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AG&FC approves Bayou Meto general use permit

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LITTLE ROCK – Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today approved a regulation requiring all users to sign a permit and have it in their immediate possession while participating in any hunting-, fishing- or boating-related activity on Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. The permit is free and can be found in the AGFC’s 2015-16 Waterfowl Hunting Guidebook or on the agency’s web site at www.agfc.com.

The regulation is in response to concerns involving reckless operation of boats on the WMA. With the exception of meeting oncoming boats, all boating traffic on the WMA must proceed in single-file with no passing allowed, except when boats have exited the current direction of travel or are no longer under power. All boating traffic on the WMA must maintain a minimum distance of 50 feet (approximately three-boat lengths) between boats proceeding in the same direction of travel. Hazardous and negligent boating activity is strictly prohibited and conviction can include points assessed toward revocation of a license and a one-year ban from the WMA where the violation occurred.

In other business, the Commission:

*Authorized AGFC Director Mike Knoedl to enter into a site agreement with the City of Springdale and the Springdale Water and Sewer Commission. The land is located south of Wagon Wheel Road and east of Interstate 49 near North 40th Street. The site will be the location of the planned AGFC Northwest Arkansas Education Center. The agreement also allows for the option of building a combined or separate AGFC regional office.

*Deauthorized a land exchange with the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center.

*Approved a pricing revision proposal from Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc. to charge $10 for the replacement of hunting, boating and bow hunter education cards. The program will begin Jan. 1, 2016.

*Renamed two lakes on Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Wildlife Management Area. The two lakes will now be known as South Fork Lake and Terre Noire Lake.

*Relinquished a surface lease on Calion Lake in Union County. The AGFC will continue to provide fisheries management in the lake. The leasehold interest will revert back to Union County ownership.

*Approved a capital equipment expenditure in the amount of just over $1.8 million.

*Confirmed that spring 2016 turkey season will be open for 18 days and open April 16. The spring turkey youth hunt will be April 9-10.

*Honored 26 employees for their combined 561 years of service to the AGFC.