants must pay a $5 nonrefundable processing fee at the time of their application. And, just as with the rest of the AGFC’s permits, any fees after drawing have been eliminated. Under the previous system, successful permitees were charged a $35 tag fee, which is no longer the case. Alligator zone map and info: https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/alligator/