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Approved On: April 25, 2019
Effective On: April 25, 2019
  1. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take aquatic turtle eggs from the wild.
  2. It is unlawful to take or attempt to take aquatic turtles for commercial purposes by any means other than hoop nets or box type (basking) turtle traps.
  3. It is unlawful to possess commercial aquatic turtle harvest gear in closed waters. Commercial aquatic turtle harvest is closed in all waters other thanin the following counties and/or bodies of water, which are open except as specified in Exception A:
    1. Counties:
      1. Arkansas,
      2. Ashley,
      3. Chicot (Exception A),
      4. Clay (Exception A),
      5. Craighead,
      6. Crittenden (Exception A),
      7. Cross,
      8. Desha,
      9. Drew (Exception A),
      10. Greene (Exception A),
      11. Indepedence (Exception A),
      12. Jackson,
      13. Jefferson,
      14. Lawrence (Exception A),
      15. Lee,
      16. Lincoln,
      17. Lonoke,
      18. Mississippi,
      19. Monroe,
      20. Phillips,
      21. Poinsett,
      22. Prairie,
      23. Pulaski,
      24. Randolph (Exception A),
      25. St. Francis,
      26. White, and
      27. Woodruff counties.
    2. Bodies of water:
      1. Arkansas River, from its mouth to the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line, excluding the following waters within Lake Dardanelle:north of the Union Pacific Railroad in Franklin, Johnson, and Pope counties; Dardanelle Bay in Yell County; Delaware Baysouth of Arkansas Highway 22; and south of signs posted on Shoal Bay, Cane Creek Bay, and Six Mile Creekat O'Kane Island access in Logan County, and
      2. Arkansas waters between the main levees of the Mississippi River.
  4. When a river or stream forms the boundary between opened and closed areas, that boundary segment shall be closed to commercial aquatic turtle harvest.


  1. The following waters are closed to commercial aquatic turtle harvest:
    1. Bayou Meto Bayou in compliance with Code 38.01,
    2. All waters owned byArkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas State Parks, or Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission,
    3. Horseshoe Lake (Crittenden County),
    4. Lake Wallace (Drew and Chicot counties),
    5. Upper and Lower Lake Chicot (Connerly Bayou to Ditch Bayou Dam inclusive) (Chicot County),
    6. St. Francis River (Clay and Greene counties),
    7. Eleven Point River (Randolph County),
    8. Spring River (Lawrence and Randolph counties),
    9. Strawberry River (Lawrence County),
    10. White River above Dam 1 at Batesville (Independence County), and
    11. Property-owner association and municipally-owned lakes, except with written approval from owner.
  2. Private landownersin closed countiescan obtain from the Commissiona Private Land Commercial Aquatic Turtle Permit. This permit allows the harvest of Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), Redear Sliders (Trachemys scripta), and Spiny Softshells (Apalone spinifera) for commercial purposes on private property under the following conditions:
    1. Only from manmade lakes and ponds,
    2. Only by a licensed commercial aquatic turtle harvest or dealer permittee,
    3. Only with legal commercial turtle harvest gear as defined above, and
    4. All harvested turtles shall be reported on aquatic turtle harvest report forms as specified in Code 34.07.

PENALTY: Class 2; Second offense shall result in the revocation of the permit.

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