LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved the addition of the veteran’s/active duty military waterfowl hunt to Arkansas’s youth waterfowl hunt days during today’s regularly scheduled meeting. This is the second consecutive year the Commission has approved the option since it was made available by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Additionally, the Commission heard a clarification to waterfowl seasons to correct discrepancies in wording between the AGFC’s Official Code of Regulations and the dates published in the Federal Register. The following dates have been published in the Federal Register and will be officially voted on during the Commission’s August meeting:
Sept. 5-Oct. 25, 2020 and Dec. 8, 2020-Jan. 15, 2021
Early Migratory Birds
Common and Purple Gallinule — Sept. 1-Nov. 9, 2020
Virginia Rail and Sora — Sept. 12-Nov. 20, 2020
Early Teal — Sept. 15-30, 2020
Snipe — Nov. 1, 2020-Feb. 15, 2021
Woodcock — Nov. 7-Dec. 21, 2020
Duck, Coot and Merganser — Nov. 21-30, 2020; Dec. 11-23, 2020; and Dec. 26, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021
Canada Goose — Sept. 1-30, 2020; Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2020; Nov. 21-Dec. 4, 2020; and Dec. 6, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021
White-fronted, Snow, Blue and Ross’s Goose — Oct. 31-Nov. 16, 2020; Nov. 21-Dec.4, 2020; and Dec. 6, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021.
Youth and Veteran/Active Duty Military Hunt — Dec. 5, 2020 and Feb. 6, 2021
Light Goose Conservation Order — Oct. 3-30, 2020; Nov. 17-20, 2020; Feb. 1-5, 2021; and Feb. 7-April 25, 2021.
The Commission also granted a surplus rifle to the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. The rifle was used in a 2010 confrontation between Michael K. Neal and two individuals that had killed two law enforcement officers and were in a heated gun exchange that injured two other officers in a separate shooting at a West Memphis Walmart parking lot. The rifle will be displayed alongside the officer’s truck, which was previously granted for display when the museum opened in 2018.
The meeting wrapped up with a spirited discussion stemming from the recent chronic wasting disease roundtable discussion and the AGFC’s path in the management of CWD. A recording of the meeting is available on the AGFC’s YouTube page. To view this recording, visit https://youtu.be/sHHwDU9ToUo?t=68.
In other business, the Commission:
Authorized the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $308,236 and a current net book value of $11,447.
Authorized the AGFC Legal Division to provide legal defense representation on behalf of a wildlife officer for all claims made against him in a lawsuit.
Heard an update from Luke Naylor, AGFC Waterfowl Program coordinator, on the current status of Arkansas’s greentree reservoirs and challenges facing public waterfowl hunting in Arkansas.
Heard an update from Randy Brents, AGFC prescribed fire manager, on prescribed fire activities for the last year, highlighting the number of burn units, acres burned and habitat restoration and management accomplished.
Heard from Tabbi Kinion, AGFC Education Division chief, and Spencer Griffith, AGFC Communications Division assistant chief, on the agency’s progress with online education efforts and its virtual nature center in the midst of the COVID- 19 pandemic. The virtual nature center may be viewed at www.agfcnaturecenter.com.
Heard an update from Paul Port, AGFC fisheries management biologist, on current programs surrounding stream smallmouth bass conservation, particularly on Crooked Creek near Pyatt.
Heard an update from Christy Graham, AGFC trout management supervisor, on the status of the state’s trout fisheries and the many programs, partnerships and efforts underway throughout the state for anglers.