Nurturing the Natural State
Purpose: Encouraging education and awareness about conservation and sustainability among local marine habitats in Arkansas.
Did you know that Arkansas’s Beaver Lake is home to the first All-American Bass Tournament? In 1967, Ray Scott drafted official rules for a competitive bass fishing tournament to promote “ethical angling, conservation, and safety”. He also went on to form the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) in 1968. Since then, many conservation groups and tournaments have been formed to encourage conservation and sustainability so that future generations may enjoy the rivers and lakes that stretch across the Natural State. There are many ways for everyone to help in this process as well:
- Encourage others to get involved in habitat conservation projects at local Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offices and nature centers.
- Clean up after yourself whenever visiting marine habitats, don’t leave trash behind that could harm the animals or their homes.
- Watch for invasive or non indigenous species of plants or animals that might harm habitats. If found, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
- Do not release unwanted pets into the environment. Instead, contact a local pet store to return it or re-home it to a trustworthy person, school, nursing home, etc.
- Do not release live fish or bait into a new body of water.
- Typically Arkansas’s regulations for fishing rivers and lakes require that fish under 15 inches should be released. There are also regulations on how many fish you may keep per day, depending on the species.
- Any sturgeon caught within the levees of the Mississippi are to be released immediately, as they are endangered.
- Find your nearest nature center, preserve, or Arkansas Game and Fish Commission office to ask for ways to volunteer your time, or donate or raise money to continue nurturing the Natural State.
- Remember to enjoy yourself! Ask questions, learn to fish, foster new relationships that will bring people together for a great cause!
Then God said, “Let the waters teem with fish and other life, and let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.”Genesis 1:20