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Fyi Smallmouth Stocking


Ham

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The most recent email I got from AGFC talks about stockings of fishin Arkansas. Apparently, War Eagle got stocked with smallmouth last month. Just an FYI for folks that repeatedly claim smallmouth populations are completely self sustaining. We may have to modify that to "almost" complletely self sustaining.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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that seems like an odd fisheries management tool these days. The MDC, as well as most fisheries depts, concluded many years ago that stocking SMB in stream fisheries were not viable long term strategies. Is there a news link that you can post so we can see the facts from AG&F -- or I'll do some research on my own. Would think stocking would only be used in response to a localized fish kill rather than to supplement native populations.

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Saw that AG&FC stocked between 5 to 8000 SMB fingerlings in 5 of Arkansas notable SMB streams in May including Saline, Ouachita, War Eagle, Caddo and Kings Rivers. Not sure if this is an infrequent occurrence or they do it every year. If you happen to know how to contact Mark Oliver at AGFC who is a senior guy in fisheries perhaps pose the question to him regarding the need for any purpose of this stocking program.

As far as I know, the MDC does not engage in similar activities in our SMB streams in Missouri and has not for decades as I've been told.

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Interesting...maybe they got a good deal on smallmouth fingerlings and did it for the public relations aspect. Maybe they happened to grow a bunch of extras and had to put them somewhere before they all ate each other. Doesn't seem very enlightened fisheries management in this day and age.

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A few years ago MDC had a smallmouth stocking on the Gasconade listed on their website. I inquired about it and it turns out they were doing a smallmouth spawning study. When the study was done, they returned the brood stock to the river and brought along the fry, listing this as a "stocking".

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Probably need to go right to Mark Oliver at AGFC to get real story on this stocking deal. I'll try to get ahold of him sometime later this summer to get the low down. I've spoken with him in past (over 10 years ago at least) about Arkansas SMB mgt program and he has been very receptive to open discussion.

I'll try to track him down. I will probably expand the disucssion to encompass the current situation with SMB management in Arkansas which has taken a slightly different direction than Missouri's.

In Arkansas - they have set up different management zones that differ from the statewide 10" MLL / 4 creel

Ozark Quality Zone (18 northern counties) - 12" MLL / 4 fish creel

Boston Mtn Zone - 12" MLL / 2 fish creel

Ouachita Qlty Zone - 12" MLL/ 2 fish creel

within Ozark Zone, there are now 8 Blue Ribbon Streams which feature 14" MLL / 2 SMB limits

Then, there are 136 miles of river (90 on Little Missouri below Greeson Dam) on 4 streams managed under 18" MLL / 1 SMB creel

on the 12"/2 or 14"/2 regs, rather than have designated stretches managed under this regime, they have put the entire rivers under this minimal level of protection from over-harvest. In Missouri, other than the Big, Eleven Point and Elk, only sections of designated streams are under special management regulations.

Might be good to do an article for both Ozark Anglers and MSA newsletter, comparing and contrasting these management programs. I'll add it to my hit list for 2012.

No closed season in Arkansas but my research has shown that closed seasons on SMB are not prevalent in more Southern states -- the concept of closed seasons and opening days is more of Northern tradition due to colder weather conditions I'd hazard.

I know that Arkansas has watched with interest some of the various management programs enacted for stream resources here in Missouri. Their SMB management program -- they even call it a Plan -- was launched shortly after Missouri's in the early 1990s. And, arguably, you can claim they have surpassed Missouri's in terms of stream mileage and their approach to place entire rivers under the same special management. Likewise, Arkansas instituted an Adopt a Stream program (cannot recall specific name off hand) mirroring Missouri's very successful Stream Team program.

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I'd like to see a catch and release only policy for smallies established for at least 10 or 20 miles of at least one of our streams in AR. That would surely grow some big ones. If you're not into releasing, then you can fish somewheres else.

Arkansas also sure could use some of your "Help Create World Class Smallmouth Fishing" informational signs to be posted at accesses.

Lack of information (ignorance) in my opinion is the biggest problem concerning stream conservation around here.

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Good grief, One of the reasons our Ozark Smallmouth are so special is their wild. I hope misguided fisheries officials don't screw that up.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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