By Randy Zellers | Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
LITTLE ROCK – Last week, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission launched a series of public forums to give Arkansas’s bass anglers an opportunity to provide input on the state’s latest Reservoir Black Bass Management Plan. Five of the 11 open-house style forums planned have been held so far, but AGFC biologists are adding an online survey form to hook into feedback from anglers who can’t make a meeting.
“Ideally, we want anglers to come out and talk with us one-on-one about the plan,” Vic DiCenzo, AGFC Black Bass Program coordinator, said. “We can glean a lot from surveys and online tools, but there’s still no substitute for in-person dialogue. Not only does it help clarify statements, but it also offers an opportunity to explain some of the science behind management and receive honest input after anglers have heard the ‘why’ of a decision.”
Anglers are encouraged to submit their comments by Sept. 15 at the following link: https://www.agfc.com/en/fishing/sportfish/black-bass/bbp.
“This plan will provide broad guidance for AGFC commissioners and staff for managing black bass in Arkansas’s lakes and reservoirs for the next 10 years,” DiCenzo said. “It’s important to do what we can to get as much input as possible.”
DiCenzo stresses that the resulting plan will not replace the existing process for setting regulations, nor will this process overrule established methods for scientific data-collection.
“We are still committed to science-based management,” DiCenzo said. “But this plan will be vital in informing current and future decision-makers of the values and desires of our black bass angling community. I encourage everyone to attend one of the remaining meetings, but if they cannot make it, the online form will still offer us some insight on their feedback.”
For more information, email DiCenzo at email@example.com or call 501-350-1806.
Remaining public meetings will be held at the following dates and locations:
Aug. 17: 5:30-7 p.m., JB and Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highlands Nature Center, 3400 N. 40th St., Springdale, AR 72762
Aug. 18: 6-7:30 p.m., Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, 600 E. Lawson Road, Jonesboro, AR 72404
Aug. 30: 6-7:30 p.m., Carter Day Training Center, 200 Lake Nichols Drive, Nashville AR 71852
Aug. 31: 6-7:30 p.m., South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado Conference Center Lobby, 311 S. West Ave., El Dorado, AR 71730
Sept. 1: 6-7:30 p.m., AGFC Monticello Regional Office, 771 Jordan Drive, Monticello, AR 71655
Sept. 6: 6-7:30 p.m., Hot Springs Convention Center and Bank OZK Arena, 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901
Sept. 7: 6-7:30 p.m., Herschel Hall – Foyer, 114 S. Broadview, Greenbrier, AR 72058