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Monthly Commission Meeting | May 18-19, 2022 (Little Rock)

AGFC Headquarters, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205

May 18, 2022 – May 19, 2022

Commission Meeting Dates July 2021-June 2022

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LEGAL NOTICE

The regular monthly meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be held beginning at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Little Rock Office Complex, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. At that time, regulations and business pertaining to the operation of the Game and Fish Commission and other fiscal and administrative matters will be considered and acted upon. Additionally, Committee meetings attended by Commissioners and agency staff members will be held in the Director's conference room throughout the day on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Little Rock Office Complex, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. All interested persons are invited to attend these meetings.

The AGFC Little Rock Office Complex currently is open to the public and COVID-19 guidelines recommended by the Arkansas Department of Health are applicable. The Commission meeting on April 21st will be live-streamed and a link for easy viewing access will be available on the agency website. Please visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website at https://www.agfc.com for additional up-to-date details as the April meeting dates draw closer.

Items on the agenda for the May 19, 2022 meeting will include discussion and/or adoption of proposed regulations that previously were considered at Commission Meetings held on March 15-17, April 7, and April 20-21, 2022, plus consideration of various Hunting and Fishing Regulations and regulations pertaining to the Enforcement Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, including, but not limited to:

1. General Hunting and Miscellaneous Wildlife Regulations – Propose general hunting regulations for 2022-23 and 2023-24 including, but not limited to, game seasons, bag limits, geographic zones, wildlife management areas (WMAs), weapon restrictions and other manner-of-taking-game requirements for alligator, bear, deer, elk, furbearing animals, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, dove, waterfowl, and other game species. Changes to regulation include, but are not limited to:

Furbearer/Depredation  

  • Add exception for bobcat and otter pelt tagging requirement to allow bobcat and otter pelts to temporarily be shipped out of state for tanning without attaching a CITES tag.
  • Reduce length of furbearer season for trapping muskrat on WMAs.
  • Amend furbearing season trap restrictions to increase maximum size of foothold traps set on land (from 6” to 6¼”).
  • Revise Predator Control Permit requirements for taking bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, red fox, or striped skunk on private land.
  • Revise Depredation Permit requirements for consistency with Predator Control Permit requirements, including for taking of certain birds (House Sparrows, European Starlings, Rock Doves, etc.).

General

  • Amend Resident and Non-Resident Hunting License requirements, including: remove references to a temporary internet license or confirmation code; and revise Non-Resident License requirements for hunting elk or alligator.
  • Revise codes for listing WMAs for bear and wild turkey hunting seasons and limits, including remove from list those WMAs having “closed” seasons (only WMAs with “open” season will remain listed).
  • Define types of killing devices and ammunition allowed for hunting crow.
  • Provide exception for prohibited methods for hunting wildlife to allow certain live-cage-type traps for use in capturing nuisance animals.
  • Amend aiding and abetting prohibition to indicate the penalty is the same as the violation committed by the person who was aided or abetted.
  • Amend littering prohibition to prohibit discard of any game animal carcass within 50 yards of any stream, river, pond or lake.
  • Establish or revise definitions of the following terms: “Conservation Buck Tag”; “Deer Management Assistant Program”; “Large Carnivore”; “Off Highway Vehicle”; “Personal Watercraft or Jet Boat”.
  • Amend dog training restrictions on Camp Robinson Special Use Area, including: restrict dog use during reserved dog field trial events in reserved compartments, except dogs participating in the field trial event; and clarify number and types of dogs allowed to be trained.
  • Amend big game checking requirements to require deer, adult turkey gobblers, or bear injured or killed by incidental contact (non-hunting activity such as vehicle accident) must be reported to the AGFC Radio Room and an official salvage tag number obtained before the animal or its parts may be possessed from the point of initial contact.
  • Clarify color description for hunter orange / safety green clothing requirements.
  • Revise camping restrictions on Commission-owned or controlled property, including: require persons 16 years of age or older to obtain a 7-day camping permit for a fee of $5.00, except that a daily camping permit for a fee of $15.00 will be necessary for camping at Camp Robinson SUA; establish restrictions for large groups of 50 or more individuals; and adopt additional camping restrictions.
  • Amend vehicle restrictions on WMAs, including: restrict use of off highway vehicles (OHVs), but making allowance for limited use of OHVs on certain days on designated open, maintained roads on Jack Mountain WMA.
  • Amend prohibition of structures and personal property on WMAs to include prohibiting leaving any trail cameras or vehicles on a WMA, and allow a limited exception for trail cameras that have the owner’s name and address visibly and permanently affixed.
  • Revise prohibition for skiing on lakes owned or controlled by the Commission to include jet boats.
  • Revise prohibition for baiting or hunting over baited portions of WMAs to increase the penalty and delete exception for certain AGFC wildlife food areas.
  • Amend season restrictions during permit hunts on WMAs, including: allow certain other hunting seasons to remain open during the permit hunts on Buffalo National River, Bearcat Hollow, and Gene Rush WMAs.
  • Amend hunting season and limit restrictions for deer, bear, and wild turkey, including: establish open hunting seasons for Alum Fork Natural Area WMA in Saline County and Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area WMA in Benton and Carroll Counties.
  • Amend season dates, limit restrictions, and permit requirements for deer hunting on various WMAs, including: Bearcat Hollow, Lee Creek, Wedington, and White Rock WMAs; adjust dates for start and close of archery deer season on Dardanelle WMA affecting Johnson County Waterfowl Rest Area; remove current archery deer permit requirement for Maumelle River WMA; remove permit requirements for Disabled Veteran deer hunts at Warren Prairie and Longview Saline Natural Area WMAs; add youth deer permit hunts at Camp Robinson Special Use Area, Harold E. Alexander/Spring River, and Greers Ferry Lake WMAs; remove current firearm restriction for modern gun deer permit hunt and add muzzleloader deer permit hunt at Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA; and add muzzleloader deer permit hunt at Stone Prairie WMA.
  • Revise various regulations to remove existing designation for Ozark National Forest WMA and incorporate those lands into other adjoining cooperative WMAs. • Amend dog restrictions on WMAs to allow use of dogs for squirrel hunting after first 9 days of modern gun deer season on Bearcat Hollow WMA. • Delete restrictions for motorized vehicles on Commission-owned areas and consolidate with existing code for motorized vehicle restrictions on WMAs.
  • Revise dates for horse and mule restrictions on certain Commission-owned and leased land WMAs and require 30 days’ advance notice for large events to obtain a Special Use Permit.
  • Amend codes for Maumelle River WMA, including: allow camping in designated areas only; prohibit removal of certain objects from the WMA without a permit; remove current boating/lake hours and horsepower restrictions; and clarify kayak-use areas.
  • Establish dove permit requirements on certain WMAs, including: Camp Robinson Special Use Area; Dave Donaldson Black River; Shirey Bay/Rainey Brake; and Frog Bayou WMAs.
  • Amend archery tackle restrictions to prohibit the use of archery equipment capable of holding and/or firing more than one arrow or bolt in succession or simultaneously without re-cocking the device, and allow limited exception during modern gun seasons for bear, deer, elk, and turkey.
  • Amend existing firearms and weapons regulations to prohibit the use of blow guns and dart guns for hunting white-tailed deer, elk, bear, wild turkey or quail.
  • Amend deer hunting regulations to add certain deer zones (created during 2019-20 regulation cycle) and clarify language for private lands antlerless-only modern-gun hunt and exception for retrieving wounded deer. Also create opportunity for hunters to earn a 3rd buck tag (Conservation Buck Tag).
  • Revise tagging requirements for white-tailed deer and turkey to be properly tagged or checked immediately after harvest and before moving the animal.
  • Amend prohibition for hunting wildlife or possessing a killing device in a state or national park to provide an exception for parks that participate in the AGFC Deer Management Assistance Program with an approved deer management plan.
  • Increase fee for the Non-resident Guide Licenses for hunting and for fishing from $150 to $450.00.
  • Adopt prohibition for any holder of a Guide License to be guiding another person while the licensed guide is intoxicated or under the influence of any narcotic drug, barbiturate, or marijuana, with a Class 4 penalty for violation and suspension of hunting/fishing Guide Licenses as set forth in Codes 01.00-L and 01.00-K.

Wild Turkey

  • Increase penalty for violation of hunting wild turkey by the aid of baiting.
  • Amend season dates, limit restrictions, and permit requirements for turkey hunting on various WMAs, including: Beryl Anthony Lower Ouachita; Cut-Off Creek; Cypress Bayou; Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area; Dr. Lester Sitzes Bois D’Arc; Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA Deer Research Area - East Unit; Longview Saline Natural Area; McIlroy Madison County; Petit Jean River; Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain; Stone Prairie; Sylamore; Trusten Holder; and Warren Prairie WMAs.
  • Require a tag and notching system for turkey harvest.
  • Reduce the bag limit for turkey to one bird limit.

Bear

  • Amend bear season dates and limits, including: establish season framework for Bear Zones 3 and 4; modify archery and modern gun seasons for Bear Zones 1, 2, 5 and 5A; open bear archery season 10 days earlier in Bear Zones 1 and 2; and correct season dates for McIlroy Madison County WMA.
  • Amend restrictions for selling wildlife to allow exception for legally harvested bear hide, skull, and claws as items that may be sold.

Elk

  • Amend limit restrictions for elk hunting to reduce elk quotas, including number of public and private land elk tags.

Waterfowl

  • Revise prohibition for killing devices and ammunition for hunting migratory game birds to indicate that certain non-toxic shot requirements apply to migratory waterfowl hunting only and increase the penalty for violation.
  • Revise prohibition for use of non-toxic shot while hunting small game on certain WMAs to identify specific WMAs where it is unlawful to possess any shot other than federally-approved non-toxic shot while hunting migratory birds with shotguns.
  • Amend season dates, limit restrictions, and permit requirements for waterfowl hunting, including for: duck, coot, and merganser; Canada Goose; Snow, Blue and Ross’s Goose; and White-fronted Goose; adjust dates for special youth waterfowl hunting and veteran and active duty military waterfowl hunting; adjust dates for nonresident waterfowl hunting permit requirements on WMAs; and restrict White-fronted Goose season to 74 days to run concurrently with duck season and with a 3- bird bag limit.
  • Revise special usage restrictions on certain WMAs and lakes to extend “Common Restriction A” boat access restrictions to include the 7 days preceding the first day of the first segment of regular duck season; and include waterfowl hunting restrictions on Bell Slough, Ed Gordon Point Remove, Frog Bayou, Galla Creek, and Ozark Lake (Dyer Lake Unit) WMAs.
  • Amend boat motor restrictions on certain WMAs to require all boats on “Common Restriction A” WMAs to operate only with motors that have factory exhaust systems 5 in place effective for the 2023-24 duck season. Outboard motors must not be ported to allow exhaust to evacuate above the water line at any point during operation.

Endangered Species / Captive Wildlife

  • Amend Endangered Species List to add and remove various species, including: add Red Knot and Black Rail birds; revise Red-cockaded Woodpecker name; and remove Sprague’s Pipit and Magazine Mountain shagreen snail.
  • Revise Commercial Wildlife Hunting Resort Permit requirements, including remove current prohibition for hunting black bear at a permitted commercial wildlife hunting resort.
  • Amend Wildlife Importation Permit requirements, including: clarify this permit is necessary for import of native aquatic turtles and alligators; require disease testing and control measures; allow wildlife to be transported through Arkansas as part of interstate commerce without having to obtain a permit; and require that animals must comply with requirements for proper cages, enclosures, pens, and security, and be kept in humane and healthy conditions.
  • Revise provisions prohibiting possession of certain wildlife in captivity and relocate various provisions to other captive wildlife codes for clarity.
  • Amend restrictions for possession of captive non-native wildlife to indicate requirements for possession of non-native wildlife pets and mirror existing exemptions found elsewhere in the Code Book.
  • Amend existing captive wildlife possession requirements and permits to allow ratites (ostriches, emus, and rheas) to be kept in uncovered pens. Also include provisions authorizing special conditions to permits (Commercial Wildlife Hunting Resort, Game Bird Shooting Resort, Wildlife Breeder/Dealer, Wildlife Importation, Wildlife Rehabilitation, and Venomous Reptile Permits) when deemed necessary by the Commission.
  • Revise Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit requirements, including: prohibit renewal of a permit for species on the Prohibited Captive Wildlife Species list if a current permit holder has not had any of those species in possession for more than one year; require that wildlife shall not leave the facility except upon sale, for veterinary care, or for exhibition; require that animals being exhibited must comply with requirements for proper cages, enclosures, pens, and security; allow accredited members of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to keep large carnivores in exercise areas overnight; and prohibit permit holders with species included on the Prohibited Captive Wildlife Species List from selling to anyone in Arkansas that doesn’t already possess such a permit or to those outside of Arkansas.
  • Amend Game Bird Shooting Resort Permit requirements to remove captive-reared mallards from current list of species that may be released for hunting purposes, and allow limited exceptions for retriever training and field trial events.
  • Amend prohibition for release of certain wildlife and requirements for Depredation Permits and Wildlife Rehabilitation Permits to restrict release of nuisance wildlife onto private land in the county of capture or adjacent to the county of capture.
  • Amend requirements for certain captive wildlife permits to require a permit holder that does not renew his or her permit to have all remaining stock of animals that cannot be kept in accordance with applicable native or non-native pet regulations either sold to a legal buyer or euthanized prior to permit expiration.
  • Amend restrictions for possessing native wildlife as pets to remove bobcat, coyote, gray fox, and red fox from current list of native species that may be captured by hand in the wild and kept as pets.
  • Revise the Unrestricted, Permitted, and Prohibited Captive Wildlife Species Lists (Addenda R1.01, R1.02, and R1.03), reorganize by species types, and add new species to each of these lists. Also amend the Prohibited Captive Wildlife Species List bird selection to prohibit waterfowl without exceptions.
  • Amend restrictions for bird dog training and retrieving dog training, and establish requirements for a Shoot-to-Kill Bird Dog Training Permit and a Game Bird Shoot-to-Kill Permit, including existing dog training restrictions and restrict the number of birds that may be kept at any one time to 100.
  • Amend Conservation Education Permit requirements, including: require inspection of wildlife, facilities, books and records; and authorize immediate relocation of wildlife that is being given improper care or being kept in inhumane or unhealthy conditions.
  • Amend Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit requirements, including: clarify landowner permission needed for all release sites; and require record keeping of the name and phone number of individuals submitting animals for rehab.
  • Amend requirements for Falconry Permit to comply with federal falconry regulations required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Chronic Wasting Disease

  • Amend CWD Management Zone description, including: change status of Searcy County from a Tier 2 to Tier 1 and implement carcass movement restriction; add Ashley, Bradley, Randolph, and Union Counties to the Zone, each with Tier 2 status; and include new management requirements from the 2021-2025 CWD Management and Responsive Plan.
  • Amend restrictions for deer season and limits, including revise harvest definitions within Ashley, Bradley and Union County portions of Deer Zone 12, and within Randolph County portion of Deer Zone 4.
  • Amend restrictions for deer season and limits on WMAs, including revise harvest definitions for Robert L. Hankins Mud Creek WMA within Randolph County portion of Deer Zone 4 and Beryl Anthony Lower Ouachita WMA within Ashley and Union County portions of Deer Zone 12.

2. General Fishing Regulations – Propose miscellaneous fishing regulations, including, but not limited to:

  • Define “Game Fish Parts” in the Definition of Terms.
  • Establish that it is illegal to use “game fish parts” (which includes eggs and milt) and add an exception that commercially-prepared (i.e., cured) trout eggs will be allowed.
  • Remove War Memorial Park Pond from the Family and Community Fishing Program Restrictions.

Sportfish

  • Reinstate statewide crappie regulations on Bois d’Arc Lake.
  • Implement catch and release only for all sportfish in Lake Monticello, including all creeks and ponds in its lakebed.
  • Implement 13-inch minimum length limit for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass and remove length limit for Spotted Bass on Lake Norfork.
  • Increase the Lake Poinsett daily creel of Bream to the statewide limit of 50.
  • Remove 13-16-inch slot length limit regulation for harvest of Largemouth Bass from Sugar Loaf Lake.
  • Implement 10-inch minimum length limit for Crappie at Lake Erling.

Commercial Fishing

  • Clarify that gill and trammel nets are the only legal commercial fishing gear on Horseshoe Lake (Crittenden County).
  • Establish special commercial fishing season on Long Slough Lake (Miller County), open noon November 1 until noon February 28 regardless of Sulphur River water level.
  • Remove slat traps as a legal form of gear for fishing on Millwood Lake.

Non- Sportfish

  • Require certain baitfish collection devices to be clearly labeled, in a durable manner.
  • Allow recreational harvest of common snapping turtles and softshell turtles for personal consumption with a combined limit of six animals harvested per day.
  • Create a new regulation specific to crayfish to establish harvest restrictions and type of gear that can be used to legally take crayfish, and close certain waters to harvest, including Eleven Point, South Fork Spring, Spring, and Strawberry Rivers.

Invasive Species

  • Prohibit possession of invasive aquatic plant species on properties owned, managed, or controlled by the Commission.
  • Add exception for possession of White Perch and Yellow Perch, and add White Perch and Marbled Crayfish to the list of Prohibited Species.
  • Remove regulation for Transportation of Zebra Mussels Prohibited.
  • Amend prohibition for possession of certain live carp to add exceptions for Silver Carp, Bighead Carp, and Black Carp to be possessed with a valid Conditional and/or Unlisted Species Permit.

3. Procedure for Conducting Commission Business - Amend existing internal procedure for conducting Commission business to delete requirement that a minimum of two Commissioners must be physically present in a meeting room at the time of a Commission meeting, and permit all Commissioners to participate in public meetings conducted by way of telephone or video conference.

 

All persons wishing to be heard on these subjects should submit comments in writing to this office before the start of the May 19, 2022 meeting (preferably by 4:30 p.m. on the day before). Any request to make an oral presentation at the meeting should be submitted in writing to this office on or before May 9, 2022. Copies of any proposed rules or regulations may be obtained at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission main office and at www.agfc.com, or through a written request mailed to the address below.

AUSTIN BOOTH, DIRECTOR
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Game & Fish Commission Building
2 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205