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Archive for July, 2012

Smith Lake’s bass population, health and status will be the topic of a public meeting July 30 in Jasper.

The Alabama lake is located between Jasper and Cullman. Popular with recreational boaters, it also attracts anglers for the spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass and crappie. At one time, the world record spotted bass came from Smith Lake. Smith Lake spots also were released in California as part of a wildlife partnership between the two states.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the activity room of the Community Health Systems Building at 204 19th Street East, Jasper, Ala. It will be supervised by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The public is encouraged to participate and all are welcome to attend.

Additional meeting topics include population trends, bass management goals, regulations, and the possible use of bass length limit exemptions for tournaments. Biologists with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries recently completed surveys of largemouth and Alabama spotted bass populations at Lewis Smith Reservoir and will discuss their most up-to-date findings.

A 13- to 15-inch protective slot limit for largemouth and Alabama spotted bass has been in effect on the lake since 2005. The 21,200-acre reservoir is a clear water lake with an abundance of rocky substrate and deep channels that provide great habitat for Alabama spotted bass.

For additional information concerning directions, contact the Walker County Chamber of Commerce at (205) -384-4571; other questions regarding the public meeting may be directed to Jay Haffner, District III Fisheries Supervisor, at (205) 339-5716.

 

ADCNR is committed to providing access to this meeting for all participants. Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in this meeting should contact Jay Haffner at 205-339-5716 or by email at jay.haffner@dcnr.alabama.gov. In order to allow sufficient time to process requests, please contact us for assistance by 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, 2012.

 

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Waterfowl hunters, rejoice: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has posted its proposed dates for duck and goose season.

One big note for non-resident hunters: The commission was presented a proposal to increase the cost of the non-resident Arkansas Waterfowl Stamp from $20 to $35 and the non-resident five-day WMA waterfowl hunting permit from $10 to $25. That’s an extra $25 if both of those are approved.

Considering millions of hunters visit Arkansas each year for waterfowl season, that’s a nice chunk of money.

Remember, these are proposals. But they’ll probably stick. We’ll keep you updated on final dates or changes, which will be made at the August AGFC meeting.

Proposed duck season date:
Nov. 17-Nov. 25
Dec. 6-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 27
Youth Hunt: Feb. 2-3

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

Early migratory bird season dates:

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 1-Oct. 25 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9

Teal Season
Sept. 8-23

Rail Season
Sept. 8-Nov. 16

Woodcock Season
Nov. 3-Dec. 17

Common Snipe Season
Nov. 1-Feb. 15

Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season
Sept. 1-Nov. 9

Early Canada Goose Season
Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Sept. 22-Oct. 1

Other Proposals

According to the AGFC communications release, the commission also heard a proposed plan to remove permanent blinds on St. Francis Sunken Lands and Big Lake wildlife management areas in northeast Arkansas. The commission will vote on the blind removal proposal at its August meeting. Each person claiming a blind and would like to remove it, will be required to secure a blind removal permit. The permit will allow for specific vehicles and equipment to be utilized in the removal process. The proposed permit states that no habitat degradation will be allowed. If approved in August, blind removal could begin Sept. 1 and end Oct. 14. On Oct. 15, AGFC personnel will remove all remaining blinds.

There are 128 blinds on St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA and 98 blinds on Big Lake WMA.

Other recommended proposals for the state’s public hunting land were:

  • Allowing all day hunting on Corps of Engineers land outside Lloyd Millwood Greentree Reservoir in the Lake Nimrod WMA.
  • Prohibiting surface-drive motors of more than 36 horsepower on the state’s WMAs.
  • Increase the non-resident Arkansas Waterfowl Stamp from $20 to $35 and the non-resident five-day WMA waterfowl hunting permit from $10 to $25.
  • Allow all day waterfowl hunting on private land inside the levee of St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA during waterfowl season. The proposal excludes inholdings in the WMA.

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Gregory M. Lein has been appointed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as the new director of the State Parks Division.

Greg Lein

Lein replaces Mark Easterwood, who retired as Alabama State Parks Director in late 2011. Lein is a native of Huntsville and attended Auburn University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Most recently he served as assistant director of Alabama State Lands, also a division of ADCNR, where he was heavily involved in managing the Forever Wild Land Trust Program.

Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. said Lein’s selection is a reflection of his adept managerial and leadership skills.

“Greg is a diligent, enthusiastic leader in our Department,” Guy said. “Under his guidance, Forever Wild and other programs have flourished. I have no doubt he will bring those same skills to the Parks Director position.”

Lein said outdoor recreation, the heart of the Alabama State Parks mission, is something very important to him.

“My interests in conservation and outdoor recreation stem from childhood experiences on the family farm, the Boy Scouts, youth programs within the YMCA and the United Methodist Church, and the backdrop of Monte Sano and Green Mountain where I was raised,” he said. “I enjoy camping, backpacking, birding, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, gardening, fishing and hunting.

“I firmly believe my personal interests and career choice are a result of my youthful adventures in the outdoors and access to public lands such as Monte Sano State Park and many of Alabama’s waterways,” he added. “Access to our nation’s natural resources is part of our identity as Americans. I believe that the stewardship of these natural resources and the access we provide the public within our State Parks is a very important mission, and one I am honored to lead with our Parks’ employees.”

The Alabama State Parks system is comprised of 22 parks. Facilities range from resort parks with lodges and golf courses to smaller day-use parks. Most offer camping and other recreational opportunities.

Source: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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