Commission approves early migratory season

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's time to pull the shotgun out of the gun case and give it a good cleaning. Commissioners from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently approved the early migratory bird seasons for 2010-11.

Season dates are:

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove - Sept. 4 to Oct. 19 and Dec. 11 to Jan. 5, 2011.

Teal - Sept. 11 -- Sept. 26.

Rail - Sept. 11 -- Nov. 19.

Woodcock -Nov. 6 -- Dec. 20.

Common Snipe - Nov. 1 -- Feb. 15.

Purple Gallinule - Sept. 1 -- Nov. 9.

Common Moorhen - Sept. 1 -- Nov. 9.

Early Canada Goose Statewide - Sept. 1 -- Sept. 15.

Northwest Canada Goose - Sept. 25 -- Oct. 4.

Biologists also presented the proposed late migratory bird seasons for 2010-2011, including several proposals for duck season.

AGFC Wildlife Assistant Chief Ricky Chastain said habitat conditions for breeding waterfowl this spring were similar to 2009 in much of the U.S. and Canada. "The Canadian prairie ponds were up 5 percent from 2009 and 9 percent above the long-term average," Chastain explained. "Total duck abundance is estimated at almost 41 million -- a 3 percent decrease from 2009 but 21 percent above the long-term average," he added.

Based on this year's survey results of 8.6 million mid-continent mallards and 3.7 million ponds in Prairie Canada, Chastain said the prescribed regulatory option for the Mississippi Flyway is the liberal package. "We've already been advised from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that we'll have a 60-day season," he said.

Season options are:

Option 1:

Nov. 20 (Saturday) -- Nov. 28 (Sunday).

Dec. 9 (Thursday) -- Dec. 23 (Thursday).

Dec. 26 (Sunday) -- Jan. 30 (Sunday).

Option 2:

Nov. 25 (Thurs) -- Dec. 5 (Sunday).

Dec. 11 (Saturday) -- Dec. 23 (Thursday) Dec. 26 (Sunday) -- Jan. 30 (Sunday).

Option 3:

Nov. 20 (Saturday) -- Nov. 28 (Sunday).

Dec. 7 (Tuesday) -- Jan. 17 (Monday).

Jan. 22 (Saturday) -- Jan. 30 (Sunday).

Youth Waterfowl Hunt:

Dec. 4-5 or Feb. 6-7.

The late migratory bird season dates will be approved at the August commission meeting.

In other business, the Commission:

*Approved an agreement between the AGFC and Central Arkansas Water for a one year license agreement for management and regulation of fish and wildlife on the new Maumelle River WMA.

*Approved the purchase of nine acres along Crooked Creek in Marion County. The cost of the property is $12,000.

*Recognized several AGFC wildlife officers for their efforts in saving lives and for the difficult task they performed during this year's deadly flood at the Albert Pike Campground.

*Honored three individuals with the Campbell Award. The Campbell Award is a $5,000 payment presented to the three Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Employees of the Year. The Campbell Award originated with Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Craig Campbell to honor his grandfather, a former AGFC commissioner, and his father, a great outdoorsman. The award will be funded through a trust and will be bestowed annually. The three employees were: Greg Rae, Amanda Riggs and Craig Uyeda.

*Approved the first reading of the proposed fishing regulations for 2011.

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