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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Pat Fitts announced Wednesday that he will retire, effective June 30.
He has been the agency’s director since Jan. 1, 2018, when he replaced Jeff Crow. Fitts is the 18th director in the AGFC’s 105-year history.
Fitts began working at the Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery while in high school. He earned his bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife management from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville then returned to work in the agency’s fisheries division.
He has served as a fish culturalist, fisheries biologist, enforcement officer and administrator. During a brief commission meeting held at the Little Rock headquarters on Thursday, Chairman Andrew Parker said Fitts “has always led from within and stood right alongside the staff of the Commission during his entire career. He had admiration and loyalty to everyone who served with him, and you can see a genuine return of that loyalty from the staff to him.”
Fitts said he announced his retirement in advance to give the agency ample time to find his replacement.