Late migratory bird seasons set by Commission

For the 15thconsecutive 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.

Duck season dates are Nov. 19-27, Dec. 8-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 29. The youth hunt is set for Feb. 4-5.

The duck bag limit of six will consist of no more than:

Four mallards (two hens);

Three wood ducks;

Two redheads;

One black duck;

Two pintails;

One canvasback;

One mottled duck, and

Two scaup

The Northwest Canada goose zone season will be Sept. 24-Oct. 3 with a bag limit of two. The statewide Canada goose season will be Sept. 1-15 with a bag limit of five, and Dec. 19-Jan. 29 with a bag limit of two.

White-fronted goose season will be Nov. 19-Jan. 29 with a bag limit of two. Snow, blue and Ross’ goose season will be Nov. 5-Jan. 29 with a bag limit of 20. The Goose Conservation Order will be Jan. 30-Feb. 3 and Feb. 6-April 25 with no bag limit.

The Commission also voted to make no changes to leased land opportunities. “Land will be leased as it was last year,” said AGFC Chairman George Dunklin.

Leased land permits were increased from $20 to $40 at the July meeting and ratified today, although the increase will not be implemented for the upcoming hunting seasons.

“The Property Management Committee will take these issues up for next year,” Commissioner Emon Mahony said. The committee will investigate the use of leased lands and recommend alternatives through conservation easements for future hunting seasons.

In other business, the Commission:

*Approved fishing regulations that will take effect Jan. 1, 2012;

*Approved revised AGFC regulations and addendum after a lengthy project to reduce and clarify the code;

*Approved a Wildlife Bureau budget increase of $352,105 for maintenance and operation of wildlife openings on cooperatively managed wildlife management areas;

*Approved a budget increase of $283,950 for a contract with Martin-Wilbourn Partners for agency marketing, public relations and communications activities;

*Approved $200,350 to fund publication of Arkansas Wildlife, the AGFC bimonthly magazine, through the fiscal year;

*Approved four Marine Fuel Tax projects – two at Millwood Lake (Little River and Howard counties), Round Bottom Access on the White River (Stone County) and Little Bay Access on the Ouachita River (Calhoun County) – that total $155,000;

*Approved a budget transfer of $55,000 from the Des Arc Lake levee project (which is no longer necessary) to repair a water control gate at Harris Brake Lake;

*Heard a presentation from Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Coordinator Chuck Woodson, who also accepted a $10,000 donation for the program from Arkansas Farm Bureau, an organization that has supported AYSSP since it began five years ago;

*Heard a presentation about the 2010-11 Arkansas fur harvest from Nongame Mammal Program Coordinator Blake Sasse, and

*Approved grants of youth elk hunting permits (either sex) for the December season –one to the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and one to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation – for fundraising purposes.

Capt. Stephanie Weatherington, AGFC boating law administrator, recognized Wildlife Officer Lyndle Crownover of Baxter County as Arkansas Boating Officer of the Year.