Pull the plugs on the boats to prevent spread of invasive aquatic plants – Magnoliareporter

pull-the-plugs-on-the-boats-to-prevent-spread-of-invasive-aquatic-plants-–-magnoliareporter

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Anglers and hunters and other boaters who use Arkansas’ waterways are being reminded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Fisheries Division of a new regulation that took effect January.It requires all boat drain plugs to be removed before and during trailering of vessels to and from access facilities on lakes, rivers and streams.This includes plugs for live wells, ballast tanks and the like.

There are a couple of exceptions to the regulation, however. Fishing tournament officials may submit a request to the AGFC Fisheries Division for written permission to allow for the transport of fish to an offsite weigh station. All tournament participants must be given a copy of the permit. Also, transportation of baitfish is allowed in compliance with state code.A similar boat plug regulation was already in place in 21 other states to help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species, and the new AGFC rule was part of an extensive list of regulations recommended by the Fisheries Division and approved by the commission in 2020, to take effect beginning January 1.Aquatic nuisance species such as silver carp, giant salvinia, zebra mussels and others continue to spread across waterbodies in Arkansas, and the AGFC has as its mission a responsibility to put mechanisms in place to slow the spread. The boat plug removal regulation is one of many actions the AGFC has undertaken recently.

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