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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Fishing derby to benefit Mayflower tornado victims

The AGFC and "Tackle the Storm" will be working Sunday, July 27 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., helping anglers put the Mayflower tornado behind them.

The AGFC and “Tackle the Storm” will be working Sunday, July 27 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., helping anglers put the Mayflower tornado behind them.

The April 27 tornado devastated Mayflower and Vilonia and stripped many residents of their homes and belongings. Three months later, the non-profit Tackle the Storm Foundation seeks to give a little something back to Arkansans who were affected by the storm.

Tackle the Storm, a charity spawned in the wake of devastating tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2011, will be at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Dr. James E. Moore Camp Robinson Firing Range 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 27 to give away fishing tackle to children and families who lost belongings in the tornado.

The AGFC will stock catfish in the firing range ponds at 524 Clinton Rd., and participants will be able to use their new fishing tackle to catch the fish. Lunch also will be served.

Tackle the Storm seeks to ease the burden of storm-affected children and families by awarding free fishing poles, or as the foundation calls them, “the magic wands of childhood.” The foundation’s mission is to help tornado victims use fishing to escape the destruction and sadness that follows catastrophic natural disasters.

For more information, contact Jim Alexander at 501-269-1368.

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Changes to Arkansas's fishing regulations have been proposed for public comment. Click the image to take the survey.

Changes to Arkansas’s fishing regulations have been proposed for public comment. Click the image to take the survey.

 

The Fisheries Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently announced their proposed changes to fishing regulations to take effect Jan. 1, 2015. These proposals are open for public comment until June 8, 2014. They will then be reviewed, amended and submitted to the Commission in its June Commission meeting, and voted on during the Commission’s July meeting.

Topics for consideration include:

  • Adding a 10-inch minimum length for crappie on Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
  • Replacing the 20/30 crappie daily limit map with a statewide 30-crappie daily limit (except on certain waters)
  • Replacing the 13-inch to 16-inch slot limit on largemouth bass in DeGray Lake with a 13-inch minimum length limit.
  • Reducing the daily limit on black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted combined) from 10 to 6 on DeGray Lake.

To review all proposals and the reasoning behind them, and to make a comment on each, please visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015FishRegs

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Tagged catfish will be added to this spring's stockings at Family and Community Fishing Ponds across Arkansas.

Tagged catfish will be added to this spring’s stockings at Family and Community Fishing Ponds across Arkansas.

Tagged catfish stocked across the state
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program is continuing their efforts to get families involved in fishing with a tagged catfish campaign. Thousands of channel catfish from the AGFC’s warm-water hatchery facilities are currently being stocked at several locations around the state.
Each of Arkansas’s Family and Community Fishing Program catfish stocking locations have 10 catfish tagged with special Family and Community tags. Anyone that catches a tagged fish will receive prizes. Winners also will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a canoe, two life jackets and paddles. Second prize will be a catfish rod and reel, tackle box loaded with catfishing gear and an assortment of fishing tools. Third prize will be a tackle box with fishing gear and fishing tools.
Family and Community Fisheries Program Coordinator Ben Batten said a similar effort was first organized during spring break of 2012 and was a huge success. “This is the third year for this promotion, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year. The chance at a canoe certainly takes it up a notch,” he noted.
A new canoe will significantly enhance angling opportunities at many of the small to medium-sized lakes, which are rather prevalent near several cities.
Anyone catching a tagged fish from Family and Community locations should send the tags to the AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program, 2 Natural Resources Dr., Little Rock, AR 72205. Include your name, address, phone number, location and date of catch. Only one entry per person. Tag returns must be postmarked by July 3, 2014. Incomplete or illegible information will not be accepted. For more information on the Family and Community Fishing Program, go to http://www.agfc.com/familyfishing.

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A little change in location can save a fortune in fuel costs for anglers and boaters.

A little change in location can save a fortune in fuel costs for anglers and boaters.

As gasoline costs rise, many people ditch their plans for fun in the sun and ride out the summer at home. A few adjustments in habits and maintenance measures can keep the cost of your boating fuel low. Here are a few tips to stay on the water all summer without flatting your wallet:

Go local: Your favorite lake or river might be an hour or two away, but there are fishing opportunities within a 30-minute drive of practically any place in the state. A 30-minute drive becomes a 1 hour round trip, which can cut your gas costs in half.

Small can be sweet: Smaller lakes and rivers are often overlooked by anglers who fish out of bigger boats, but they are gold mines for quantity and quality of fish. Some of Arkansas best big bass opportunities can be found on smaller lakes, such as Lake Atkins and Lake Monticello. The state record bass came from 330-acre Mallard Lake in northeast Arkansas. Plus, they take much less gas to travel from one point to the next once you’re on the water.

Lighten the load: It’s one of easiest things to do to save on gas, and it applies to just about every boat on the water – ski boat, cruiser, sailboat or fishing rig.
Before you leave home, take a good look at what you really need and clear out all that junk under the floorboards, in lockers or in less-used storage areas. And, if the boat is already in in the slip, remember that water weighs over eight pounds per gallon. Carrying more than necessary in freshwater and waste tanks is a waste of money.

Get a tune-up: An annual engine tune-up, whether you do it yourself or ask a marine professional, is a must for any powerboat owner. It’s also likely to save you a fortune in gas money over the course of the boat’s life.

Check the prop: Take your motor’s prop to a marina, dealer or local prop shop to reshape or file away any dings. A well-tuned propeller makes a boat more fuel efficient.

Check trailer tire pressure: Underinflated tires wear quicker and increase the amount of drag on the tow vehicle. Too much tire pressure causes the trailer to bounce, which can cause damage to the boat and tow vehicle’s drive train. Check tire pressure for proper inflation

Cover it up: While on the road, use a tight-fitting cover to reduce wind drag. The cover also helps keep the boat clean and protects it from the weather.

Slow down: You might be in a hurry to get to the lake, but a 5-mile per hour decrease in towing speed will result in a noticeable drop in fuel consumption.

Pay less for gas: Gasoline is going to be cheaper in town than right on the highway exit; boat dock fuel is extremely expensive compared to either. Fill up on the road en route to the lake or river, and you’ll save money.

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The annual Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry bass tournament will be held March 29 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. Click here for details.

The annual Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry bass tournament will be held March 29 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. Click here for details.

The annual Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry bass fishing tournament will be held March 29 at Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs. All proceeds from the tournament go to the organization toward its mission of feeding less fortunate Arkansans while promoting needed harvest of deer in areas where the herd is out of balance.

Prizes include $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place and $250 in merchandise from Zimmerman’s Sport Center for fourth place. The Entry fee is $100 per boat.

For more information, contact Steve Wilson at 501-304-6305 or Ronnie Ritter at 501-282-0006. Tournament sponsors include No-Way Pulpwood, Greeson’s, Zimmerman’s Sports Center, Legacy Printers and Supplies, and Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Entry forms are available at online at www.arkansashunters.org.

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Winter trout stockings will begin Nov. 18. Click the image for locations.

Winter trout stockings will begin Nov. 18. Click the image for locations.

The AGFC Fisheries Division will stock all Family and Community Fishing Program trout locations around the state between Nov. 18-22, just in time for a Thanksgiving weekend trip to the pond. Check the following link for trout stocking locations: http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/FishingProgramsFCFStock.aspx

Each location will also receive some trout with fluorescent pink tags. Anyone catching a tagged fish should keep the fish and call the number on the tag for directions on how to turn their tag in for a special prize from the AGFC.

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Renovations to Horsehead Lake are now complete. Construction on the 63-year-old lake began earlier this summer.

The 100-acre lake was built by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1950, in partnership with the Ozark National Forest. It has provided decades of fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill and red-ear bream.

The lake is in the national forest, and the national forest operates a recreation area on the west side of the lake. A campground, picnic area, playground and restroom facilities are available. This recreation area is closed due to the federal government shutdown.

Repairs to the water-control structure consisted of inserting a 320-foot, 18-inch pipe into the existing 24-inch outlet pipe, then grouting around the inserted pipe. The drawdown tower was filled with concrete and cut off at ground level. The new pipe has a gate valve attached to the downstream end so the gate can be opened below the dam. The control valve is enclosed in a locked steel box.

The lake bottom was sown earlier with sorghum-Sudan grass and later sown with winter wheat. This vegetation will increase the lake’s fertility and provide more food for the fish after it begins  to rot and feed plankton (zooplankton) which is used by sport fish as they develop.

AGFC fisheries personnel placed fish shelters in seven locations. These areas were marked and the GPS coordinates will soon be available on agfc.com. Additional structure has been placed near access areas on the east side of the lake. This area will be usable by bank and boat fishermen.

The lake is now in the process of refilling. Fish will be stocked as soon as there is enough water to access the lake from the boat ramp. Catchable channel catfish will provide fishing opportunities until the fingerling size bass, bream and crappie, which will be stocked next spring, are large enough to harvest. Fish stocked next spring should be large enough to harvest in 3 to 4 years, but sometimes in new or renovated lakes the fish grow much faster. Additional fish structure will be added as time permits.

Large tree stumps that were causing boating hazards were cut off 4 feet below normal water level. The concrete boat ramp also was extended 20 feet. Access at the boat launching area was improved by deepening the shoreline, allowing easier boat docking, cutting shoreline trees to allow more bank fishing area and placement of fish structure within casting distance.  All access area improvements were funded with Marine Fuel Tax monies.

More than 230 tons of agricultural limestone was hauled and dumped in five locations to balance the acidity of the lakebed and make future fertilization more effective.

The U.S. Forest Service painted all swim posts which hold the ropes and buoy lines at their swim beach. The Johnson County Road Department hauled and spread sand purchased by the Forest Service, on the swim beach. A total of 34 dump truck loads of sand were hauled and spread.

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