By Ronnie Weston| December 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM CST - Updated June 26 at 3:19 AM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – In a short meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, commissioners last week approved special fishing regulations for Lower White Oak Lake near Chidester. The new regulations were necessary as a result of a leak in the lake's water control structure.
In May, AGFC staff discovered a gate failure in one of two gates that regulates the water levels on Lower White Oak Lake in Ouachita and Nevada counties.
The lake is divided by Arkansas Highway 347 into an upper lake of 612 acres and a 1,044-acre lower lake. Lower White Oak Lake is one of AGFC's trophy bass-managed lakes. Currently, the 50-year-old lake is several feet below the normal lake level due to the leak and some evaporation.
The new regulations for the lake include doubling the daily limit for all sportfish on Lower White Oak Lake between Jan. 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012. The new regulation will allow fishermen the opportunity to take the sportfish out of the lake as water is drawn down and repairs are being made to the gate structure.
In other business, the Commission:
*Announced two personnel changes in the administration of the AGFC. Mike Knoedl and Ricky Chastain were promoted to deputy director positions. Knoedl was the chief of the AGFC enforcement division and Chastain was the assistant chief of the wildlife management division. Knoedl and Chastain replace Don Brazil and Scott Henderson who left the AGFC.
*Approved codebook changes to reflect the protected status of the yellow check darter, Ozark hellbender, fanshell mussel, ring pink mussel, Louisiana pearlshell, turgid blossom and winged mapleleaf to the threatened and endangered species list.
*Approved a turkey season date correction. The non-permit Sylamore WMA firearms turkey hunt was incorrectly listed in November. The hunt will be April 18-29, 2012.
*Gave the director of the AGFC the authority to open any closed flood prone region based on the recommendation of the chief of the wildlife management division. Reopening the zones will give hunters more opportunity to help control Arkansas's growing deer herd.