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Apply now for a turkey permit hunt.

Apply now for a turkey permit hunt.

Hunters may now apply for limited permits on several Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas for the 2016 turkey season.

Many WMAs offer special permit youth hunts as well as standard permit hunts. Click here for a list of available permits.

Many WMAs offer special permit youth hunts as well as standard permit hunts. Click here for a list of available permits.

April may seem like an eternity for dyed-in-the-wool turkey hunters, but now is the time to start the process of bagging your bird on public land.

Jason Honey, turkey program coordinator for the AGFC, says access to many popular wildlife management areas must be restricted using a permit draw to prevent overcrowding.

Applications will only be processed from Dec. 15, 2015 until Jan. 15, 2016. Applicants will be notified of their application status in late February. Permit winners must pay a processing fee of $10.

Click here to apply

Many WMA's have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

Many WMA’s have different season dates than their surrounding zones. Click here to look at the available hunts and dates.

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The ringed crayfish is moving into areas along the south branch of the White River, and is pushing out the rare coldwater crayfish.

The ringed crayfish is moving into areas along the south branch of the White River, and is pushing out the rare coldwater crayfish.

Rare crayfish being displaced by ringed crayfish

The coldwater crayfish is a rare species found only in parts of the Arkansas and Missouri Ozarks. It inhabits big, spring-fed streams – namely the Eleven Point, Strawberry, Spring and South Fork Spring rivers. Several years ago, ringed crayfish from the North Fork White River basin, turned up in the South Fork.

University of Arkansas professor Dan Magoulick and his students have been studying this invasion where the coldwater crayfish has been displaced from much of the South Fork. The current theory is that ringed crayfish are more tolerant of low, summer water conditions, allowing them to out-compete the coldwater crayfish.

The coldwater crayish has a few color variations, depending on the stream system it inhabits.

The coldwater crayish has a few color variations, depending on the stream system it inhabits.

This ringed crayfish invasion is an example of a short-range introduction. A study published by the Missouri Department of Conservation found that short-range introductions of crayfish are more common than previously thought. Since several of Arkansas’s nearly 60 crayfish species are found in only a small portion of the state, this highlights the need to avoid moving crayfish around from one place to another.

Nongame aquatics biologist and former University of Arkansas student Matthew Nolen dislodge rocks in a stream along the Norht Fork River to find the rare coldwater crayfish.

Nongame aquatics biologist and former University of Arkansas student Matthew Nolen dislodge rocks in a stream along the North Fork River to find the rare coldwater crayfish.

The story of the coldwater crayfish is not all bad. Recent surveys by the University of Arkansas, Missouri Department of Conservation and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have sought to better understand where coldwater crayfish are found. While they are mostly gone from the South Fork, coldwater crayfish populations are in fairly good shape in the Eleven Point and Spring rivers. A few also were found in sections of the Strawberry River.

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See how the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission produces more than 1 million trout per year for stocking into state waterways at the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River Fish Hatchery at Mammoth Spring.
On the YouTube channel, you’ll also find everything from interviews with first time deer hunters, to tailwater trout fishing, to elk viewing in the Boxley Valley, to Mississippi River catfishing as well as the agency’s 100th anniversary tribute “A Century of Conservation.”
Be sure to subscribe to the channel, so you’ll be notified whenever a new video is posted.

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Click here to apply beginning 8 a.m., March 23.

Click here to apply beginning 8 a.m., March 23.

Leftover WMA Turkey Hunt Permits go on sale beginning 8 a.m., Monday, March 23. This year we are implementing a special queue system to help prevent crashes and overloads from increased web traffic. When you click to enter the permit process, you will receive a brief explanation of the queue and how it works. When you click to proceed from that page, you will be “in line” with an indicator of how many people are in front of you. When it’s your turn, you will have 10 minutes to choose a permit and complete your purchase. After 10 minutes your place in line cannot be guaranteed.
If you wish to buy additional permits, you must go back through the queue. This is to ensure as many people as possible have a chance to get a leftover permit.
the list of leftover permits is available at http://www.agfc.com/lic…/Documents/LeftoverTurkeyPermits.pdf
The queue will begin at 8 a.m., Wednesday morning at the following link: http://static.ark.org/agfc/permitting.html

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The state’s only trout hatchery is getting an upgrade. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission authorized Crist Engineers, Inc. of Little Rock to begin design of repairs to Dam 3 at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery.

A flood in late April 2011 damaged the dam’s gates, forcing the AGFC to make temporary repairs to the site. Crist Engineers of Little Rock had already conducted a comprehensive study of the dam. They will now implement the findings and develop construction drawings for the renovation and restoration of the dam. The fee for Crist’s consulting engineering services will be $159,420.

Damage to the gates, and the resulting lack of water pressure, caused the hatchery’s trout production to decline.

The hatchery produces 50 percent of the state’s rainbow trout with most of the trout going to the Bull Shoals tailwaters in north Arkansas. In fiscal year 2012, the hatchery produced over 924,000 trout weighing in excess of 486,000 pounds.

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Only youth hunters were allowed to take a jake turkey in the 2011 season. AGFC photo

Arkansas turkey hunters will have the opportunity to gather information and ask questions on proposed turkey hunting regulations for 2012.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host six public meetings across Arkansas Aug. 23. All of the meetings will begin at 7 p.m.
Public comments and all other written and electronic comments will be presented to the Commission in September, along with Wildlife Committee recommendations for the 2012 turkey season. After a final 30-day public comment period, the Commission will approve the 2012 turkey season at its October meeting.
Comments may be verbal or written. Written comments may be submitted at any of the meetings, online at www.agfc.com or mailed by Sept. 30 to: AGFC, Turkey Hunting Regulations Considerations, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205.
Meeting locations:

  • Little Rock
    AGFC Central Office
    2 Natural Resources Drive
    800-364-4263
  • Jonesboro
    Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center
    600 E. Lawson Road
    877-972-5438
  • Fort Smith
    Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
    8300 Wells Lake Road
    877-478-1043
  • Monticello
    AGFC Regional Office
    771 Jordan Drive
    877-367-3559
  • Camden
    AGFC Regional Office
    500 Ben Lane
    877-836-4612
  • Fayetteville
    Ozarks Electric Cooperative
    3641 Wedington Drive
    877-967-7577

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