The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said it has added $155,000 to its support for wetlands restoration on waterfowl breeding grounds in Canada.

The increase brings the commission's total annual contribution to $580,000. Arkansas supports the conservation programs, led by Ducks Unlimited Canada, through contributions to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Ducks Unlimited matches states' contributions to the fund.

"AGFC has been a dedicated wetlands conservation partner for many years," said Craig LeSchack, director conversation programs for Ducks Unlimited. "Both in Arkansas and on the breeding grounds where most of their waterfowl are born each year, the agency has focused its efforts and support on improving habitat for waterfowl and opportunity for hunters."

Projects are primarily in Saskatchewan, where banding data indicate most of the waterfowl harvested in Arkansas are born.

Arkansas increased its contribution after state Game and Fish Commission Assistant Deputy Director Chris Colclasure and Chief of Wildlife Management Brad Carner traveled to Saskatchewan in June to see the conservation projects.

The AFWA program, which helps fund the North American Waterfowl Management Plan habitat projects in Canada, started in 1991. State contributions are funded primarily by hunting license sales, though some states include other funding sources. 

Through the program, states help fund long-term partnerships that conserve and restore breeding habitat for waterfowl that migrate through and winter in their own states.