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Posts Tagged ‘AGFC’

Chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, was confirmed in a sample from Arkansas Feb. 23. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is ramping up awareness for the disease and its response to the finding through public meetings, press releases and many other avenues of communication. Visit to learn more about the disease in Arkansas.

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More than 100,000 people participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count each year.

More than 100,000 people participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count each year.

Join birders across the country Feb. 12-15, 2016, and record your birdwatching results to help scientists discover trends and changes in migrations and populations of birds in the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Founded in 1998 by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the count was the first project to use non-biologists to collect massive amounts of data on wild birds and display the results in near real-time. Scientists combine the data from this count with other citizen-based counting projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch and the eBird program to get a big picture of what is happening to bird populations across the nation. It’s an excellent way to be involved in conservation without ever leaving the comfort of your own backyard.

Birders can choose to participate for 15 minutes up to a full four-day count.

Birders can choose to participate for 15 minutes up to a full four-day count.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature centers also are great locations to enjoy this citizen-scientist activity. Each of the AGFC’s four nature centers has a birdwatching station with maintained feeders near an indoor viewing area. Field guides are available to help identify birds at the feeder, and staff are always nearby to answer questions about the birds you see.

Kirsten Bartlow, watchable wildlife coordinator for the AGFC, says the Wings Over Arkansas is another great way to get excited about birding.

“With Wings Over Arkansas, you record the bird species you see or hear on a checklist,” Bartlow said, “Once you reach certain levels, you are awarded a certificate and pin to show your accomplishment.”

Bartlow says Wings Over Arkansas is very popular with school groups and scouts, but has just as many adult participants who enjoy creating a life list of birds they’ve seen.

“Birding is something that anyone can enjoy, no matter what age they are,” Bartlow said. “And because birds can be attracted to practically any location using feeders, you don’t have to make special plans for a weekend getaway to a far off destination to enjoy the hobby.”

Visit http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count. To learn more about the Wings Over Arkansas Program or visit one of the AGFC’s four nature centers, visit http://www.agfc.com.

Click here for details about the AGFC's Wings Over Arkansas program.

Click here for details about the AGFC’s Wings Over Arkansas program.

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During its regular monthly meeting last week, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission agreed to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to transfer 2,355 acres of Clay County land in the St. Francis River Basin to the agency. Commissioners authorized AGFC Director Mike Knoedl to sign the Quitclaim Deed for transfer to the agency.

In the future, the Corps will transfer an additional 10,293 acres in Craighead, Greene and Poinsett counties to the AGFC. The Corps originally acquired the land along the St. Francis River as part of the St. Francis River Basin flood control feature of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. For more than 25 years, the AGFC has been managing the Corps-owned land as part of the St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA and the Dave Donaldson Black River WMA.

In other business, the Commission:

  •  Accepted a proclamation by Gov. Mike Beebe to start free fishing weekend at noon, June 6, and end at midnight, June 8. Licenses will not be required for fishing in Arkansas during that period.
  • Approved the grant of game law conviction fines, for Fiscal Year 2013, to the county where it was collected. A total of just over $632,000 was collected.
  • Honored Marilyn Doran as the Project WILD Facilitator of the Year for Arkansas.
  • Approved a budget increase of $147,000 to develop the AGFC’s Delta Heritage Trail in Desha County.
  • Approved reduced daily creel limits on Lake Chicot and Cane Creek Lake during their drawdown period.
  • Approved renaming a Kings River access after long-time local river guide J.D. Fletcher. The access will now be called the J.D. Fletcher Kings River Highway 62 Access. The access is in Carroll County.
  • Denied an application from the Spring Valley Anglers Rod and Gun Club requesting a permit to privately stock trout in a six-mile segment of Spavinaw Creek in Benton County.
  • Approved a $488,500 budget transfer to acquire a 120-acre tract from Robert L. Hixson Jr. The land will become part of Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. Approved a budget transfer of $62,000 to be used to upgrade the video surveillance system of the AGFC central office in Little Rock.

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Click here for our weekly waterfowl reports.

Click here for our weekly waterfowl reports.

AGFC.com has everything you need to anticipate the next wave of ducks heading for The Natural State. Everything from aerial survey data to predictions of waterfowl movements throughout the country is right at your fingertips. We even give habitat conditions for all AGFC wildlife management areas popular with duck hunters, to give you an idea of the water levels and food avaialble for ducks before you drive out there. Just click http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingWaterfowlReport.aspx to get started.

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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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Public input is a crucial component of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s process for setting hunting and fishing regulations. Meetings are part of the AGFC’s annual hunting-regulations process, providing hunters with the opportunity to make comments and proposals on the 2013-14 hunting seasons. The meetings will be held 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Jan. 29, at the following locations:

  • Calico Rock AGFC Regional Office, 1125 Highway 56, Calico Rock, 877-297-4331
  • Fayetteville Ozark Electric Cooperative Corporation,  3641 Wedington Drive, Fayetteville,  866-253-2506
  • Hope AGFC Regional Office,  7004 Highway 67 East, Perrytown,  877-777-5580
  • Jonesboro Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center,  600 East Lawson Road, Jonesboro,  877-972-5438
  • Little Rock AGFC Central Office 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock,  800-364-4263
  • Monticello AGFC Regional Office 771 Jordan Drive, Monticello,  877-367-3559
  • Mount Ida Montgomery County Courthouse 105 Highway 270 East, Mt. Ida,  877-478-1043
  • Russellville AGFC Regional Office 1266 Lock and Dam Road, Russellville, 877-967-7577

Written comments may be submitted at any of the meetings or mailed by Feb. 28 to the AGFC, attn: Hunting Regulations Proposals, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. There will be a brief presentation starting at 7 p.m. followed by oral comments from the public. After the meeting, AGFC personnel will be available to answer questions.

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Kids found on the water wearing their life jackets may get a special ticket for ice cream this summer, courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Sonic restaurants.

In an effort to promote kids wearing life jackets, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officers will be issuing special citations on the state’s waterways this summer. The citations will reward youths for being “caught” wearing their life jackets.
These “citations” will entitle the youth to a small ice cream cone from Sonic. Five thousand of these special coupons were donated by Sonic to help make the summer more enjoyable and add an extra incentive for doing the right thing.
AGFC Boating Law Administrator Stephanie Weatherington said she hopes the program will reinforce the need to wear life jackets for personal safety.
“We feel this will motivate kids to do the right thing and put on their life jackets,” said Weatherington. “We are very excited to emphasize how important it is to wear life jackets and it’s also the law,” she added.
Many people drown because they fall out of a boat and are not wearing a fitted life jacket, Weatherington says.
“Some don’t believe they need one because they can swim. Others may wear one that has dry rot or is not the right size. The most important thing about riding in a boat is to wear a life jacket,” she said. “By law, anyone 12 or younger must wear a life jacket while in a boat. Also, all vessels must have at least one approved life jacket for every person on board. There must also be a throwable floatation device on any vessel 16 feet or longer,” she explained. “We hope this will also encourage the parents to also wear their life jacket,” Weatherington added.
AGFC wildlife officers will be handing out these rewards throughout the summer on all Arkansas lakes, rivers and streams as they enforce all of Arkansas’s boating and fishing laws.

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