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Commission approves new turtle harvest regulations

BY Randy Zellers

ON 11-15-2018


Nov. 15, 2018

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved new regulations today to regulate and more closely monitor the commercial harvest of aquatic turtles in Arkansas. The following regulations will be effective Jan. 1, 2019:

The approved regulations changes are:

  • To cap the sale of annual commercial turtle harvest-related permit holders to 150 per year for 2019-2021;
  • Require submission of at least one report per harvester per year in order to renew a commercial harvester or dealer permit;
  • Close the Gulf Coastal Plain to commercial aquatic turtle harvest;
  • Close the St. Francis River in Greene and Clay counties to commercial aquatic turtle harvest;
  • Prohibit the harvest of razorback musk turtles, and
  • Clarify that anyone holding wild caught aquatic turtles for commercial transfer purposes must have an Aquatic Turtle Dealer Permit.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Recognized Mike and Kay Breedlove of Shikar-Safari International and their presentation bestowing the organization’s annual Arkansas Wildlife Officer of the Year Award to Wildlife Officer Supervisor Keith Eaton of Lonoke County.
  • Authorized AGFC Director Pat Fitts to enter into a purchase agreement for 0.53 acres adjacent to Lake Elmdale in Washington County to complete work essential to repair the lake’s spillway discharge, which was damaged by extensive flooding in 2017.
  • Authorized an increase of $260,381 to the previously approved marine fuel tax project of the McCallie Access to the Mississippi River in Desha County. The project will include construction of two boat ramps and parking areas to accommodate boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River in southeast Arkansas. The overall cost of the MFT project is $1,318,000.
  • Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $488,104.65 and a current net book value of $117,780.29.

A video of the meeting is available at

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