Rules changes for 2009 are minor and mostly local

LITTLE ROCK, Ar (AGFC) - Each year in Arkansas, rules for fishing include some changes as managers adjust and fine-tune the resource, those fish so many Arkansas love to go after.

One change this year affects yo-yo and snagline fisherman. Now they can only use wood or cane poles poked into a lake bottom to anchor yo-yos and snaglines. What the new rule did not say was what is significant. It means you can't use metal poles for this purpose.

One other statewide rule change is the rule on how to measure a fish received the additional words "on its side." You measure a fish's length from the top of the nose to the tip of the tail with the tail's lobes pressed together. And you do it with the fish lying on its side, not upright.

The other new rules in condensed form:

  • Live wild-caught bait can be used on Lake Norfork if the bait was caught "from the watershed above Lake Norfolk" as well as from the lake itself.
  • A 14-inch minimum length limit was placed on largemouth bass on the Ouachita River from Tate's Bluff near Camden to Felsenthal Dam and on the lower Saline River from Stillion Bridge to its mouth.
  • A 20-inch minimum length limit was placed on flathead catfish in the lower Ouachita River between the mouth of the Little Missouri River and Camden. The rule is for both commercial and recreational fishing.
  • The boundary was clarified for the Narrows Tailwater Trout Area of the Little Missouri River below Lake Greeson. The boundary is now the Muddy Fork Road bridge at Murfreesboro.
  • A 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass on Lake Jack Nolen near Greenwood was removed, and the daily limit recorded from 10 to six.
  • Snaglines must be checked daily. The term was added to the rule on daily checks of trotlines.
  • Regulations on trout fishing boundaries on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam and Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam were changed to read :"as indicated by signs."
  • A 24-inch minimum length limit and a daily limit of one was put on brown trout on the white River below Bull Shoals Dam and on the North Fork River below Norfolk Dam.
  • Entergy Park Pond at Hot Springs was added to the AGFC's Family and Community Fishing Program.
  • Fish farmers must keep records of sales and shipments for at least three years.
  • Shovelnose sturgeon were added to the list of Arkansas sport fish. There is no daily limit on them.
  • The boundary of the White River Border Lake area was changed to Houseman Access.
  • Hogging and noodling of fish (catching them by hand) will be allowed on Lake Charles and the Strawberry River below U.S. Highway 167.
  • Ten blue catfish may be taken on Lake Millwood in southwest Arkansas in addition to the daily limit of 10 catfish of all species, due to an overpopulation of blues in the lake.
  • Mobility impaired anglers must have a mobility impaired card on them when they fish Dry Run Creek in Baxter County near Norfolk Dam.