watching fishing bicycling hiking festivals competitions travel gear geocaching conservation climbing hunting hiking
BASS FISHING HOT SPOTS pg. 24 Great escapes on
Highway 70 pg. 32
+ Plus DU Anniversary Razorback Lures reader photos calendar of events
Photo tips from
A.C. “Chuck” Haralson pg. 48
2 | Arkansas Wild ď‚§ Summer 2012
Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 3
Table of CONTENTS 12 GO GREEN & STAY THERE
Protect plants against weather extremes and pests this season By Melinda Myers
14 Extreme Outdoors By Erica Sweeney
20 40 Years and Counting By Emily Griffin
24 Bass Fishing Hot Spots By Emily Griffin
28 Bream are plentiful and in many forms By Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
32 GREAT ESCAPES ON HIGHWAY 70
By Zoie Clift, Kerry Kraus, Kat Robinson, Jill Rohrbach, Kim Williams
40 Conservation for Generations Ducks Unlimited Celebrates 75 Years By Andi Cooper
46 Razorback Fishing Lures not Reel Helpful
By Larry LeMasters
48 Arkansas Waterfalls By A.C. “Chuck” Haralson
50 Calendar of Events 54 In The Know
News updates from the outdoors
58 No Leak in This Boat By Jill Rohrbach
48 4 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
After months of waiting, Greystone Country Club is back! Come join in the fun and you'll remember why Greystone is one of Arkansas's favorite golf course communities. Come experience our championship course, with spectacular views, beautiful scenery, and challenges you won't find on any other course. Come Join The Greystone Team Led by legendary former Cabot High School Coach Johnny White, former PGA Tour Fixture Richard Johnson, and teaching professional Justin Hill, the Greystone team is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable groups of golf professionals in the state. With affordable memberships with features such as unlimited golf, swimming, and tennis, we have a plan for each member of the entire family. We have dedicated teaching professionals that specialize in all types of skill sets and students, including ladies, junior golfers, and seniors. Come find out why Greystone is quickly returning as one of the top places in the state to play!
Take Hwy.67/167 to Exit 16B, Then North on Hwy.5 501-941-4444 â€˘ www.golfgreystonecc.com
Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 5
Spoiled. But unspoiled. From natural landscapes to wonderful amenities, the 33 neighborhoods of Chenal Valley bring to life everything you could dream of in a community. Surrounded by green belts, walking trails and 36 holes of picturesque golf, this amazing community makes coming home more like a walk in the park. Plus, your new home is nestled near the fine dining and retail experience at The Promenade at Chenal, and located in the Chenal Elementary School zone. Now you can have it all and never leave the neighborhood. To begin your search for a new lot or home in Chenal Valley, go to Chenal.com.
6 | Arkansas Wild ď‚§ Summer 2012
Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 7
CONTRIBUTORS cently joined the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism after a lifelong career in every segment of the media – radio, television, print and the internet. After an eight year stint as producer of Today’s THV This Morning, the Little Rock native took her personal interest in historical food research and a deep seated desire to travel and combined them to create Tie Dye Travels, her personal blog that lead to engagements with the Arkansas Times’ Eat Arkansas blog, a syndicated column, a partnership with Lonely Planet and writing engagements with Serious Eats – and, of course, Arkansas Wild.
Grav Weldon is a freelance photojournalist and 3D animator who has spent the last year and a half shooting the state and its amazing oddities and delicacies. His latest show, “Facets of the Journey,” will be on display at OW Pizza Downtown in Little Rock through July 1. You can follow Grav’s work through his blog site, persistentgravity.blogspot. com, or through his Facebook page, www.facebook. com/persistentgravity.
A.C. “Chuck” Haralson is chief
photographer for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. A 33-year veteran of the department, Haralson travels the state capturing images of Arkansas’s scenic natural beauty fnd travel attractions. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Discovery, Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s Day, Camping Life, and Backpaker Magazine, and in major newspapers including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. He’s now the proud grandfather of one-year-old grandson Wyatt.
Zoie Clift is a travel writer for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. She has a master's in journalism from Boston University and received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Colorado. As part of her work with the department, she covers assignments that highlight the distinctive cultural and outdoor destinations found across the state. Along with her work, she enjoys photojournalism, hiking new trails, mountain biking singletrack routes, kayaking, and traveling the backroads of Arkansas with her pup Kip.
8 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
is a freelance writer and owner of LeMasters’ Antique News Service, a syndication service in North Little Rock. Besides magazine articles, primarily on history or antiques, Larry also publishes poetry and is currently writing a novel set in New Orleans. When not writing, Larry reads and tries to avoid getting bit by his dog, Maggie.
Gardening expert, TV host and author Melinda Myers has 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including “Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening”. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments, which air on TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine, hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for more than 20 years as well as “Great Lakes Gardener” on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Myers’ web site is www.melindamyers. com
Jill Rohrbach is the travel writer for the Arkansas River Valley and Ozarks regions of The Natural State. Based in Northwest Arkansas, she has been with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism since 1999.
Kim Williams is the travel writer for 26 counties in the Arkansas Delta, eastern Arkansas and north central Ozarks. She has been with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism since 2006.
Kerry Kraus is the travel writer who covers Central Arkansas. She has been with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism since 1976.
PHOTO BY CHRISTY HOLLINGSHEAD
Kat Robinson re-
The warm weather has arrived. For outdoor enthusiasts this means it’s time to hit the lakes and rivers! Whether you enjoy canoeing and kayaking or fishing and traveling the open road, this issue of Arkansas Wild has something for you! What have you been up to this spring? Share your outdoor adventures with us on our Facebook page (facebook.com/Arkansas Wild). Be sure to check out photographer Chuck Haralson’s feature on waterfalls on page 48. He shares some amazing photographs of a few of Arkansas’s beautiful waterfalls and offers tips on ways to take great waterfall photos. On page 32, learn about the hidden gems on Highway 70, and get an adrenaline rush on page 14 as Erica Sweeney shares the stories of a few extreme outdoorsmen. I hope you enjoy this issue of Arkansas Wild. For more than 10 years, we have worked to bring our readers features on the outdoors from every angle. From hunting and fishing to hiking and biking, Arkansas Wild has featured it all!
Heather Baker Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Arkansas Wild is Interactive. Get everything Arkansas Wild has to offer every issue by reading the interactive edition on your computer or handheld device. Arkansas Wild is full of links to useful websites, apps, videos, documents, valuable hunting information, tutorials and more! Read the current issue for free at facebook.com/ArkansasWild or download the enhanced PDF to read any time on your iPad, laptop or other portable device!
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Go Green & Stay there
Protect Plants against Weather Extremes and Pests this Season By Melinda Myers
Unseasonably warm spring weather has gardeners across the country concerned and speculating about future problems this growing season. Fears of late frosts, spring snow showers, summer heat and drought and the impact all of this could have on plants are on their minds. We can’t change the weather, but we can keep our plants healthy and better able to deal with environmental stresses such as cold, heat and drought, as well as insect and disease problems. Start by selecting plants suited to the growing conditions. Look for the most resistant varieties on the market. Avoiding problems is the best way to save time, money and frustration. Immunize plants against environmental stress and pest problems with a plant strengthener such as JAZ Spray. This new group of products strengthens plants’ own stress tolerance mechanism, so they 12 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
are better able to deal with adverse conditions. Scientists found when plants were stressed or attacked by insects and disease they produced certain natural molecules. They isolated these and applied them
Varying annual flower and vegetable planting designs from year to year helps reduce the buildup of pests.
toother plants and found the treated plants were better able to tolerate environmental stress as well as insect and disease attacks. By using a plant strengthener, gardeners are proactively boosting a plant’s immune system before environmental stresses hit and ultimately helping it to thrive as it faces serious challenges throughout the season. Rotate plantings whenever possible. Varying annual flower and vegetable planting designs from year to year helps reduce the buildup of pests. And be sure to start with fresh soil and clean containers each season to avoid problems. This is especially important if problems occurred last season. Mulch the soil with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to reduce disease problems and environmental stresses on plants. Mulching reduces the spread of soilborne diseases, conserves moisture
and moderates soil temperatures. Monitor plants for insect and disease problems throughout the season. It is easier to control a small population of insects or pluck a few diseased leaves than to try to kill thousands of aphids.
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Use barriers of floating row covers like Reemay or Harvest Guard to protect plants from insects like cabbage worms, root maggots, and bean beetles. Loosely cover the plants with these fabrics and securely anchor the edges to the ground. The fabrics let air, light and water through but prevent the insects from reaching the plants. These fabrics must be removed when plants requiring pollination begin to bloom. Use eco-friendly products like insecticidal soap, light weight horticulture oils and neem oil when problems arise. Be sure to read and follow label directions carefully. And always clean up the garden at the end of the season. Remove diseased and insect-infested plants to reduce the risk of problems the following season. A bit of prevention goes a long way in creating a beautiful garden that can be enjoyed all season long.
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Extreme kayaking and canoeing takes paddlers on an adventure complete with an adrenaline rush and a chance to see some of the state’s most scenic spots.
“To push to the extreme levels takes a lot of effort,” he says. “It has to become a real passion. Kayaking is my obsession.”
“Extreme” refers to paddling rivers and streams in Class IV and above. Class IV is defined as very difficult and Class V as exceedingly difficult. Class VI is the highest level and is considered limited navigability. According to the Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism, these classes of rivers and streams have swift, irregular waves, abrupt bends, lots of rocks, strong cross currents, courses that are often unrecognizable and conditions that would make rescue difficult.
“You see some streams and think, ‘there’s no way you can take a boat down,’” says Tim Eubanks, president of the Central Arkansas chapter of the Arkansas Canoe Club. “Some say you’re insane to do it.”
Self-professed extreme kayaker Scott Hanshaw says “floating down rivers is perceived as a casual thing, but if you step out of that crowd, there are 30 to 40 of us in the state pushing into the hardest of things we can find.” 14 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Grant Nally considers himself an extreme canoer, “barely.” He often paddles Class IV waters. Nally, who has been canoeing for 20 years, lives in Northwest Arkansas and enjoys the Mulberry River and its surrounding creeks. His favorite place to canoe is Little Mill Creek in Franklin County, a Class III-V. “It’s the center of the paddling universe up here,” he says. “There’s an endless selection in Franklin and
Crawford counties that are not as well-known.” In Arkansas, many of the most difficult rivers and streams are very remote and heavily dependent on rainfall, says Hanshaw. “We’re watching for rain storms with four to six inches of rain,” he says. “Our families know how we are. We start to get riled up. If it’s raining, we go kayaking.” Hanshaw says extreme kayaking is a lifestyle. When the rain hits, he and several others from his regular group of kayakers meet up at a creek’s put-in. They often meet at 4 a.m. so they can be on the water at first light. This is important because there is only a sixto 12-hour window to “run” the creeks before the water starts to drain, he says. Heavy rains can sometimes cause
Photos by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
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CONT. FROM PAGE 14
flooding, which can make the rapids more hazardous and get “way out of the recommended range,” Hanshaw says. “The bigger rapids amp up the situation,” Nally says, adding that the “noise alone” of the rushing water adds to the intensity. “You have that jump and run mentality,” Hanshaw says, adding that work and family responsibilities can sometimes keep him and others from going kayaking every time it rains, no matter how much they might want to. “Sometimes I have a lot of bottled up vacation time and energy that I’ll turn loose.” Living in Little Rock, Hanshaw says the best kayaking spots are at least a oneto two-hour drive away. He regularly runs Class IV and V rapids, including Richland Creek near Russellville, the east fork of the Little Buffalo and Beech Creek. He has also run waterfalls up to 30 feet in the state. Hanshaw says one reason some of the state’s creeks are considered extreme is because they aren’t easily accessible. Most require about a one-mile hike and then another mile of paddling out just to get to them. Because most of the best extreme waterways are so remote, many paddlers enjoy being out in the wilderness and seeing the state’s most beautiful scenery.
“You see some of the most beautiful parts of the state that most don’t get to see,” Eubanks says. Marc Van Camp, director of the Arkansas Canoe Club’s Canoe School, says Arkansas has so much to offer for extreme or regular canoeing and kayaking, and many from other states come here to enjoy our rivers and streams. Some surrounding states do not have whitewater rapids like Arkansas, says Liz Caldwell, Canoe Club education chair and a whitewater paddling school instructor. According to Parks and Tourism, there are more than 9,000 miles of streams in the state, and most are “perfect” for canoeing and kayaking at all levels. The Cossatot River, forming Cossatot Falls, with Class IV and V rapids is another popular place for extreme paddling, according to the department. “There are a lot of beautiful rivers and creeks in Arkansas,” says Caldwell. “Most people are just familiar with the Buffalo.” Extreme paddlers run the rapids year round, but Nally says he doesn’t like to go out on whitewater if it’s below freezing, because the increased chance of getting wet and cold adds a complicating factor. Hanshaw says the best time to kayak is from November to May because it’s the wettest time of year, but also the coldest. He says he has run Richland
Creek in all 12 months of the year. He has also paddled in 23 states. Having proper form and technique and understanding and anticipating hazards are essential to avoiding injury and staying safe, says Hanshaw, 42. Common hazards include tree limbs and rocks. He says an important skill for kayakers to learn is how to roll their boats back upright if they flip over; this is referred to as an “eskimo roll.” But even with good form and technique, there’s always “random bad luck,” Hanshaw says. Eubanks says just because a canoer or kayaker has successfully run a particular river or stream in the past, “doesn’t mean you’ll always have a clean run.” “There’s a saying, ‘you’re always between swims,’” Eubanks says. A “swim” is when a paddler flips his boat or falls in the water. “Even the best guys are waiting on their next swim.” The learning curve varies for becoming an extreme canoer and kayaker. Most agree that it takes less time to become an extreme kayaker, mainly because of the nature of the boats, Eubanks says. Canoes are longer than kayaks and are open, allowing water to easily get inside the boat, he says. Also, canoes are paddled with a single-bladed paddle, while kayaks are paddled with a double-bladed paddle. Nally says there are not as many extreme canoers as there are extreme kayakers, because of differences in boats, he says, adding that canoes are harder to stop and hazards can be more difficult to deal with in a canoe. There is also a lighthearted rivalry between canoers and kayakers.
Looking for adventure and an adrenalin rush, extreme canoers take advantage of Arkansas’ streams. Extreme refers to paddling rivers and streams in Class IV and above.
16 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
“We canoers think we have more skill because we use one blade instead of two,” Eubanks says jokingly. “It takes less effort to paddle a kayak.” “No matter how gifted someone is athletically,” Hanshaw says. “There’s a learning curve in kayaking.”
Hanshaw says some kayakers try to learn through the “school of hard knocks,” and then get into an extreme situation and get scared. He says the best way for someone to learn to be an extreme kayaker is to “work really hard” on the easier rivers, like Class II or III, defined as medium and difficult, respectively. This is how he learned about 15 years ago. He says it took him about three years to progress to the extreme. “Running a Class V is not the way to teach a Class V,” he says. “You’ll be hanging on for dear life.” One of the best ways to learn is at the Arkansas Canoe Club’s recreational paddling and whitewater schools, offered annually. Participants learn safety, how to deal with water hazards and how to improve paddling, says Van Camp. “People want to have fun on the water and do it in safe way,” says Caldwell. “As skill level improves, anxiety lessens,” Eubanks says. “The risk is still there even with experience.” Safety is the No. 1 concern for extreme paddlers. Extreme canoers and kayakers always wear helmets and life jackets, and some wear gloves and elbow pads, says Hanshaw. He says his group also carries throw ropes, pulleys and webbing. Paddling in groups of at least three is another way to ensure safety, he says. His kayaking group averages about five to six people. Because many paddlers’ favorite creeks and streams are so remote, Nally says “if something goes wrong, you’re a long way from help.” Nally once dislocated his shoulder while canoeing. Just a few weeks before, at a Canoe Club meeting, he heard a doctor speak about this injury and explain how to “relocate the shoulder,” he says. Because of this, Nally’s fellow canoers were able to get his shoulder back into place and he was able to continue paddling. “It made the difference between paddling out and having to hike six
or seven miles back to my truck,” Nally, 50, says. “It was a good break on my part.” Dislocated shoulders are a fairly common injury among paddlers, says Nally. Hanshaw says his friend once dislocated his shoulder and had to walk for about four hours to get to safety. This is why it is essential for paddlers to have survival and first aid skills, Eubanks says. Nally and Hanshaw have taken wilderness first aid and swift water rescue training. “It gives you a lot more confidence when you’re pushing your abilities,” Nally says. Eubanks, who turns 50 soon, has been canoeing for more than 30 years, and has been paddling whitewater for about 10 years. He says he is not an extreme canoer and mostly stays on Class III water. But that brings its own satisfaction: “You get a real rush in the steeper water.” Eubanks says extreme canoeing and kayaking is not for everyone and there are plenty of opportunities for the less-than-extreme canoer and kayaker in the state. The not-so-extreme end of the sport can even be a family affair. Hanshaw says his wife does Class III rapids, and often they will meet up and camp together, after she’s been kayaking with her friends and he with his on
the extreme end. “If you involve your wife, you’re never late,” says Van Camp, who has been a tandem whitewater canoer with his wife, Patti, for 19 years. Groups that go canoeing and kayaking together often become like families and develop a sense of camaraderie, Eubanks says. Hanshaw says he likes the teamwork aspect of extreme kayaking. “Paddlers are some of the best people I’ve ever met,” says Caldwell. “It gives you a huge group of newfound friends. You meet people who like to do what you do.” While hazards are constantly present in the world of extreme canoeing and kayaking, having the experience and steady focus will ensure safety, boost enjoyment and keep the adrenalin rush going. Paddlers just have to be smart and use common sense, Nally says. “You have to be very focused. It takes all concentration,” says Nally, adding that the motto of his regular canoe group is “If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.” “I like to solve problems and constantly think where to place the next stroke and figure out a line through a rapid,” Hanshaw says. “Running the hardest of rivers clears your mind. You have to concentrate and focus on that moment. You think, ‘what do I have to do to stay alive?’”
There are more than 9,000 miles of strams in Arkansas, and most are great for canoeing and kayaking at all levels. Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 17
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Fly fishing on the Buffalo River.
By Emily Griffin
Thanks to conservation efforts, 40 years ago the Buffalo River was designated as the first National River in the United States. The Buffalo River is slightly more than 150 miles in length and flows through Newton,Searcy, Marion, and Baxter Counties, from west to east. The river originates in the highest part of Boston Mountains of the Ozarks, flows out onto the Springfield Plateau near the historic community of Erbie, and finally crosses the Salem Plateau just before joining the White River. The Park is home to the stateâ€™s only elk herd. Legend has it, the Buffalo was sacred to the Native American Indians who maintained a claim on the land until 1828. Pioneers were slow to settle along the bluffs and bottoms, where floods could wipe out crops, water mills, and 20 | Arkansas Wild ď‚§ Summer 2012
homes overnight. However, logging and mining industries brought thousands of residents into the river valley by the turn of the century. While the population fluctuated with the national economy, permanent residents along the Buffalo generally supported any plan to help control flooding. The first solid plan to dam the river was authorized by Congress in 1938. World War II intervened and the so-called Lone Rock Dam project was dropped. Buffalo River State Park was established in 1938 and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939. It remained in the state system until being absorbed
into the national park in 1972. The area is now known as Buffalo Point. The CCC structures are still there and now comprise a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The early 1950s brought a resumption in dam building and new studies proposed two dams on the Buffalo. In 1956 and again in 1957, President Eisenhower vetoed attempts to impound the river, not because he opposed dams, but due to his belief that insufficient planning and public comment had gone into the large number of requested projects across the nation. Meanwhile, feature articles started
Photos by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
appearing in state and national publications with high praise for the natural beauty and grandeur of the Buffalo. Efforts to save the Buffalo slowly gained momentum during the late 1950s and grew stronger during the 1960s. Battle lines were drawn as conservationists formed organizations to fight the damming of the river and proponents worked in support of the Corps of Engineers project.
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A major breakthrough for keeping the river free-flowing came in mid 1961 when Sen. J. William Fulbright informed the Arkansas Nature Conservancy that he was interested in “getting the Buffalo River area included in the National Park Service.” The year 1961 also brought the creation of the Ozark Society, which quickly assumed a major role in the preservation effort, with Dr. Neil Compton as its president. U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas brought national media attention to the river during a canoe trip in April 1962. “You cannot let this river die,” Douglas said. “The Buffalo River is a national treasure worth fighting to the death to preserve.” The controversy took a new turn in 1965 when Gov. Orval Faubus, after years of having no official position on the Buffalo River, notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that he was opposed to any dam on the stream and, instead, favored a national park. The project was promptly shelved by the Secretary of the Army.
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The tide was turning in favor of a freeflowing stream. John Paul Hammerschmidt and Winthrop Rockefeller won key election victories in 1966 to Congress and the Governorship, respectively, and both were supporters of the park proposal. After another series of hearings and studies, Congress approved Public Law 92-237 and on March 1, 1972, President Nixon approved the creation of the Buffalo National River. Today, the Buffalo National River is a popular travel destination for both Arkansans and out-of-state visitors. More than 100 miles of trails have been blazed for public use. Designated horseback riding trails are located in each district of the river, under the auspices of the National Park Service. Resorts and outfitters are located throughout the river region. Camping is available at most access points and primitive camping is allowed along the stream. The Buffalo is a river for all seasons. Canoeing is a year-round possibility except in the upper reaches, where it’s limited to the winter and spring months. Camping, too, is a year long pursuit, though visitors should remember the state’s lowest winter temperatures traditionally occur along this stream. The Buffalo’s corridor is also a great locale for hiking and backpacking, but expeditions should be scheduled outside the tick/chigger season.
To get to the Buffalo River, Arkansas
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highways 21, 74, 7, 123, 333, 14, and 268, as well as U.S. Highway 65, all provide easy access. In addition, a good many county roads provide access to points between the highway crossings.
“Spectacular” is the best word to describe scenery along the river. For 150 miles, the Buffalo offers an unmatched mixture of clear water, lofty cliffs, overhanging hardwoods and inviting gravel bars. There’s excellent scenery off the river, too. One place that shouldn’t be missed is Lost Valley, a unique, bluff-lined canyon between Boxley and Ponca. The Richland Creek Valley is also a sightseer’s paradise, especially in its upper reaches where an 11,800-acre wilderness area awaits the adventurous.
To many anglers, the hordes of visitors attracted to the Buffalo destroy the peaceful, aesthetic values that are the reason for going fishing in the first place. But this spirited colt of a stream has a remarkable capacity for swallowing up people in a maze of bluffs and canyons. And the Buffalo is a gem among Arkansas’s float fishing streams. Considered a model smallmouth bass stream, the Buffalo has fast, clear, oxygen rich water with the kind of gravel bottom and boulder beds smallmouth bass love. Floating in a johnboat or
canoe is the accepted method of fishing, but during spring, try beaching your craft at the head of a deep, swift chute and drifting a lure near a boulder in the fast water. Many fishermen make the mistake of working the holes where the bass aren’t and floating through the swift water where they are. The knowing locals often work surface lures at night for the big ones, and they catch them regularly. The Buffalo’s cool, clean waters also provide perfect habitat for channel catfish, green and longear sunfish and spotted bass. Veterans frequently rely on natural baits--crayfish, minnows and worms--in their efforts to entice a keeper.
About two dozen concessionaires rent canoes along the Buffalo and offer other related services. In addition, several rent johnboats and can provide complete fishing packages. Lodging choices will depend upon individual preferences but can range from genuine log cabins to bed and breakfast facilities to modern motel rooms. And, of course, designated campgrounds are located at frequent intervals on the river. Most all supplies can be obtained at Harrison, Marshall, Jasper, Yellville or other nearby communities. For more information on the Buffalo National River, visit arkansas.com.
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Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild AM | 23 4/6/12 11:13
HOT Picture this: You’re sitting in your Ranger boat, soaking in the sun when you feel a tug on your line. You yank your rod back and your heart starts racing. As you reel in your line you find a nice largemouth on the end. Bass fishing is exciting. The combination of size, fighting ability and distribution throughout the state make largemouth bass fishing the most prevalent type of sport fish in Arkansas. According to Arkansas.com, The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission boasts one of the nation’s largest warm water fish hatchery systems with four warm water hatcheries. Each year, hundreds of thousands of largemouth bass fingerlings
24 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
SPOTS By Emily Griffin
and yearlings are produced for stocking into new and renovated lakes, existing fisheries and private farm ponds. Arkansas has three types of black bass – largemouth, spotted and smallmouth – and of those, the largemouth is the biggest. Adults average 10 to 20 inches in length and a half to four and a half pounds, though eight-pound fish aren’t uncommon. There are two subspecies of largemouth bass in the state – the native northern largemouth bass and the introduced Florida largemouth bass. Spring movements of largemouth bass in southern waters usually occur from February to April. Largemouth bass move from deep water to warmer shallows in the spring, several weeks before spawning begins. Males usually move first when water
temperatures pass the 50 degree mark. Largemouth bass increase their feeding activity during this time known as the pre-spawn. Spawning occurs when the water temperature reaches 63 to 68 degrees, and the post-spawn period occurs after the water temperature hits the low 70s. Both males and females feed heavily in the shallows during the post-spawn. During the summer, when waters are above 80 degrees, largemouth bass move to deeper, cooler water during the day, feeding in the shallows in the mornings and evenings. These fish become lethargic as water temps drop below 50 degrees in the winter. However, several consecutive sunny, warm days will perk them up again to feed. Primarily feeding on fish, insects and crayfish, largemouth bass are caught on a variety of natural and artificial baits such as plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and surface lures. Good choices for
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natural bait are minnows, night crawlers and salamanders. Cover is important to the largemouth bass habitat. Fish for largemouth bass in rock piles, weed beds, submerged timber, brush and other objects that provide them shade and security. Below are a few great places to fish for largemouth bass. Arkansas River (Oklahoma to Little Rock) Locks and dams along the Arkansas River allow access to some of the best fishing in the country. The shallow, backwater areas adjacent to the Arkansas River are a great early season bass hot spot. You can find these backwaters almost anywhere along the river from Fort Smith to Arkansas Post. However, the lower ends of the 12 navigational pools generally contain more backwater areas than the upper ends of those pools because the water level is higher relative to the river bank in the lower ends of the pools.
For anglers, Lake Ouachita is well-known for its prolific fishing opportunities, especially for striped bass and largemouth bass. It consistently ranks in the top 10 nationally for largemouth bass fishing. Mark Davis, 1995 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, spends a great deal of time on the lake. Fishing guides are available. Ouachita’s acres are at normal pool level, with a crooked, rugged shoreline and an abundance of islands, especially in the 26 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Bull Shoals Lake Bull Shoals Lake and the White River below its dam are synonymous with fishing in Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, located in north central Arkansas on the Missouri-Arkansas state line, enjoys a wide reputation for lunker bass fishing along with its twin, Lake Norfork, just to the east. Bull Shoals Dam was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1951. It is the fifth largest concrete dam in the United States. Including the portion located in Missouri, the lake totals some 45,500 surface acres. Almost 1,000 miles of rugged shoreline is open to visitors and 60,000 acres of public land provide a variety of recreation opportunities. Scrappy largemouth bass, spotted bass and white bass abound in the lake, along with crappie, channel catfish, bream and walleye. Largemouth bass fishing is a popular sport on Bull Shoals Lake. Bass weighing up to 12 pounds are caught there. The yearround fishing is enhanced in the early spring by the walleye and white bass run in the upper reaches of the lake and the growing popularity of night fishing for trout, white bass and crappie in the summer. Black bass fishing is at its best between September and May. Below the dam, the frigid waters of the White River have gained a national following of trout fishermen, who flock to try their hand at hooking rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.
Table Rock Lake The clear, blue water of Table Rock Lake winds down through the valleys and hollows of the Ozark Mountains, from Branson, Missouri to Eureka Springs. Designed, built and operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Table Rock Lake has become a paradise for boaters, scuba divers, campers and fishermen alike. Fishermen cast year-round for trout, crappie, catfish and bass. An arm of this huge reservoir extends into Arkansas and provides good fishing for largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass and walleye in the Eureka Springs area. Lake Dardanelle Constructed under the supervision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Little Rock District, Lake Dardanelle is one of the most accessible and attractive recreation areas in Arkansas. Located about half way between Little Rock and Fort Smith, the lake stretches some 50 miles as part of the $1.2 billion Arkansas River Navigation System. It is an important link in the 450-mile project that extends river commerce from the Mississippi River to near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The lake, which is extremely popular with anglers, boasts populations of big catfish. White bass are native to the river, with adults traveling in schools and feeding near the surface. Bream fishing is excellent in the lake, which has also been stocked with crappie and largemouth bass. With no closed season and mild winters, fishing is good year round. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system. Experts will tell you that Lake Dardanelle at Russellville, toward the upper end of the river, is the place to go for big largemouth. Photo by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Lake Ouachita Lake Ouachita, the largest lake (40,100 acres) located entirely within Arkansas, is renowned for its scenic beauty and clear waters. Created when Blakely Mountain Dam impounded the waters of the Ouachita River near Hot Springs, the lake is virtually surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest and has one of Arkansas’s most pristine shorelines at some 970 miles. The 40-mile-long lake is a favorite of sailors for its vast stretches of open water. Scuba divers enjoy the clear waters. Recreational boating, water skiing and other water sports are also very popular on Lake Ouachita, which boasts more than 100 uninhabited islands for primitive camping. Available rentals include houseboats, sailing crafts, fishing rigs and more.
lower (east) end of the lake. There are also many shallow areas that provide excellent feeding and holding places for bass, with deep-water escape just a few fin strokes away. Bass fishermen do well around these islands and shallow areas using surface lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and plastic worms.
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Bream are plentiful and in many forms
By Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
The term “bream” is familiar to any Arkansan who has fished and also to others who have partaken of the small, tasty fish at the dinner table.
“Perch” is an old and often used term for bream, but it is inaccurate, as the perch family is separate from sunfish. Walleye and sauger are perch.
But the term bream is a label, a catch all word. There isn’t a fish living in Arkansas that carries the official name of bream. Still, the species covers several varieties that collectively comprise the largest number of gamefish in the state.
What is the most numerous of the bream species in Arkansas? It is debatable. Bluegill are seemingly everywhere, found in all 75 counties. Colorful, the males especially, and hard fighting, they may be rivaled in numbers by the green sunfish, a variety that is not as striking in appearance but which is also found in most of the state and in some unlikely places.
Bluegill, red-ear, green sunfish, flier, long-ear, pumpkinseed – these are all bream. Many fishermen include “goggle-eye” in the bream family, although goggle-eye is another vague name that includes warmouth, Ozark bass and shadow bass. Bream of all the Arkansas species are members of the sunfish category which also includes crappie and black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted).
Green sunfish many times are called ricefield slicks or just slicks. Yes, they are sometimes found in flooded rice fields and often live in the ditches and other waterways surrounding or adjoining the rice growing lands. The red-ear sunfish is extremely popular with Arkansas anglers who
go after bream, and the red-ear may hold the record for different nicknames – shellcracker, chinquapin, stumpknocker, yellow bream, government improved bream, G.I. bream, strawberry bream, Texas improved bream, Georgia bream, cherry gill, sunny, sun perch, rouge ear and tupelo bream. Pumpkinseed, long-ear and flier are all smaller on the average than bluegill, red-ear and green versions of sunfish. Bug they have the same fighting ability when hooked and tastiness when prepared for the table. Pumpkinseeds are among the most colorful bream and are somewhat similar in appearance to bluegill and are often found in the same habitats. One difference is their opercular flaps. The flap is black in both species, but the pumpkinseed has a crimson spot in the shape of a half moon on the back portion of its opercular flap.
Arkansas records for the various bream species: Bluegill, 3 pounds, 4 ounces • Red-ear, 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Green sunfish, 1 pound, 11 ounces • Long-ear, 1 pound, 2 ounce. Flier, 14 ounces • No pumpkinseed has been submitted and certified for a state record. 28 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Photo by Eric Robertson, US Fish & Wildlife Service, bugwood.org
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Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 31
Bridge photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Bridge over the St. Francis River
Y A W H HIG 70 inson, ry Kraus, Kat Rob By Zoie Clift, Ker im Williams Jill Rohrbach & K Haralson raphs by Chuck og ot ph l na io it dd A
ts ur for motoris to e d d e rr fe re the p on Highway 70 is il of constructi o rm tu e th e p a s. The wishing to esc stern Arkansa a e in 0 4 te ta ansas along Inters ers for the Ark h p ra g to o h p nd travel writers a urism set off to To d n a s rk a P f and Department o rs of this overl e d n o w d e ld nhera njoy discover the u y guide and e d n a h is th g n lo route. Take a onder yourself. w e some of th
32 | Arkansas Wild ď‚§ Summer 2012
Bridge photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Interstate 40 through eastern Arkansas may be some of the straightest, least exciting roadway in the state. But running parallel through the 140-mile stretch is Highway 70, a two-lane blacktop ribbon that cuts from the cypress swamp region just east of North Little Rock, past Lonoke’s minnow farms and Hazen’s Bradford Pears, twisting through DeValls Bluff and sailing over the White River before stretching out across the Cache Bayou bottomlands. After curling through Brinkley, it flattens out across Delta farmland, crossing the L’Anguille River, snaking through Forrest City and jumping the St. Francis River before laying
out straight through Shell Lake and Shearerville. It widens out in West Memphis, traversing the town before joining Interstate 55 to cross the Mississippi into Memphis proper. The route became part of the Lee Highway in the 1920s, a southern route across the U.S. named after General Robert E. Lee. Its US Highway 70 designation came later, and the Lee name was abandoned. The east-west corridor between Little Rock and Memphis was heavily traveled through the years, through the construction of Interstate 40 along the route during the 1960s. But with the final segment of that interstate and the Hernando DeSoto Bridge
across the Mississippi completed in October 1973, drivers left the twolane highway and sped past all the wonders Highway 70 had to offer. For many motorists, Highway 70 is an alternate route never traveled. Some have been introduced to it suddenly via detours when traffic gets too heavy along the stretch where Interstate 40 is being improved around the White River. There are jewels to be found all along the stretch of highway, including museums and attractions, natural landscapes and some of the best examples of Arkansas barbecue, pie and soul food. Head off the beaten path and enjoy what Highway 70 has to offer.
HAZEN: History and Browsing at Kocourek and Son Antiques
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Be sure to keep a lookout for the twostory brick building Kocourek and Son Antiques in downtown Hazen. The building is said to be the oldest continuously operated business between Memphis and Little Rock. The former hardware store was founded by John Kocourek in 1892. Kocourek, an immigrant from Bohemia, was something of a renaissance man of Hazen. Known as a founder of the Grand Prairie region, he enabled a lot of Slovakian and Bohemian folks to settle in the region and was vital in helping determine the location of Highway 70 through town. Kocourek’s grandson Dink sold the
Kocourek and Son Antiques
business in 1980 to Conley House, who ran it until 2001. He sold it to Greg and Barbara Rawn in 2006 for use as an antiques store. “John Kocourek started a small hardware store in 1862 in this spot,” said Barbara Rawn. “He was instrumental in starting the town of Hazen.” Barbara said when plans to expand came into the picture for Kocourek, he had the small store put on pipes and rolled to the back lot. He began construction of the larger building (the one folks see now) in 1906 and finished it a year later. “It was actually run as a hardware store pretty much up until the time we bought
By Zoie Clift
the building seven years ago,” she said. “It’s just really a wonderful old building.” A lot of people tried to buy the store. Some wanted to tear it down for the building materials. A key to the Rawn’s proposal was preserving the vast amount of local history connected to the store. “I think that’s a large reason the gentleman who owned the building agreed to sell it to us,” she said. The store has high ceilings (around 18 feet) and the second story houses a large hand-operated elevator with a rope hoist. “They had elevators like that in a lot of these old buildings,” said Rawn. “When the railroad ran, they would buy tons of stuff for the farmers and stuff around here. This was a booming town.” Kocourek and Sons continues to be a landmark as a thriving antiques store. Barbara has been buying and selling antiques off and on for the last 35 years and always “kind of wanted to do something like this. The building really kind of lends itself to this kind of product,” she said. Inside, visitors are greeted with a lot of interesting finds, including a bellows used in the Civil War. The store, located at 56 E. Front Street, is open Mon.-Fri. from 10a.m.5p.m., Sat. from 10a.m.-4p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call 870-255-3465. Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 33
Riding the Rails: Historic Rail Depots along Highway 70
Lonoke Depot Museum
U.S. 70, the park around the National Register of Historic Places-listed depot sports a “Pride of the Prairie” sign. Next stop is Hazen. Its 1915 Rock Island Depot is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The striking restored building is the only stucco and brick Rock Island Depot with a slate roof in the state. Every time I pass through town, I have to stop and look at this beautiful piece of architecture and Americana. Further east at Brinkley sits the Central Delta Depot and Museum. It’s a few blocks off U.S. 70 at 100 West Cypress St. The former stop for Union trains, this 1912 National Register architectural gem has a main section with two wings out to each side. I was in seventh heaven when I walked in because there was a whole display area on one of my favorite Arkansas-born performers: Louis
Central Delta Depot and Museum
Lick skillet: A little town with a crazy name
Hazen Rail Depot
By Kat Robinson
Brinkley, like many other towns along Highway 70, was named for a man, in particular one Robert Campbell Brinkley. He was head of the Little Rock Memphis Railroad Company, the rail laying corporation given the land grant to tie the two cities together. The halfway point on that stretch grew a settlement while the railroad was being built between 1852 and 1869. That’s where immigrants who were working on the rail lines made their homes and raised their families. It wasn’t easy work by any means, but it was honest work, and they dedicated sunup to sundown to get it done. 34 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Jordan. A gorgeous bronze sculpture of his head and his saxophone caught my eye. Other items include newspaper articles, album covers, and photographs. The “King of the Jukebox” was born in Brinkley in 1908. If you’ve never heard any of his classics, you owe it to yourself to check him out. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #59 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He’s a member of the Roll and Roll Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. The recent Broadway musical hit, “Five Guys Named Moe” is based on one of Jordan’s songs. Other exhibits here include information on the Louisiana Purchase and the area’s railroad history. It’s a lovely little museum that tells the tale of the town and the area.
At the end of the day before they would go home, they would share an evening meal, and they wouldn’t leave until, it’s said, the “last skillet was lick’d clean.” Hence the settlement’s naming as Lick Skillet. Seems like it would have been a more appropriate name to give a town by a rail line, rather than the name of the fellow who lived all the way over in Tennessee who merely oversaw the project. Today, Brinkley sits right at the center of that city-to-city crossing, right on top of that rail line. Highway 70 passes right through the town that has carried the motto “We’ll Meet You Halfway” through a good portion of its lifetime.
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Four east Arkansas communities along Highway 70 have restored railroad depots you can visit. They all share a history, since they were built by the Rock Island Railroad and all are of the Tudor architectural style. Lonoke’s depot sits on its own island of land that divides Northeast Front Street from Southwest Front Street. The red brick, Tudor Revival Rock Island Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it serves as the home of the Lonoke County Museum where you’ll find displays on county history, including a diorama of the Battle of Brownsville Civil War skirmish, a genealogy room and a gift shop. Markers located near the building give details on Lonoke’s history and the railroad. Not far from Lonoke is Carlisle. The depot here is another Tudor Revival Rock Island building constructed circa 1920. Located one block north of
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HIGHWAY 70 continued from page 34
Forrest City: St. Francis County Museum the family until 1995, when the St. Francis County Cultural Foundation entered an agreement with the family to make the historic house into a county museum. After extensive renovation, the Rush-Gates House opened in 1998 as the home of the St. Francis County Museum, dedicated to sharing the history of the county through exhibits, artifacts and photographs. Exhibits focus on the history of St.
Francis County and include areas dedicated to Dr. Rush’s extensive fossil collection, Native American artifacts, agriculture and foreign wars and conflicts. The museum also displays the large clock face that was featured on the town’s 1897 courthouse. Temporary exhibits are featured throughout the year. For more information, contact the St. Francis County Museum at 870-2611744 or visit www.sfcmuseum.org.
West Memphis: Southland Park gaming and racing From greyhound racing to casino gaming, this “racino” is full of surprises. Southland has reel games, blackjack and video poker. The gaming floor chimes with the sounds of the machines in action and is lit by their colorful flashing lights. You’ll find fast-paced gaming tables and a oneof-a-kind poker room. Right now at Southland Park, New Player Rewards members get $20 in Free Play. Like Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Southland Park opened its doors in 1956. Back then it offered only seasonal greyhound racing, but because of growing popularity in
the ‘80s it now has a year-round racing season and a track surface fitted with an underground heating system. It has one of the largest kennel compounds in the nation, and is the only racetrack in the U.S. that conducts nine-dog racing as part of its live racing programs. Southland conducts an average of 6,000 races over the course of a year. Also popular is its simulcast wagering seven days a week, year-round (except on Christmas and Easter). Other surprises? Your dining options at the World Market Buffet and the Bourbon Street Steak House Grill.
Southland Park Gaming and Racing
You won’t believe the fine dining and wine offerings of the steak house. It may be one of the city’s best kept secrets. The live music makes a trip to Southland worthwhile as well. (1550 N. Ingram Blvd.; 800-467-6182; www. southlandgreyhound.com)
The Americana Hwy. 70: Geocaching Power trail The modern tool for treasure hunting.
photos.com 36 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
By Jill Rohrbach
For those new to the term “geocaching”, it’s a high-tech scavanger hunt using a GPS and published coordinates for specific caches. The Americana Hwy. 70 series is a geocaching power trail along U.S. 70 in Arkansas. Caches run along U.S. Hwy. 70, which used to be one of the major transportation routes before Interstate 40. There are 174 caches along the route. In geocaching terms, a “power trail” is a string of caches placed as closely as possible. All caches must be at least 528 feet apart, according to Geocaching.com standards. Power trails are a good opportunity for cachers to
By Kim Williams
get out and find a lot of caches within a short amount of time. U.S. 70 enters Arkansas near DeQueen. Once the highway reaches Little Rock, it parallels I-40 to West Memphis. The caching trail begins in Little Rock and wends its way along U.S. 70 to Brinkley, nearly 70 miles east. This caching trail was placed to get travelers off I-40 and let them see a part of Arkansas they might not otherwise experience. Since debuting in May 2010, the caches have been found more than 2,500 times. You can learn more about the series by visiting www. Geocaching.com and searching for the keywords Americana Hwy. 70.
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
The St. Francis County Museum in Forrest City is located in the historic Rush-Gates home. In 1906, the structure was built as the home of Dr. J.O. Rush and his family. The choice of the location of the house was a smart move by Rush, a physician and surgeon for the railroads. Day and night, the home was filled with the injured, especially those involved in railroading accidents. Dr. Rush died in 1961. The house remained in
By Kim Williams
The Railroad Prairie Natural Area By Zoie Clift
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Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
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Railroad Prairie Natural Area
Natural areas can be found across the state and they protect some of the prime examples of the varied ecosystems that can be found here. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission manages these lands to preserve and restore natural communities that have become rare in Arkansas. Between Hazen and DeValls Bluff, you might notice wooden signs for the Railroad Prairie Natural Area. This 250-acre area, stretching along portions of the abandoned right-ofway of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, gives visitors a glimpse of the original tallgrass prairie that once made up the Grand Prairie. Today, less than 1 percent of these grasslands that grew across this region remain, and they serve as critical habitat for a variety of rare plants and animals. In addition to typical prairie grasses, such as big bluestem and Indiangrass, the area blooms with colorful wildflowers such as narrow-leaved sunflower and wild indigo from spring into fall. A quick heads-up: travel on the natural area is limited to foot traffic to minimize erosion and disturbance to sensitive areas. For visitors, there are opportunities for low-impact recreation such as bird watching, hiking and photography.
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Fish Central By Kerry Kraus
The next time you catch a fish in Arkansas, it might be one that “grew 500 Lora Drive | Bryant | 501-847-7201 | Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 10-2 www.gladcosupply.com. Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 37
Joe Hogan Fish Hatchery
up” in Lonoke at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery. It is the largest and one of the oldest state-owned warm-water pond hatcheries in the U.S. It’s worth a stop if you’ve never been, and it makes a great field trip for schools. The hatchery is a huge patchwork of large square ponds separated by strips of vibrant green grass. From the air, it must be quite a sight because it’s pretty impressive from the ground. There seems
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
to be water as far as the eye can see. You can take a self-guided tour offered by the Lee Brady Visitor Center on the grounds. Groups should contact the hatchery prior to their visit. In addition to seeing a lot of fish, there are ample opportunities for wildlife watching. Aquariums and mounted species native to the area are found in the visitor center. The annual Kids Free Fishing Derby is scheduled for June 9 at the Hogan
Hatchery. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s for ages 12 and younger and has a limit of three fish per child, one rod or pole per child. The pond is stocked with catchable-size fish before the derby begins and each participant must bring tackle and bait. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, which sponsors the event, suggests everyone brings something to sit on, cameras, refreshments, sunscreen and hats.
stuffed with ham, bacon and sausage. Served with toast, it’s a handful and a half. The chili burger is one of the best I’ve had.”
Kitchens Corner Store & Bait Shop
Where to dine along Highway 70? Heth: DeValls Bluff: Ms. Lena’s Pies Tidwell’s Dairy Bar
Lonoke: Tidwell’s Dairy Bar
Kat: “The third-of-a-pound patty was nicely smashed and charred, a lovely bit of caramelization apparent on one bare edge. Every other edge was consumed with a copious amount of melted Velveeta-type cheese. It glued everything together – the lightly toasted, sesame seed-encrusted bun, two big ring sections of red onion, a handful of dill pickle slices, a hearty slice of tomato and some hand-shredded lettuce. The default condiment, mayonnaise, was barely apparent thanks to the slathering of cheese. Thank goodness for that wax paper binding since without it my hands would have become coated with all that cheese.”
Carlisle: Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Catfish
Kerry: “The tomatoes are awesome! Thin, crunchy and not greasy. So very, very good. The cheese dip and salsa aren’t overly spicy so they are enjoyable by all ages.”
Hazen: Hurley House Café
Kat: “They pack omelets full. The all-meat-and-cheese omelet comes 38 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Kim: “I sampled Ms. Lena’s coconut pie (Ms. Viv still uses her mother’s recipes), still warm from the oven. That’s all it took… I was hooked! I also tasted the peanut butter, the pineapple cream and the chocolate. I had more pie that day than during the holidays!”
Biscoe: Riverfront Restaurant and Fish Market
Kim: “I take hush puppies very seriously. And obviously the folks at Riverfront Restaurant and Fish Market do as well! I can’t describe them! First of all, they weren’t your standard hush puppy “ball.” These were about four inches long and cylindrical. As I bit into it, I knew that ordering four was a mistake… it wasn’t going to be enough! The “puppies” are crisp on the outside and almost grits-like on the inside. I just can’t explain them.”
Forrest City: Phillips Fish Market
Kim: “I’m not a big fan of fried fish…but I’m a huge fan of THIS fish. The large pieces, coated in the special Phillips family meal, are fried to perfection and the fish is flaky and flavorful. You can purchase the fish by the piece or as a dinner, complete with fries, hush puppies, dill pickle slices, fresh onion and coleslaw.”
Kerry: “I had, without a doubt, one of the best country breakfasts I’ve ever had. I ordered sausage gravy and biscuits with hash browns. The hash browns were cooked to perfection; the gravy sublime.”
West Memphis: Pancho’s
Jill: “While there is plenty on the menu to rave about – from the basics like tacos and enchiladas to dinner plates such as Shrimp Veracruz and Chicken Guadalajara to desserts of Peachy Con Queso and flan – its signature dish is its cheese dip.”
West Memphis: Madea’s
Jill: “Most fried catfish is about the same. Madea’s, however, is in a league of its own, serving hot, flaky, perfectly breaded, nongreasy, flavorful filets. They were large and meaty from end to end. I never eat mine with tartar sauce, always ketchup, but at Madea’s the tartar sauce was the only way to go for me.”
DeValls Bluff: Craig’s Barbecue
Kat: “Craig’s sauce ditches the sweet of many regional barbecue joints for a mature, savory sauce spiked with notes of cinnamon and sorghum. I couldn’t tell you for certain what it is, nor would I divulge that secret if I could, but it’s… it’s meaty. Eating a barbecue sandwich at Craig’s feels like eating a hearty meal. It’s a lot of pack to the punch.” Craig’s Bar-B-Q
Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 39
75 Years Conservation for Generations:
Ducks Unlimited Celebrates
By Andi Cooper
The slogan for Ducks Unlimited’s 75th Anniversary, Conservation for Generations, applies to past, present and future generations alike. Several generations of DU supporters, all of whom have shared a love of wetlands and waterfowl, have been at the center of North America’s conservation movement for the past 75 years. Recognizing the vision and accomplishments of those who have come before, today’s DU supporters are making their own stand to ensure future generations have wetland and waterfowl resources. In 1937, the year Joseph Palmer Knapp and his colleagues in the More Game Birds in America Foundation founded Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. was struggling through the Great Depression. If the dismal economic conditions were not enough to deal with, much of the continent was in the grips of widespread and prolonged drought. Waterfowl populations plummeted as the prairie potholes of the Duck Factory dried to dust. In these difficult times, DU’s founders acted decisively to start an organization based on a revolutionary idea – that waterfowl populations could be restored through wetland restoration on the birds’ primary breeding grounds on the Canadian prairies. The first announcement of this group’s creation was made by More Game Birds in its 1936 annual report: The new organization would proceed with the preservation of unspoiled northern breeding grounds through cooperation with provincial and
40 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Little Red River Norfork Lake
The art of HOOKING the really, really BIG one.
Arkansas River near Dumas
With 9,700 miles of rivers and streams and 600,000 acres of lakes, there’s a lot of new favorite ﬁshing holes for you to explore in Arkansas – from trophy-worthy trout rivers to lakes that host legendary bass tournaments. Visit our website or call 1-800-NATURAL to order your free Vacation Planning Kit.
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Canada – the entity that would deliver the wetland restoration projects – was incorporated shortly thereafter in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on March 10.
Cutoff Creek construction
Photos courtesy of Ducks Unlimited
Dominion officials. Restoration of southern areas would be accomplished by selection and development of local projects after careful choice of the most suitable sites. Funds with which to support the work are to be obtained entirely through contributions from sportsmen in the United States — those who are the beneficiaries of the wild duck crops produced in Canada. “Ducks Unlimited” will be the name of the new Canadian foundation. A year after outlining their plan, their dream became a reality. Ducks Unlimited, Inc. – the U.S.-based entity that would gather and disperse funds – was incorporated Jan. 29, 1937, in Washington, D.C. Ducks Unlimited
10-year-old Arkansas Volunteer Makes a Difference for Ducks, for People
l-r Ark. State Chairman Allen Higginbotham, Dillon Boyd and Gary Boyd proudly display money Dillon raised for the ducks. 42 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
To raise funds for its conservation work, DU immediately began organizing a volunteer committee in each state under the guidance of a competent state chairman and assisted by one or more vice chairmen and other officers. Each state committee had a financial target to meet to support conservation on breeding grounds most important to their state. Though many things have changed in the past 75 years, neither the singular mission of DU – habitats sufficient to support desired waterfowl populations – nor this basic, volunteer-driven fundraising structure have wavered. Today in Arkansas, 68 volunteer committees and more than 19,000 members participate in fundraising events across the state. DU’s founders would be proud of what the organization has accomplished for waterfowl. Supported by generations of dedicated volunteers, DU has raised more than $3.3 billion to conserve more than 12.4 million acres of wetlands and other waterfowl habitat across North America. Since implementing conservation programs in Arkansas in 1987, DU has spent more than $46 million working with partners to conserve more than 360,000 acres in the Natural State, including recent
Fourth-generation DU volunteer Dillon Boyd is continuing the passionate commitment exemplified by his grandfather, Arkansas 2011 Area Chairman of the Year Gary Boyd. Emulating his father’s and grandfather’s dedication to the ducks, 10-year-old Dillon took it upon himself to make woven bracelets to be sold as chances to win a gun. Dillon hand crafts each bracelet and raised $3,000 for conservation at the Dewitt dinner this year. Dillon also attended the Arkansas State Convention in February where he sold his bracelets to make more money for the ducks. But one bracelet Dillon wanted to use for a different cause. He approached outgoing State Chairman Allen Higginbotham with a request to auction off one bracelet to raise money for his young friend fighting ovarian cancer. Her medical bills are mounting beyond the family’s means.
restoration projects on Bayou Meto and Frog Bayou Wildlife Management Areas and Cache River National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has contributed more than $4 million to protect and restore important breeding habitats in Saskatchewan through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ State Grants Program. DU and DU Canada match every dollar from the AGFC, and then further leverage these funds to ensure breeding habitats sufficient to fill Arkansas’s skies with waterfowl forever. DU was born in the Dust Bowl era, a time when waterfowl greatly needed our help, and the country was dealing with catastrophic economic upheaval. With 75 years of experience delivering conservation, DU is well-positioned to build on our legacy and achieve our vision of full skies. However, our work is far from complete. In the face of uncertain funding for conservation programs, decreases in southern irrigated agriculture, unknown effects of climate change, continued wetland losses across the country and increased grassland conversion on the breeding grounds, waterfowl need us even more today. With the continued dedication and support of passionate volunteers, members and staff, DU will continue to deliver conservation for generations – waterfowl need it, the situation demands it and our children deserve it. Join us: www.ducks.org
“After all that young man has done on his own initiative for the ducks, and with such a noble cause, it was easy for me to agree,” Higginbotham said. He stood Dillon beside him, explained to the crowd of DU volunteers and supporters what this special bracelet was for, and began the bidding. “When we got to $1,200, I got choked up,” Higginbotham said. There weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the place by the time the final bid of $1,600 was cast. “The whole story, from Dillon’s initiative for the ducks and compassion for his friend to the generosity exhibited by all those supporting his endeavor, just displays the true passion and strength of our DU family. There’s tremendous heart in Ducks Unlimited Volunteers, and this is one shining example of it,” Higginbotham said.
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Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 43
Out & About
Arkansas Wild readers share pictures from their outdoor adventures. Eagle on the White River Photographed by Kristie Sumpter
Blue Heron on the White River in Flippin Photographed by Larry Elmore
“Lil Fisherman” Photographed by Becky Foster
44 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Emil Woerner Rainbow Trout fishing on the Little Missouri River
Fishing at Gastonâ€™s White River Resort Photographed by Jim Gaston
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Fishing in Cabot Photographed by April Kiser
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Summer 2012 ï‚§ Arkansas Wild | 45
C A K B R O Z FISHING LURES A R By Larry LeMasters
Manufactured, novelty fishing lures have been around since the 1940s, and homemade novelty lures have probably been made since Noah first fished. The lure of the novelty lure, for most fishermen, is humor. Novelty lures often are ironic in that they take things — symbols, objects, idiomatic expressions — and turn them into fishing lures. A few unusual examples of lures are beer bottle lures that look like miniature beer bottles with hooks. Trolling lures that use miniature troll dolls with treble hooks and booby fishing lures that are shaped like miniature…. well, you get the idea. Most new novelty lures cost about $8 and can readily be found on the internet. Vintage novelty lures can be hard to find and often cost $30 or more, depending on the lure, its condition and its age. One cross-collectible novelty fishing lure is the Razorback lure that depicts a miniature Arkansas Razorback with barbed hooks. I have seen these in both wood and plastic, and they are designed and advertised to be a “top hawg that will catch a hawg.” 46 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
(left) Bright red, plastic Razorback lure; $12. (right) Arkansas Razorback hand-carved lure by Ozark Carver. This lure comes in classic, top water and deep water and costs around $35.
On a crisp fall day, while listening to the Hogs play football on the radio, try casting a bright red Razorback lure into Greer’s Ferry Lake. You might not catch many fish with it, but the novelty of the act may entertain you. Cotton Cordell in Hot Springs manufactured the plastic Razorback lures. I have seen two different models of these plastic Hogs — one with a single treble hook and one with a double. And the wooden Razorback lures come in three types — classic, top water, and deep water, so no matter what depth you are fishing at, there is a Razorback lure that is guaranteed to be of no reel help. If you decide you need to add a Razorback lure to your collection, you might also look for the 1999 member patch of the Tackle Collectors of Arkansas (www.antiquefishinglures. com), an Arkansas organization that promotes the collection of antique fishing tackle. This patch sports the image of a Razorback lure, which would be a fabulous addition to a
novelty fishing lure collection. And for those who like to look at antique lures, The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center (in the River Market area) has David Stalnaker’s extensive antique lure collection on display, including five red Razorback-looking lures. Not only is David’s collection worth seeing, David and his daughter-inlaw, Stephanie, were both helpful in obtaining some of the photos seen here. Novelty lures add humor to any collection and are certain to leave your guests wondering if the stories you tell are a little “fishy.” (left) Member patch from 1999 Tackle Collectors of Arkansas. (below)Another Tackle Collectors of Arkansas patch, showing a Razorback lure. Photos courtesy of David Stalnaker.
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Arkansas Waterfalls By A.C. “Chuck” Haralson There has always been something magical about waterfalls to me. Perhaps it’s the consistent roar of the water I’m hearing from a distance and the anticipation of how great it is going to look once I finally get to the falls — the roar of the water tells me this could to be a good one. Or, a waterfall’s magic could be found in the power of the water and its landscape changing abilities. I can sit at a waterfall for hours and listen to the soothing, seductive sound of the flowing water.
Falling Water Falls
48 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Photo Tip I always try to shoot a waterfall on an overcast day so that the light is softer and I can use a slow shutter speed to make the water appear silky as it falls into the pool. But if I can’t be there on a cloudy day, I know I have to get there before, or after, the sun hits the waterfall location. I always use a tripod and a polarizing filter. I use an f/ stop of 11 or smaller for sharpness and depth of field, a low ISO and an exposure from 1 to 10 seconds, depending on the flow of the water, to get my desired effects of the water. If I have people with me standing at the base of the falls, I will use a one- to two-second exposure because they can’t stand still any longer without blurring. It’s always a good idea to know which direction the waterfall faces so you can plan on what time to get to the falls. I always wear waterproof boots because many times you have to cross a stream to get to the falls. It’s always a good idea to have a topographic map of the waterfall area to take with you to keep you on track. Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 49
calendar events 42ND ANNUAL HAMBURG ARMADILLO FESTIVAL
May 3 — 5: Come join the fun, there will be Armadillo races, a meat eating contest, arts and crafts, carnival rides & pet show, Southeast Arkansas Antique Tractor and Engine show, local entertainment, food, 5K- and one-mile walks, Barbara Harrison fun run, kids’ contest and more. Pets allowed only during the pet show. Free admission. Event will take place on Main Street in Hamburg. For more information contact Hamburg Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-853-8345.
KAYAK COVE ADVENTURE
May 5: Want to see Lake Catherine in a whole new way? Join a park interpreter for a kayaking adventure. Our stable, flat-water kayaks are easy to navigate and incredibly relaxing! No experience is necessary, but you should be comfortable around water. Kayaks, paddles and life jackets are provided. Spaces are limited. Pre-register and pre-pay at the visitor center. Admission: $15. Meeting place: Lake Catherine State Park’s marina. For more information call 501-844-4176.
PIONEER VILLAGE OPEN HOUSE
May 5 – 6: Pioneer Village is a collection of 19th century buildings, farm equipment and other items of historic interest saved from throughout White County by the White County Historic Society. The open house will feature crafters, Dutch oven cooking, live music, activities for children, food and hand-crafted items for sale. Free admission. Event will take place on 1166 Higginson St. in Searcy. For more information contact Elizabeth Heard at 501-580-6633.
17TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS CRUISERS CAR SHOW
May 12: Registration is at 8 a.m. Judging at 11 a.m. More than 100 trophies, dash plaques to first 150 participants; 100 point judging system; drawing for $1,000 cash and a transmission by Fryar Transmission. Door prizes, food, music, T-shirt, goodie bags to first 125. Games for children, Benefits Potters Clay, a crisis center for abused women and children. Admission: Free to general public; $15 for pre-registration; $20 day of show. Event will take place at the Hot Springs Airport. For more information contact Jim Yates at 501-760-2849. 50 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
Armadillo races, a meat eating contest, arts and crafts and more at the 42nd Annual Hamburg Armadillo Festival.
LOOSE CABOOSE FESTIVAL XXIII
May 17 — 19: The 22nd Loose Caboose Festival covers “the One and Only Downtown Paragould” the third weekend in May. One of the largest free musical entertainment festivals in the state, Loose Caboose also features a fish fry, 5K run, bike ride, karaoke contest, petting zoo, children’s stage, carnival and expanded arts and crafts area. Event will take place at 108 E. Emerson St. in Paragould. For more information contact Gina Jarrett at 870-240-0544.
May 19: Join amateur astronomers at the visitor center for an evening with the stars and other celestial phenomena. As twilight settles in, the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society will provide telescopes for viewing objects in the night sky. If cloudy skies prevent observation, an indoor program on astronomy will be presented at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Meeting place: Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor’s Center. For more information call 501-868-5806.
35TH ANNUAL RIVERFEST
May 25 — 27: Riverfest is a celebration of visual and performing arts held annually over Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Riverfest features six outdoor stages, children’s entertainment and activities. Admission: $20-$30 for a full pass. For more information call 501-255-3378 or visit www.riverfestarkansas.com.
MUSTANGS ON THE MOUNTAIN May 27: Mustangs from 1964 to brand new are displayed on the parking lot of the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain. $20 entry
fee. All year models welcome. Door prizes will be awarded. For more information call 501-727-5427 or visit www.museumofautos.com.
27TH ANNUAL STEAMBOAT DAYS
June 1 – 2: Steamboat Days include a carnival, entertainment, 5K run, children activities, cookoff, food, arts and crafts and a car show. Event will take place on the White River at Main Street in Des Arc. For more information contact TJ Nelson at 870256-5289.
KIDS’ FISHING DERBY
June 2: Hey kids, bring your parents down to the pond for a free fishing contest! There will be how-to-fish clinics, casting contests, free snacks and lots of prizes. Prizes will be given away throughout the event with a special prize for the biggest fish. Bring your own lawn chairs, umbrellas, drinking water, bait and tackle. Contest is for kids ages 15 and younger although everyone is welcome to fish after 11 a.m. with a fishing license. This event will take place at the Environmental Education Pond located at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. For more information call 501-868-5806.
NATURE EXPLORERS DAY CAMP SESSION 1
June 12 — 15: This “nature detective” camp is designed for kids ages 7-10 to make special State Park memories. There will be four whole days of hikes, visiting with live animals, nature programs and more! Advance payment is required. Space is limited to the first 10 campers. Admission: $75. For more information and to reserve your spot call Pinnacle Mountain State Park at 501-868-5806.
hi g h - sp eed prov ider From exciting outdoor sports to adrenalinepumping adventures, you can experience it all in the state parks of Arkansas.
C o s s a t o t R i ve r S t a t e Pa r k- N a t u r a l A r e a
888-AT-PARKS • ArkansasStateParks.com
Good water does not happen by accident! Central Arkansas Water wants you to get out and enjoy one of Central Arkansas’ most treasured resources this summer … Lake Maumelle! Go sailing, take your kayak for a spin or do a little fishing. Bring a backpack and take a day hike through the Ouachita National Recreation Trail or stretch your legs for a short jaunt on the Farkleberry Trail. Pack a picnic, take in the view and enjoy the wildlife but remember to enjoy the outdoors responsibly - this is your drinking water.
Clean water adds to quality of life. To learn more about what we are doing to protect Lake Maumelle, visit us online at carkw.com under Watershed Management.
PHOTO: CenTral arkansas WaTer
Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 51
Fireworks at the River Market Amphitheater
stage entertainment and fireworks. Admission is free. The event will take place at Sherwood Forest. For more information contact Amy Jackson at 501-833-3790.
EVENING K AYAK FLOAT
July 7: Explore the Big Maumelle River with a park interpreter on the guided kayak float. Meet at the Big Maumelle Pavilion to experience the serenity of twilight as it slowly changes into a peaceful moonlit night. No experience is necessary but you should be comfortable around water. Wear shoes that can get wet. Fee includes use of kayak, paddles and lifejackets. Advance payment required. Admission: $35. For more information call 501-868-5806.
NATURE EXPLORERS DAY CAMP SESSION II
PETIT JEAN 54TH ANNUAL CAR SHOW & SWAP MEET
June 12 — 16: Cars, parts, antiques, arts and crafts and memorabilla can be found in more than 900 available vendor spots. Antique car show judging beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. For more information call 501-727-5427.
FATHER’S DAY SUNSET CANOE FLOAT
June 17: Explore the Big Maumelle River with dad as nighttime unfolds. Possible sights and sounds for the night include bats, coyotes, deer, owls, beaver and maybe even the elusive alligator! No prior canoe experience is required, but you should be comfortable around water. Fee covers guide service and use of canoe, paddles and lifejackets. Advance payment is required. Admission: $35 per canoe. Meeting place: Big Maumelle Boat Launch. For more information call 501-868-5806.
NATURE EXPLORERS’ CAMP
June 19 — 21: Explorers’ Day Camp is designed to introduce children ages 7-9 to the natural wonders of our natural world. Through a variety of experiences including hiking, crafting, nature programming and more, we will discover the basic principals of biology, ecology and conservation. The children will be carefully supervised by park interpreters. Spaces fill quickly so be sure to get your registration form and payment in early. Deadline for registration is June 8. For more information call Lake Catherine State Park at 501-8444176.
WILDERNESS EXPLORERS DAY CAMP
June 19 — 22: Children ages 11-13 will enjoy this chance to explore the wilderness at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Camp activities may include canoe/kayak floats, extensive hiking and survival skills. The camp will end with an overnight camping opportunity Wednesday night including dinner provided by park staff. Advance payment is required. Admission: $100. For more information call 501-868-5806. 52 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION
June 23: Celebrate the arrival of summer with an array of outdoor activities for the whole family. Try your hand at using primitive style weapons and learn a game played by some American Indian tribes. Create and take home a pinch pot, arrowhead necklace and other native style crafts. At 6 p.m., the resident archeologist will provide a presentation on the alignment of the mounds with the summer solstice sunset. Following at 7 p.m., there will be a special guided sunset tour of the prehistoric mound site, during which we will observe the sunset in alignment with Mound B. Meeting place: Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park. Admission: $4 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12 and under 6 is free. For more information call 501-961-9442.
ADVENTURE OVERNIGHT CAMP
June 26 — 29: Adventure Camp is a four-day, three-night camp designed to introduce children ages 11-13 to the wonders of our natural world. Our outdoor laboratory allows us to explore forests, streams, ponds and meadows while having fun! Campers will be setting up their own campsites and cooking (and cleaning up after) their own meals, becoming more independent and confident in outdoor settings. Advance payment is required. Admission: $150. For more information about Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s Adventure Overnight Camp call 501-868-5806.
FUN ON THE FOURTH
July 4: Celebrate and cool off on this 4th of July at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Join the park interpreters for a day full of wet and wild games for the whole family. There will be water balloon volleyball, tug-of-war, relay races and more! Contact the park for a detailed schedule at 501-8685806.
13TH ANNUAL SHERWOOD’S JULY 4TH FAMILY CELEBRATION
July 4: The celebration will start at 6 p.m. There will be food and water while supplies last, live
July 10 — 13: This “nature detective” camp is designed for kids ages 7-10. There will be four whole days of hikes, visiting with live animals, nature programs and more! Advance payment is required. Space is limited to the first 10 campers. Admission: $75. For more information about Pinnacle Mountain State Park’s Nature Explorers Day Camp call 501-868-5806.
INSPECT AN INSECT WEEKEND
July 14 – 15: Ninety-five percent of all living creatures are insects! Spend the weekend learning about the different types of insects in the park, and even get a chance to eat one! Contact the park for a detailed program schedule as this event draws near. Admission is free. For more information call Pinnacle Mountain State Park 501-868-5806.
71ST ANNUAL JOHNSON COUNTY PEACH FESTIVAL
July 19 — 22: This event will take place at Courthouse Square on Main Street in Clarksville. Admission is free. Here are the times of some of the activities that will take place at the festival. Wednesday, 6 p.m. gospel music; Thursday, 9 a.m. crafts and concessions open; 4 p.m. banana split contest; 9 p.m. street dance. Friday, 8:30 a.m. greased pig chase; 9 a.m. frog jump also craft booths open; 10 a.m. terrapin derby; 1 p.m. peach eating contest; 2 p.m. peach cobbler, peach jam, and jelly contests. Saturday 7 a.m. 4-mile run; 9 a.m. diaper derby; 9 a.m. crafts; 11:30 a.m. peach pit spitting contest; 1 p.m. bicycle obstacle course; 2 p.m. water balloon toss. For more information contact Alicia Hartley at 479-754-9152.
SPLASH ZONE AND FRIDAY NITE FLICK
July 27: Grab your swim suit and towel and head to Splash Zone for an extended evening swim. Then stay and dry off while watching a family-friendly movie at sundown. MovieTBA. Concession available until 9 p.m. For more information call 501-982-0818. Admission: $4; movie is free.
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IN THE KNOW National Forest online map helps wildflower viewers LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Forest Service has released an updated online wildflower map with hundreds of locations on national forests for prime wildflower viewing, making it easier than ever to enjoy America’s great outdoors.
Seven of the wildflower areas are in Arkansas – Richardson Bottoms, Talimena Scenic Drive and Walnut Creek in the Ouachita National Forest and Lake Wedington Trail, Wedington Small Game Area, Mount Magazine and North Sylamore Creek Trail in the Ozark National Forest. To view the map, go online to http://www.fs.fed.us/ wildflowers/viewing/region.php?sort=forest&arearegio n=Southern . “This updated map provides visitors a quick guide to find locations and best viewing times for the spectacular natural beauty of wildflowers on national forests,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “This is one more way folks can experience the bounty of natural surroundings.” For many rural communities, the tourist revenue generated by thousands of wildflower festivals and events held each year helps support local economies. According to recent research, viewing and photographing wildflowers and trees is the fastest growing nature-based outdoor activity.
The wildflower map includes 317 wildflower viewing areas on National Forest System lands and can be referenced by specific states, individual national forests and geographic regions.
A narrative for each location describes the viewing area’s botanical habitat, the types of wildflowers that can be found by season and recommendations for the best time of year to visit. Information on safety advisories such as animal habitats, clothing recommendations, insect or plant cautions, and traffic and parking tips are included. Directions to the site, the closest town and contacts for more information are also offered. The map is part of the agency’s Celebrating Wildflowers web site which includes more than 10,000 plant images and information about the aesthetic, recreational, biological, medicinal and economic values of native plants. Feature sections focus on the role of pollinators, overviews of flower types, and spotlights on rare and interesting plant communities. An “ethnobotany” page highlights how people of particular cultures and regions make use of indigenous plants. Educational activities for kids and resources for teachers also are available.
Comment period for proposed AGFC fishing regulations opened May 1 LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be compiling feedback from anglers on the 2013 fishing regulations beginning May 1. This year, anglers will be able to provide input on the AGFC’s annual fishing regulations process by going to the agency’s website, writing a letter or by sending an email. In the past, the AGFC has held several public meetings around the state to discuss the proposed fishing regulations. Anglers have overwhelming provided their feedback online versus a public meeting. The online survey offers extra convenience for fishermen since they will be able to send their comments at any time during the feedback period. Written comments from anglers may be submitted online at www.agfc.com or mailed by May 31 to AGFC, Fishing Regulations Considerations, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anglers may also call 501-223-6428 with comments or questions. Photos.com
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This featured cache is part of the special geocaches placed by Arkansas Tourism that are located along Arkansas’s Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Named “The Legacy of Miss Lily,” the coordinates of the cache are N 34° 28.215 W 091° 00.591. Financing Available
The cache is a camoflaged container and is rated 1.5 in difficulty and 1.5 in terrain. It contains only a log. Please bring your own pen or pencil. Lily Peter, known by most as Miss Lily, was born and raised in Phillips County. She was an ecologist, farmer and author. While teaching and managing the farms, which included thousands of acres of cultivated land, Peter pursued education in literature and music. She studied English at Columbia and Vanderbilt universities, receiving a master’s degree from Vanderbilt and studying violin at Juilliard. Gov. Dale Bumpers announced Peter’s appointment as Arkansas’s third poet laureate on Oct. 6, 1971. She remained poet laureate until her death until 1991. She was also a philanthropist, donating money to the local community college to build a fine arts theater. This is one of the original caches placed along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway during its 70th anniversary in 2008. Ten original caches were placed in the 10 Arkansas Delta counties along the Arkansas portion of the Great River Road as part of the 10-state anniversary celebration. For more on geocaching in The Natural State, visit www.arkansas.com/geocache. For more information on the “Tribute to a Time of Change” cache, log on to www. geocaching.com/seek and search by GC code for GC1W9N2. For questions email email@example.com.
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Arkansas Duck Hunting Here's why folks duck hunt with us: • Known nationally for duck hunting • Food rich winter habitat • Large duck populations return yearly to a sheltered environment • New fields flooded with food weekly just days before your hunt • Ducks rest for a mandatory five out of seven days per week • Camouflaged blinds moved in just days before the hunt • Unforgettable experiences Arkansas Duck Hunting at Bayou Meto Double D We offer mallard, gadwall and pintail duck hunting services in Arkansas including experienced guides and comfortable lodging at Bayou Meto Double D Hunting Lodge, Lonoke Arkansas. Our privately owned and operated duck hunting tracts are designed to attract large concentrations of ducks and other waterfowl.
Unforgettable Arkansas Duck Hunts Nationally known for Arkansas duck hunting, our hunts are safe, comfortable, fun and successful coupled with superb hospitality. Folks meet duck hunting and often leave as life-long friends. Duck hunting in Arkansas can be a fun and productive way of entertaining clients or rewarding employees.
4696 Hwy 70 W • Lonoke, AR 72086 • 501.676.2191 • 501.658.1968 info@BayouMetoDoubleD.com www.arkansasduckhuntingbayoumetodoubled.com Summer 2012 Arkansas Wild | 55
IN THE KNOW Farm Bill will boost forest job creation in Arkansas
“Including forest products in the Biobased Markets Program will create demand for forest products, helping to bring back the 113,000 forestry sector jobs lost across the South since 2005. Under current policy, forest products are excluded from this program, despite their biobased content. On the other hand, other products that directly compete with these American products, like bamboo flooring which is primarily imported, are considered ‘biobased’ by the program,” stated Deb Hawkinson, Executive Director of the Hardwood Federation. The USDA Biobased Markets Program establishes “biobased” product purchasing requirements for the federal agencies and establishes a labeling program that product manufacturers can use to market their product as “biobased.” “With strong demand for forest products, the 343,000 families who own Arkansas’s forests will be better able to conserve and manage them. We applaud Sen. Boozman’s efforts to increase the use of forest products and jobs in rural communities,” American Forest Foundation President and CEO Tom Martin said. “In the last few years, more than 457 sawmills across the South have been shuttered. We are thankful that Sen. Boozman recognizes the jobs and economic loss our rural communities have suffered and has taken steps to ensure that American-made forest products aren’t disadvantaged by biobased procurement requirements,” Hawkinson said.
Arkansas’s bear harvest continues to be strong LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas’s bear harvest continues to be strong. Hunters harvested more than 400 bears during the 2011-12 season. Last season, hunters harvested more 450 bears. During the 2009-10 season, hunters harvested a record 530 bears. The harvest totals were presented to commissioners of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission during a recent monthly meeting. Bear Program Coordinator Myron Means said the harvest numbers could be attributed to private land hunters using bait. “Mast failure caused bears to seek baits more than in the past,” Means said. Means added that the sex ratio was Photo by Arkansas department of parks and tourism
56 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
good and the statewide harvest goal is between 350 and 400 bears each year. Polk and Scott counties were again the two top counties for bear hunters. In Polk County, 51 bears were harvested, followed by 45 bears in Scott County. Means said that future considerations for bear season could include removing the two-day early modern gun hunt in Bear Zone 2. “The two-day gun season has been successful in increasing bear harvest for Bear Zone 2. However, it also has increased the female harvest ratio from roughly 35 percent to 50 percent,” Means said. “A 50 percent harvest rate of adult females is not sustainable over the long term,” he warned.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Recently, the Senate Agriculture Committee, under the leadership of Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Pat Robert (R-KS), passed a Farm Bill that included a change to the USDA Biobased Markets Program that will allow forest products into the program. In order to promote rural jobs, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) championed this change in the bill.
Summer 2012 ď‚§ Arkansas Wild | 57
Leak in This
By Jill Rohrbach I’m really good at saying “yes.” My first inclination when presented with a challenge, new experience, or something that pushes me outside my comfort zone is excitement. It’s usually too late when I begin to think about what I have said “yes” to. That’s how I came to be a marshal at the Bassmaster Elite Series on Bull Shoals Lake recently. I was already headed over there to cover the event. My office was trying to help secure marshals for it, and my boss asked me if I’d like to be one since I was going. “Awesome,” was my only thought. I love fishing and a day on the lake. It wasn’t until the day before I headed to Bull Shoals when I was contemplating everything I needed to pack that I realized that would include a tin can or some similar container. Oh jeez. What had I gotten myself into? Oh, only the possibility of relieving myself in the bass boat of a professional angler who was a perfect stranger! Yep, a little outside of my comfort zone. Now, some of you just stopped reading and are thinking, “TMI!” Most of you are laughing. I know this because no matter who I talked with about the marshal experience (and many of you were strangers I met during the event), and no matter what questions they asked, almost everyone wanted to know what a female marshal does if she has to go to the bathroom. So let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? The rules state, “Pros and Marshals must remain together at all times, in sight of the pro’s catch… In the event of a needed restroom break or refueling situation at a marina gas pump partners 58 | Arkansas Wild Summer 2012
are allowed to leave the boat upon which all fishing must cease until partners are back together in the boat.” Basically, that means to me that you could ask to be put out on the bank to go, but your pro would have to stop fishing, or you can take a canister of some sort and just go in it in the boat. (Here’s a tip – take a poncho for “privacy.”) Now I’m an outdoorsy girl and I’ve spent time fishing and on boats. While I had never been a marshal before, I knew good and well that I wouldn’t be asking a professional angler fishing for tournament money to drive me to a marina bathroom. I figured a quick trip to a tree or shrub on the bank might be an option, but didn’t like the idea of halting the fishing action. I didn’t want to be a disadvantage in a quest for a top prize of $100,000. So, I went with canister in hand. However, my ultimate game plan was simply not to go at all. I’m happy to say that worked out for
me both days. I didn’t drink a thing (okay a few sips of coffee the first day) before I met up with my pro each way-too-early morning. I’m a coffeeholic so that was hard for me, especially at that hour of the morning. Both days I stashed a bottle of water in the pro’s ice compartment, but didn’t drink it either day until we had actually reached the check-in at Bull Shoals Lake Dock. I’m just gonna say that for me, a little dehydration was worth avoiding the canister, which would have been pretty hysterical to try and use the second day with all the layers and rain gear I had on in the cold, wet weather. Now the other thing you might be wondering is what the pros do with a female in the boat, although I think most of you guessed that all I had to do was look the other way. When it comes down to it, the pros are pros and the restroom situation is no big deal.
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The Delta Conference Center & Resort’s
Coon Bayou Hunting Club Arkansas’s Newest Duck Hunting Venue
Coon Bayou Hunting Club Tillar, Arkansas
Get ready for more ducks than you can handle! And, a stay that includes great food and relaxing accommodations. Mississippi Migratory Bird Flyway
Flurry on Coon Bayou
Located in the heart of the Mississippi Migratory Bird Flyway, the Delta Conference Center & Resort and Coon Bayou Hunting Club in Tillar, Arkansas are a haven to tens-of-millions of migrating waterfowl annually. That immense number of birds in flight makes Coon Bayou part of the most abundant waterfowl habitats in North America. The game bird activity is simply amazing. All hunts come with a guide experienced in gun safety, blind/pit duck hunting, duck calling, decoy setting Two Bedroom Suites or Guest Rooms: In-room Flat screen and WIFI, On-site Dining, Gaming and Media Area All Meals are included
Make reservations for Dec. 10-18 Season.
Call 1-800-518-1387 to speak with a Delta Hospitality Specialist today. Or visit us online: DeltaConferenceCenter.com 7920 Bucksducks Road • Tillar, Arkansas
Ducks Aren’t the Only Reason to Shoot Here.
C O N F E R E CENTER N C E C&E RESORT NTER CONFERENCE
60 |CArkansas O N F EWild R E NSummer C E C2012 ENTER
The Delta also offers the finest in Olympic Bunker Trap and Clay Shooting with over 1,700 acres dedicated to these disciplines. In 2011 the Junior Olympic Qualifier was held here along with sporting clay’s Delta International Open and Delta Classic – both setting record highs in prize purse payouts. And now with the scheduled 2012 opening of Delta Place, our Course-side Guest Facility, shooters can stay close to all the clay action. For details on Stay’n’Clay Packages & more click deltaconferencecenter.com