Wetland Habitat Concerns for Arkansas Duck Season

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Duck hunting in Arkansas is like second nature.

"Almost as bad as the Razorbacks," says duck hunter Carter Rickman.

With nature, comes surprises.

"I think it's going to lessen the time you have to scout for the ducks," says Rickman.

Rickman knows the ins and outs of a successful duck season.

Arkansas Game and Fish Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Taylor says there's an issue with the upcoming duck season.

"I think this will probably be one of the biggest issues we work on in our careers," he says. "The evidence is pretty clear."

Taylor says trees that give ducks one of their favorite foods are dying because of flooding.

"Typically these trees shouldn't be flooded until they're dormant. They should only be flooded when they're in the dormant season," adds Taylor.

Because of the damage already caused, Taylor says the commission will delay putting water in public hunting spots. The delay could be weeks.

"We're going to take those dates and shift them back to a time where more naturally imitates when these places might have started flooding," Taylor continues.

Rickman understands the need to delay flooding but worries about a trickle-down affect.

"It's going to affect the motels, the restaurants in the those areas up there," Rickman explains.

The commission will hold two more public forums about the issue this month. They're scheduled for March 28 in Jonesboro at Nettleton High School's Fine Arts Center and in Russellville on March 30 at Arkansas Tech University's Doc Bryan Lecture Hall. Both meetings take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

Click here for an online pamphlet that describes the situation in detail.

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