To Protect Duck Habitats, Arkansas Modifications Water Administration for Wildlife Areas


The Arkansas Sport & Fish Fee on Thursday introduced main modifications to the way it manages water in inexperienced tree reservoirs in wildlife administration areas, a transfer geared toward long-term preservation with an unsure impression on the state’s duck searching trade. 

Issues over timber well being at reservoirs on the Bayou Meto Wildlife Administration Space have led the company to decrease the imply sea stage from 180 to 179 this searching season, fee Director Austin Sales space stated in a information convention. The imply sea stage will probably be lowered to 178.5 subsequent searching season.

The company may also go away a water management construction open at Glaise Creek to finish the bogus containment of water on the Hurricane Lake Wildlife Administration Space, the place large swaths of bushes have died lately underneath stress from excessive water.

Moreover, the company will enable water to rise and fall naturally on the Thompson Tract of the Bayou DeView Wildlife Administration Space to assist the forest regenerate.

The purpose is to guard oak bushes and protect duck habitats, nevertheless it might have an effect on entry and navigation of the areas and cut back acreage out there to waterfowl hunters.

Sales space stated he mentioned the measures with a searching clothes shop who stated they’d harm him financially over the following few years however finally preserve his enterprise alive.

“As Arkansas waterfowlers, what’s extra vital to us? Is it our short-term success in duck season?” Sales space stated on the information convention. “Or is it the long-term curiosity of the sources, in order that little boys and little women can fall in love with Bayou Meto and flooded timber the identical means that I’ve? And while you have a look at it by way of that lens … this useful resource that this state is understood worldwide for is price defending and it’s price saving. Even when we have now to do laborious issues now to do it.”

Looking season is a boon for communities surrounding the wildlife administration areas. Stuttgart, which is situated close to the 33,000-acre Bayou Meto, as soon as estimated that it generates $1 million per day for the native financial system.

Fee spokesperson Spencer Griffith stated it’s tough to foretell how the preservation measures will have an effect on hunters and the communities that present them with gear, lodging and eating.

The company is working to forestall a dropoff this season by maintaining hunters knowledgeable about water ranges to allow them to plan forward. Officers have additionally reached out to native chambers of commerce in regards to the modifications.

Looking participation in Arkansas rebounded through the COVID-19 pandemic final season after a decade of decline, in line with Griffith.

The Sport & Fish Fee’s push for sustainable recreation comes after it recognized circumstances at Bayou Meto comparable to people who for years preceded the die-off at Hurricane Lake.

“The purpose with Bayou Meto is to forestall Bayou Meto from turning into Hurricane,” Sales space stated. “We aren’t pulling the plug on inexperienced tree reservoirs and the searching expertise that it has introduced Arkansans for years and years and years … We’re doubling down on them. As a result of to make sure that these GTRs are round for the following technology of Arkansans, the time to behave is now.”

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