RULE 002.00.09-011 - Reciprocal License Agreement between Arkansas and Missouri to cease harvesting mussels in the St. Francis River across the AR-MO border

RULE 002.00.09-011. Reciprocal License Agreement between Arkansas and Missouri to cease harvesting mussels in the St. Francis River across the AR-MO border

Amending the Reciprocal License Agreement between Arkansas and

Missouri

Due to no reported mussel harvest in Missouri for several years, the state of Missouri is closing harvest of mussels. Due to the reciprocal license agreement the state of Arkansas has with Missouri, we have reviewed harvest of mussels in these areas. Mussel harvest data since 2001 and harvest from the St. Francis River in water that might border with Missouri has been low. Harvest only occurred in 2003, 2004 and 2005 within those counties that border with Missouri (Clay and Greene) having the St. Francis River as the state boundary. In those years, harvest from those counties contributed 0.1%, 0.1% and 4.6% of the total statewide harvest in pounds, respectively. The percent contribution to the total value of the harvest in those same three years was 0.1%, 0.2% and 5.4%, respectively. The value of the harvest in 2005 was strongly influenced by the volume of Bleufer harvest. Bleufer is a thinner shell than most commercially harvested species and is harvested for use in the colored mother-of-pearl jewelry industry because of the deep purple color of the mother-of-pearl. Because it is thinner, it has a greater value per pound than for the thicker shelled species, and is evident by the increased 2005 percent contribution to the total value of the harvest when Bleufer sold for as much as $5.50/lb.

No harvest has been reported for the St. Francis River from Clay or Greene counties since 2005. Therefore the Fisheries Division recommends the following code book language change.

Recommended Code Book Language Proposals for Implementation in 2010

30.02 RECIPROCAL LICENSE AGREEMENT BETWEEN ARKANSAS AND MISSOURI-ST. FRANCIS RIVER.

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission hereby enter into a cooperative agreement to recognize the sport fishing and resident commercial fishing and licenses of the two states on the flowing waters of the St. Francis River, forming a common boundary between the State of Missouri and the State of Arkansas, in accordance with the following provisions:

(A) A sport fishing licensee or resident of either state legally exempt from license requirements shall abide by the creel limits, size limits and shall use trotlines and other fishing equipment in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state in which the license is issued or exemption authorized.

(B) A resident commercial fishing licensee shall abide by the creel and size limits and shall use tackle and other fishing equipment in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state in which the license is issued.

(C) Licensees of either state shall have unrestricted ingress and egress through the other state for the purpose of fishing in accordance with the provisions of the agreement.

Fishermen licensed in only one state cannot fish e ein the tributaries, bayous or backwaters of the St. Francis River in the other state except as specifically provided herein. This agreement, to become effective January 1, 1993, may be canceled by the Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation or the Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish commission upon sixty (60) days written notice.

(1/25/2010)

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