Boat motor restrictions on WMAs proposed

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AGFC) - Several proposals to limit the use of boat motors on various wildlife management areas are under consideration by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Motors currently are limited by regulation to 25 horsepower or less on four management areas - Bayou Meto, Dr. Lester Sizes III Bois d'Arc, Shirey Bay Rainey Brake and Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek. At the Aug. 24 meeting, Commissioners considered a proposal from the AGFC wildlife staff to extend the 25-horsepower limit to include Bell Slough, Beryl Anthony Lower Ouachita, Choctaw Island, Cut-Off Creek, Cypress Bayou, Ed Gordon Point Remove, Earl Buss Bayou DeView, Galla Creek, Harris Brake, Holland Bottoms, Mike Freeze Wattensaw, Petit Jean River, Sheffield Nelson Dagmar, Sulphur River and Trusten Holder wildlife management areas.

Upon a motion made by Commissioner George Dunklin, the Commission agreed to table that proposal until their Sept. 24 meeting. Dunklin also requested consideration of an alternate proposal that would prohibit the use of boat motors greater than 50 horsepower on Henry Gray Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area. A staff recommendation to establish a similar 50-horsepower limit for Rex Hancock Black Swamp WMA also has been added for consideration.

The larger 50-horsepower limit has been proposed for Henry Gray Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area because hunters' boats sometimes travel the White River adjacent to the management area. Likewise, Rex Hancock Black Swamp hunters use the Cache River to access that area.

AGFC commissioners will vote on the motor limit proposals at their Sept. 24 meeting in Little Rock. Persons may express their opinions on the proposal in writing before Sept. 17. Letters can be sent to Motor Restriction, Wildlife Management Division, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. Comments can also be e-mailed to Luke Naylor, waterfowl program coordinator, at lwnaylor@agfc.state.ar.us or information@agfc.com.