Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

East End, AR, United States

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

East End, AR, United States
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News Article | May 9, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Sportsman Solutions ("Sovereign") announces its partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ("AGFC") for Sovereign to serve as the agency's exclusive provider and issuer of online and retail hunting and fishing licenses and permits. In addition, Sovereign will oversee all associated harvest reporting, system administration, back office functionality, and all internal reporting solutions. "We were thrilled last year to partner with AGFC in the development and implementation of their new statewide next-generation licensing and marketing solutions platform, and we applaud their forward-thinking and tech-savvy leadership," Sovereign's CEO Eric Richey said. "Further, we look forward to continuing to provide new and innovative solutions and services to the agency for years to come that benefit both sportsmen and women choosing to spend their time in the great Arkansas outdoors."

Beatty W.S.,University of Missouri | Kesler D.C.,University of Missouri | Webb E.B.,U.S. Geological Survey | Naylor L.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission | Humburg D.D.,Ducks Unlimited
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

The principal goal of protected area networks is biodiversity preservation, but efficacy of such networks is directly linked to animal movement within and outside area boundaries. We examined wetland selection patterns of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) during non-breeding periods from 2010 to 2012 to evaluate the utility of protected areas to migratory waterfowl in North America. We tracked 33 adult females using global positioning system (GPS) satellite transmitters and implemented a use-availability resource selection design to examine mallard use of wetlands under varying degrees of protection. Specifically, we examined effects of proximities to National Wildlife Refuges, private land, state wildlife management areas, Wetland Reserve Program easements (WRP), and waterfowl sanctuaries on mallard wetland selection. In addition, we included landscape-level variables that measured areas of sanctuary and WRP within the surrounding landscape of each used and available wetland. We developed 8 wetland selection models according to season (autumn migration, winter, spring migration), hunting season (present, absent), and time period (diurnal, nocturnal). Model averaged parameter estimates indicated wetland selection patterns varied across seasons and time periods, but ducks consistently selected wetlands with greater areas of sanctuary and WRP in the surrounding landscape. Consequently, WRP has the potential to supplement protected area networks in the midcontinent region. Additionally, seasonal variation in wetland selection patterns indicated considering the effects of habitat management and anthropogenic disturbances on migratory waterfowl during the non-breeding period is essential in designing protected area networks. © 2014.

Beatty W.S.,University of Missouri | Webb E.B.,Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit | Kesler D.C.,University of Missouri | Naylor L.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission | Humburg D.D.,Ducks Unlimited
Landscape Ecology | Year: 2014

Previous studies that evaluated effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on migratory waterbird distributions were spatially limited and temporally restricted to one major life-history phase. However, effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on long-distance migratory waterbirds can be studied across the annual cycle using new technologies, including global positioning system satellite transmitters. We used Bayesian discrete choice models to examine the influence of local habitats and landscape composition on habitat selection by a generalist dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), in the midcontinent of North America during the non-breeding period. Using a previously published empirical movement metric, we separated the non-breeding period into three seasons, including autumn migration, winter, and spring migration. We defined spatial scales based on movement patterns such that movements >0.25 and <30.00 km were classified as local scale and movements >30.00 km were classified as relocation scale. Habitat selection at the local scale was generally influenced by local and landscape-level variables across all seasons. Variables in top models at the local scale included proximities to cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland. Similarly, variables associated with area of cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland were also included at the local scale. At the relocation scale, mallards selected resource units based on more generalized variables, including proximity to wetlands and total wetland area. Our results emphasize the role of landscape composition in waterbird habitat selection and provide further support for local wetland landscapes to be considered functional units of waterbird conservation and management. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Clark J.D.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Eastridge R.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission | Eastridge R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Hooker M.J.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

We live-trapped American black bears (Ursus americanus) and sampled DNA from hair at White River National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas, USA, to estimate annual population size (N), growth (λ), and density. We estimated N and λ with open population models, based on live-trapping data collected from 1998 through 2006, and robust design models for genotyped hair samples collected from 2004 through 2007. Population growth was weakly negative (i.e., 95 CI included 1.0) for males (0.901, 95 CI 0.6451.156) and strongly negative (i.e., 95 CI excluded 1.0) for females (0.846, 95 CI 0.7110.981), based on live-trapping data, with N from 1999 to 2006 ranging from 94.1 (95 CI 70.3137.1) to 45.2 (95 CI 27.1109.3), respectively, for males and from 151.4 (95 CI 127.6185.8) to 47.1 (95 CI 24.4140.4), respectively, for females. Likewise, mean annual λ based on hair-sampling data was weakly negative for males (0.742, 95 CI 0.0431.441) and strongly negative for females (0.782, 95 CI 0.6610.903), with abundance estimates from 2004 to 2007 ranging from 29.1 (95 CI 21.265.8) to 11.9 (95 CI 11.026.9), respectively, for males and from 54.4 (95 CI 44.377.1) to 27.4 (95 CI 24.936.6), respectively, for females. We attribute the decline in the number of females in this isolated population to a decrease in survival caused by a past translocation program and by hunting adjacent to the refuge. We suggest that managers restructure the quota-based harvest limits until these growth rates recover. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.

Quinn J.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2010

Bowfishing is an understudied method of fishing that appears to be legal throughout the United States. Therefore, species composition and harvest rates were determined at six bowfishing tournaments held in Arkansas at the lower White River, the Arkansas River at Lake Dardanelle, the Arkansas River at Piney Bay, Lake DeGray, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Ouachita between July 1999 and May 2000. A total of 3,280 fish were harvested at the six tournaments; of this total, 2,751 fish representing 19 species were identified. Total harvest per tournament ranged from 179 to 1,674 fish and from 6 to 12 species. Mean (±SD) harvest rate for tournament participants was 3.8 ± 1.1 fish/h; among tournament winners, the harvest rate was 7.7 ± 2.8 fish/h, which appears high compared with other sport fisheries (range = 0.28-2.59 fish/h). Five species accounted for 84% of fish harvested: spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus, common carp Cyprinus carpio, shortnose gar L. platostomus, spotted sucker Minytrema melanops, and smallmouth buffalo Ictiobus bubalus. Rank number of each species harvested at the tournaments was correlated (P < 0.05) for only 4 of 15 pairwise comparisons, which suggests that harvest often varies by tournament. Tournaments held at the Arkansas and White rivers had correlated harvest, as did spring tournaments held at the Ouachita River drainage reservoirs (i.e., Lake DeGray and Lake Ouachita). Harvest of fish smaller than published size-at-maturity estimates was generally not problematic but appeared to be of greatest concern for smaller-bodied catostomid species. This study indicates that tournament bowfishers have higher harvest rates than traditional rod-and-reel anglers. Results of this survey should provide baseline information that may assist natural resource agencies with management of bowfishing. © Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2010.

Quinn J.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission | Kwak T.J.,U.S. Geological Survey
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2011

We evaluated the movement of adult brown trout Salmo trutta and rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in relation to a catch-andrelease area in the White River downstream from Beaver Dam, Arkansas. Nine fish of each species were implanted with radio transmitters and monitored from July 1996 to July 1997. The 1.5- km river length of a catch-and-release area (closed to angler harvest) was greater than the total linear range of 72% of the trout (13 of 18 fish), but it did not include two brown trout spawning riffles, suggesting that it effectively protects resident fish within the catch-and-release area except during spawning. The total detected linear range of movement varied from 172 to 3,559 m for brown trout and from 205 to 3,023mfor rainbow trout. The movements of both species appeared to be generally similar to that in unregulated river systems. The annual apparent survival of both trout species was less than 0.40, and exploitation was 44%.Management to protect fish on spawning riffles may be considered if management for wild brown trout becomes a priority. © American Fisheries Society 2011.

Krementz D.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Asante K.,University of Arkansas | Naylor L.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2011

We used satellite telemetry to document spring migration phenology, routes, stopover regions, and nesting sites of mallards Anas platyrhynchos marked in Arkansas during the winters of 2004-2007. Of the 143 marked mallards that migrated from Arkansas, they did so, on average, by mid-March. Mallards flew over the Missouri Ozarks and 42% made an initial stopover in Missouri, where they used areas that had larger rivers (Mississippi River, Missouri River) embedded in an agricultural landscape. From this stopover region they either migrated directly to the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) or they migrated north to Minnesota where they either moved next to the PPR or to the north and east of the PPR. For those mallards (83%) that stopped for >1 d before entering the PPR, the average length at each stop was 12 d (SE = 0.90 d, range = 2-54 d). Mallards made more stopovers, made shorter migration movements, and took longer to move to the PPR in wetter than drier years. Mallards arrived in the PPR earlier in 2006 (x = 30 March, SE = 2.18 d) than in 2005 (x = 7 April, SE = 2.30 d). Females nested across nine Bird Conservation Regions. Nesting occurred most frequently in South Dakota (n = 9). The average date when females nested was 19 April (SE = 2.44 d, range = 12 March-26 May). Because many mallards headed for the large river corridors in Missouri for their first stopover, this region is an important spring migration stopover of continental importance to mallards and might be considered a focal area for conservation.

Krementz D.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Asante K.,University of Arkansas | Naylor L.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2012

We used satellite telemetry to study autumn migration timing, routes, stopover duration, and final destinations of mallards Anas platyrhynchos captured the previous spring in Arkansas from 2004 to 2007. Of those mallards that still had functioning transmitters on September 15 (n = 55), the average date when autumn migration began was October 23 (SE = 2.62 d; range = September 17-December 7). For those mallards that stopped for.1 d during migration, the average stopover length was 15.4 d (SE = 1.47 d). Ten mallards migrated nonstop to wintering sites. The eastern Dakotas were a heavily utilized stopover area. The total distance migrated per mallard averaged 1,407 km (SE = 89.55 km; range = 142-2,947 km). The average time spent on migration per individual between September 15 and December 15 was 27 d (SE = 2.88 d; range = 2-84 d). The state where most mallards were located on December 15 was Missouri (11) followed by Arkansas (8), while 5 mallards were still in Canada, and only 8 of 43 females and 0 of 10 males were present in Arkansas. The eastern Dakotas are a heavily utilized migration stopover for midcontinent mallards that may require more attention for migration habitat management. The reasons for so few mallards, especially male mallards, returning to Arkansas the following year deserves further research.

Kissell Jr. R.E.,University of Arkansas at Monticello | Nimmo S.K.,University of Arkansas at Monticello | Nimmo S.K.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Wildlife Biology | Year: 2011

Aerial infrared imagery is used increasingly in eastern North America to provide population counts of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus because of the increased probability of detection compared to visual methods. To date, most work using infrared technology has been conducted using imagery from Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR). Methods have produced counts, but density or population estimates have not been forthcoming because of problems with methodology and automation. Using standard photogrammetry techniques, Vertical-Looking Infrared (VLIR) data, GIS and distance sampling, we describe a method for estimating density. We estimated deer density in four bottomland hardwood sites in Arkansas, USA, with distance sampling using VLIR data and assessed the probability of detection of deer identified in the imagery. Uniform models were selected as the best representative models for each site, and probability of detection was similar (x? = 0.95 ± 0.05 SE) across sites. Distance sampling used in conjunction with VLIR data may provide estimates of ungulate populations in ecosystems of deciduous hardwoods with little topographic relief. © Wildlife Biology, NKV.

Quinn J.W.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission | Andrews D.,Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2016

Stocking is the primary fisheries management tool used to enhance fisheries for Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus throughout the United States, but the technique has not been thoroughly evaluated for large reservoirs (e.g., >5,000 ha) and small rivers. We compared angler return rates of catchable-sized fish (316-456 mm TL) stocked in 16 water bodies of three types: large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) lakes (5,425–18,381 ha), Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) lakes (81–2,716 ha), and small rivers. We tagged and stocked 400–500 fish per water body with standard Carlin dangler reward tags (US$10–$100), and 10 fish per water body were stocked with a $100 high-reward tag to assess nonreporting. A total of 1,210 anglers reported catching 1,964 of the 6,800 fish (29%) stocked with standard tags. Anglers reported catching 82 of the 160 high-reward fish (51%). The 95% CI around the mean angler reporting rate was 0.61 ± 0.14. The mean adjusted 3-year return rate ± SD among stockings was 0.59 ± 0.26, and AGFC lakes had higher return rates than COE lakes or rivers. Anglers with the greatest reported catch on average caught 12 fish. Nearly all fish stocked were caught at three AGFC lakes, so the management of these fisheries may benefit from periodic population assessments. This study provides evidence that 3-year return rates for put-and-take Channel Catfish fisheries in large reservoirs and streams can approach or exceed 0.70. However, return rates were highly variable within and among water body types, which indicated stocking rates should be determined for each water body. © American Fisheries Society 2016.

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