AGFC Diverts Additional Funds to Combat Arkansas Invasive Carp


Senior Fisheman
Jan 10, 2009
Craig, Colorado
Best Catch
AGFC Diverts Additional Funds to Combat Arkansas Invasive Carp

Long-time fishermen will know that we’ve run into a bit of a crisis over the years when it comes to our freshwater lakes and rivers. The bighead carp, black carp, and silver carp were first introduced to Arkansas waters in the 1960s and 70s to reduce algal blooms and vegetation for aquaculture operations but many fish escaped into the wild and have since become an issue. Not only have the carp spread throughout Arkansas waters but have now spread into the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois rivers making them more of a regional problem. Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have unanimously approved a $70,000 increase to the AGFC’s budget to help combat the invasive species population.

AGFC Diverts Additional Funds to Combat Arkansas Invasive Carp

The plan is for the AGFC to take the money and purchase and outfit two specialized boats that will be crewed and used to catch and remove the invasive carp from the lower Mississippi River basin as well as the Arkansas/White/Red Rivers basin. Most of the funds that the organization is granted from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes towards academic research at multiple universities which culminates in a multi-state collaborative partnership – only a small portion of these funds is being allocated towards this specialized equipment.

“Controlling invasive carp is a monumental challenge, and it is one we hear about all the time from our beloved anglers, [AGFC Fisheries Chief Ben Batten] and Darrell not only thought outside the box to identify a federal funding source to obtain the personnel and the equipment necessary, but they also went so far to ensure the funding was there to study and measure our success in this effort…That’s the model we should be undertaking in all areas of this agency and that effort has my highest support.

-AGFC Director Austin Booth

The Commission also approved a new set of regulations to help local fishermen by allowing the Arkansas $1,000 lifetime Hunting and Fishing sportsman’s permit to allow lifetime holders who have moved out of state to apply for and obtain public land elk-hunting and alligator-hunting permits through the annual AGFC permit process. The new amendments will also allow permit holders who have moved out of state to hunt waterfowl on any AGFC WMA land without a nonresident hunting permit and without restrictions that are normally placed on out-of-state hunters. Hopefully, these combined efforts and incentives from the AGFC will help keep Arkansas waters and lands free of invasive species and help keep the local populations in good health.

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