LITTLE ROCK – During today’s monthly meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners approved a long-term lease agreement with Central Arkansas Water on the Maumelle River Wildlife Management Area. The AGFC has had informal discussions with CAW for several years to explore ways in which the two entities could form a partnership.
Cost of the 99-year lease agreement is $1 million and includes a total of 18,861 acres in the management area. The management area would include, at the initiation of the lease, 9,861 acres in terrestrial habitat and the 9,000-acre Lake Maumelle. Beginning this year, the lease will be paid in three annual payments. The money will come from $250,000 in federal aid funds and $83,333 in state matching funds. The WMA is known for its hunting, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing.
In other business, the Commission:
*Accepted a proclamation by Gov. Mike Beebe to start free fishing weekend at noon, June 7, and end at midnight, June 9. Licenses will not be required for fishing in Arkansas during that period.
*Honored Chad Cruce as the National Wild Turkey Federation Officer of the Year. Cruce is a wildlife officer in Stone County.
*Approved a budget increase of $25,000 to fund the AGFC’s legal costs through the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.