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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission sign in downtown Little Rock is shown in this 2019 file photo. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on Thursday unanimously voted to waive fishing license fees March 21-29, allowing anglers to fish anywhere in Arkansas without having to buy a fishing license.

The free fishing period will begin 12:01 a.m. March 21 and end March 29 at 11:59 p.m. Anglers must still abide by daily limits, possession limits and tackle restrictions. The free fishing provision does not restore fishing privileges to anglers whose fishing privileges have been revoked.

The commission’s minute order said that Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other state leaders recently recommended that people spend time fishing as a practical way to observe social distancing for health and safety while enjoying the outdoors in Arkansas during the covid-19 pandemic.

Ken Reeves of Harrison, chairman of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said waiving license requirements is a compassionate gesture at a time when so many lives in Arkansas have been disrupted.

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