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Arkansas Wild


Tournaments AREA FISHING


Saline River 12

Celebrating 75 Years of Arkansas State Parks


22Fall Spring 20072008 • ARKANSAS • ARKANSAS WILD WILD

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ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008



Arkansas Wild SPRING ‘08


Arriving Late Summer 2008

E D I T O R I A L EMILY GRIFFIN Editor KELLIE MCANULTY Editorial/Creative Art Director

A R T ERICA SCHAFFER Art Director MIKE SPAIN Art Director PATRICK JONES Creative Director RAFAEL MÉNDEZ Graphic Artist

P H O T O G R A P H Y A.C. (CHUCK) HARALSON Photographer EMILY GRIFFIN Photographer BRIAN CHILSON Photographer

P R O D U C T I O N IRA HOCUT Production Manager ROLAND GLADDEN Advertising Traffic Manager EMILY GRIFFIN Advertising Coordinator



WELDON WILSON Controller ROBERT CURFMAN IT Director LINDA PHILLIPS Billing/Collections LORI HALE Office Manager JENNIE SWANSON Office Assistant ANITRA HICKMAN Circulation Director

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Spring 2008 • ARKANSAS WILD

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ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Contributors Contributors Emily Griffin

Brent Kelley

Theo Witsell

Johnnie Chamberlin

Michael Warriner Jay Harrod

Brian Davis

Josh Doyle

Born and raised in the Ozarks, EMILY GRIFFIN has enjoyed outdoor activities from an early age. From fishing the lakes and rivers around Mountain Home to canoeing down the Buffalo National River to Geocaching across the state, Griffin always finds time to partake in the beauty of Arkansas. “One of the great things about working for Arkansas Wild is getting to meet so many Arkansans who care about this state as much as I do,” Griffin said. Griffin holds a degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro.

THEO WITSELL has been the staff botanist for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission since July 2000. In addition, Witsell has worked as a contract botanist for the United States Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Department of Defense, and various other conservation organizations in the southeastern region of the country. Witsell is an active member of the Arkansas Vascular Flora Committee, a group of botanists currently writing the Manual of the Vascular Flora of Arkansas. He is editor of The Claytonia, the newsletter of the Arkansas Native Plant Society.

BRENT KELLEY joined Audubon Arkansas in September 2006. A native Arkansan, Kelley received his undergraduate degree in Botany from the University of Arkansas in 2001 and his Master’s degree in Forest Entomology in 2006. As Field Programs Coordinator for Audubon, Kelley coordinates and manages all field projects within the Fourche Creek Watershed Initiative Grant, including stream-bank stabilization projects, reforestation efforts, water quality sampling and analysis, and storm water control projects. In addition, he manages the field portion of the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) in which Audubon partners with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to put non-productive farmland back into its natural forested state. In his spare time, besides playing the guitar and mandolin, Kelley enjoys canoeing, backpacking, and mountain biking with friends and his Border Collie, Chassis.

MICHAEL WARRINER is an entomologist and founder of the Arkansas Native Bee Project, a local initiative aimed at documenting native bee diversity and promoting their conservation across Arkansas landscapes. Warriner is also a Field Ecologist with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission in Little Rock. He developed citizen-science initiatives in the form of the Arkansas Tarantula Survey and the Arkansas Bumblebee Survey, and, in 2005, was awarded the Conservation Educator of the Year Award by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation.

JAY HARROD, a spokesperson for The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas, writes about one of the Natural State’s best kept secrets—the Saline River. The upper portion of the river and its four forks are excellent for bass fishing, but the watershed is the focus of the Conservancy and other conservation partners because it’s among the cleanest in Arkansas. The Saline is the last major river in the Ouachita Mountains that has not been dammed. Harrod is pictured above with his kids, Taylor and Max, on the Caddo River, another Ouachita Mountain stream the Conservancy is working to keep healthy. BRIAN DAVIS, a regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited since 2001, is part of nearly a dozen Arkansas DU staff that work diligently to deliver conservation education across the state. In addition to the many roles he plays for the DU organization, Davis also serves as adjunct professor at Mississippi State University participating in research that assesses benefits of Arkansas rice fields to waterfowl and other wildlife. He holds a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and a doctorate degree in Wildlife Science from Mississippi State University. 8

A.C. "Chuck" Haralson

Spring 2008 • ARKANSAS WILD

A.C. “CHUCK” HARALSON knows Arkansas. The Arkansas Parks and Tourism chief photographer has traveled all over the state in the past 25 years, capturing its splendor on film. From wildlife on the White River to fly fishermen in mid-cast, Haralson has been there to record each event, granting his audience a chance to see a fleeting moment in time. His work evokes a sense of wonder and awe in the viewer. One gets the sense of seeing the state through Haralson’s eyes, and what an amazing place it is indeed. JOSH DOYLE was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta. “My father and grandfathers were very instrumental in teaching me about the outdoors as I grew up,” Doyle explained, “they really showed me how to appreciate our many natural resources.” Doyle graduated in 2001 from Arkansas State University with a degree in Business Administration. He currently works for the Precision Dynamics Corporation, but says he continues to spend the majority of his free time, “chasing something with feathers, fins, or fur.” Doyle currently lives in Marion with his wife Devon. JOHNNIE CHAMBERLIN, assistant director of conservation, joined Audubon Arkansas in September 2005 and works primarily on Audubon’s Fourche Creek Watershed Initiative. He returned to Little Rock from Durham, North Carolina. There, he conducted bioremediation research and taught a biotechnology lab while earning his M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. Chamberlin said he enjoyed hiking and kayaking around Little Rock before getting paid to do so.

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Lakes Play Key Role In Arkansas Recreation By Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Bull Shoals Lake

Lake Chicot 10 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Water is a key ingredient for many outdoor recreational activities around the world. Campers are drawn to it, hikers prefer to walk near it, most resorts rely on it, and millions of watersports enthusiasts revel in it. In Arkansas, freshwater creeks and rivers certainly attract thousands of fishermen, canoeists and hikers each year, but the state’s rich bounty of lakes offers an even greater smorgasbord of activities for residents and visitors. And, with over 600,000 surface acres of lakes, there’s plenty of space for everyone’s favorite water event. Arkansas’s 11 largest lakes cover about 300,000 acres -- half of what the state has to offer. Hundreds of small lakes, created by nature or by various federal, state and private agencies, account for the other half. Until the early part of this century, all of the state’s larger lakes were natural “old river” or “oxbow” impoundments along the Mississippi, Arkansas, White and other rivers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers introduced large manmade lakes to Arkansas in 1942, when Nimrod Lake was completed in Yell and

Perry counties. While Corps projects were built primarily for flood control and power generation, the lakes have provided excellent outdoor recreation for visitors and residents for more than halfa-century. The lake projects continue to attract millions of people each year, providing a valuable contribution to tourism in the Natural State. The ball really started rolling with the completion of Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes, deep in the Ozarks. Norfork, encompassing 22,000 acres, was finished in 1944 on the North Fork River, a major tributary of the White. Almost 400 miles of shoreline and 19 public use parks provide space for camping, scuba diving, fishing or just relaxing. The lake has a reputation for great striper, bass, catfish and crappie action. The nation’s largest trout hatchery, near the base of Norfork Dam, offers tours to the public, and nearby North Fork River is an excellent float or wading stream. Two world-record brown trout were taken from the river in 1988. Bull Shoals Lake, completed in 1951, is west of Mountain Home on the main channel of the White River. The largest concrete dam in the Ozarks, Bull Shoals created a 45,500-acre lake along the Arkansas-Missouri border. Corps public use parks offer more than 600 campsites around the 740-mile shoreline. Several state-record bass have been taken from the lake’s impressive stock which includes crappie, walleye, striper, trout and a variety of bass species. For 100 miles below the big dam, trout is the name of the game on the White River. Resorts and a state park are available to provide everything needed to go after the rainbows and browns that make this stream world-famous. Beaver Lake, completed in 1966, is fed by the headwaters of the White River and fills a series of wooded valleys in the northwest corner of the state, between Fayetteville and Eureka Springs. Surface acreage totals almost 30,000 acres and the shoreline, delineated by limestone bluffs, twists and turns for 450-miles. Some 620 campsites in 10 public use parks complement a wide range of accommodations in nearby towns. Stripers, crappie, largemouth, white and spotted bass are popular catches

and fly fishing is great for miles below the dam. In his last major appearance before his fatal trip to Dallas, President John F. Kennedy dedicated Greers Ferry Lake on October 3, 1963. Today, the 40,000acre lake is famous for its luxury resorts, convention centers, sailing regattas, fishing and water recreation. It is also known for its cleanliness. It was here in 1970 that a volunteer cleanup program was started and became the model for the Great Arkansas Cleanup and the subsequent National Public Lands Day, which follows its example. Greers Ferry Lake has received numerous awards for its program, including 10 Keep America Beautiful commendations. The lake offers 15 public use parks, nine commercial marinas and over 1,200 campsites. State-record walleye and hybrid bass have been hooked on Greers Ferry and other species, including white, largemouth, stripers, catfish and crappie, also provide plenty of action. Three nationally-ranked nature trails, a federal fish hatchery and a

visitors center are other reasons for Greers Ferry Lake region’s popularity. Another is the championship-class trout fishing on the Little Red River, below the dam. The current world-record brown (40lbs., 4 ozs.) was landed here in 1992. Resorts along the river and around the lake are geared to handle every fisherman’s need. Lake Dardanelle is in a class by itself. It stretches some 50 miles upstream from the Dardanelle-Russellville area as part of the massive $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, OK. Some 250 Corps campsites are available around the lake, plus Dardanelle State Park which occupies two shoreline locations. Largemouth, white and other bass species are tops with anglers, but the lake also supports catfish, bream and crappie populations. The largest man-made reservoir located entirely in the state is Lake Ouachita, near Hot Springs. Completed in 1953, the lake covers some 40,000

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Lake Hamilton

acres at crest and extends up the Ouachita River valley more than 30 miles. The Ouachita is known for its great fishing, wilderness beauty and camping. Stripers in the 40-lb. class and lunker largemouth bass have attracted national tournaments to this Corps of Engineers gem, nestled in the Ouachita National Forest. Walleye, catfish and slab crappie are other favorites. Recreational boating is also very popular on Lake Ouachita, which boasts over 100 islands. Rentals include houseboats, sailing crafts, fishing rigs and more. A state park (with cabins), commercial marinas and resor ts, plus more than 400 Corps campsites contribute to one of the state’s finest outdoor destinations. Other Hot Springs area lakes include Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton, both smaller and older than most Arkansas lakes, yet they provide good fishing and great resort accommodations at the Spa City’s doorstep. Lake Catherine State Park is one of a handful of historic CCC facilities that started the state parks system during the 1930s. DeGray Lake, near Arkadelphia, is one of the state’s newest and most popular lakes. The 13,400-acr e impoundment offers almost 600 campsites in more than a dozen public use parks, plus the luxury of DeGray Lake 12 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Resort State Park Lodge. The 96room facility overlooks the lake from a wooded peninsula, part of a state park complex that includes a modern conference center, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, campgrounds and marina. Anglers revel at the variety of sports fishing on DeGray, which includes hybrid bass, northern pike, several bass species and all native panfish. Commercial marinas and rentals are available. The tri-lakes region in southwest Arkansas showcases Gillham, Dierks, and DeQueen as smaller, but bountiful, recreational reservoirs. Lake Greeson, north of Murfreesboro, is known for its scenic wonders and boasts Daisy State Park along its northern shore. Millwood Lake, north of Texarkana, covers 29,000 acres and has long been a bass angler’s haven because much of the lake is old timber stands. There are 230 Corps campsites and Millwood State Park adds more campgrounds and a marina. Nimrod, mentioned earlier, and Blue Mountain lakes are hidden deep in the west-central Ouachita Mountains. Both provide great retreat areas for campers and fishermen. Extreme south Arkansas offers two large lakes as part of management areas. Lake Erling, south of Stamps, is adjacent to the Lafayette Wildlife Management

Area, and the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, west of Crossett, contains Lake Jack Lee. Restricted fishing is permitted on the refuge and camping areas are few. Persons are encouraged to tour the Felsenthal Visitors Center before venturing into the 65,000-acre preserve. Arkansas’s largest natural body of water, Lake Chicot, is a cut-off or “oxbow” from the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of the state. Formed centuries ago when the wandering river current decided to take a new course to the east, Lake Chicot has been a recreational retreat since pioneer days. Great fishing and water sports have been its trademark for generations and a state park, along the northern shoreline, is a fine place to start an outdoor adventure. Birdwatching, fishing, or relaxing at the park’s outdoor pool are just some of the options. Camping, cabins, and marina are available. The lake’s location makes it one of the early “hot” fishing spots in springtime. For more information about the great lakes of Arkansas, call the state’s Department of Parks and Tourism at 1-800-NATURAL; and for fishing information, call 1-800-364-GAME. You can also visit the Department’s Website at or the Game and Fish Commission’s site at

Go Fish

Area tournaments allow anglers to put their skills to the test. By Emily Griffin

If you are a serious (or even not-so-serious) angler, there are plenty of opportunities in Arkansas to test your skills. Below is a list of some of the upcoming area fishing tournaments. CENTRAL PRO-AM May 3-4...Table Rock Lake Pro-Am June 7-8...Dardanelle Lake Pro-Am July 12-13...Truman Lake Pro-Am Aug. 23-24...Stockton Lake Pro-Am Oct. 4-5...Championship Tournament, Lake of the Ozarks FISHERS OF MEN May 3...Lake Dardanelle (Ramp: Dardanelle State Park) May 3...Hurricane Refugee (Ramp: Bald Knob) May 3...Millwood Lake (Ramp: Yarborough Landing) May 17...Lake Ferguson (Ramp: Casino Ramp) May 17...Lake Hogue (Ramp: lower lake ramp) June 7...Arkansas River (Ramp: Alltel Ramp in Little Rock) June 7...Maddox Bay (Ramp: Maddox Bay Landing) June 14...Lake Bob Sandlin (Ramp: TBA) June 21...Arkansas River (Ramp: Regional Park in Pine Bluff) July 12...White River (Ramp: Augusta) July 19...Millwood Lake (Ramp: Yarborough Landing) GREERS FERRY LAKE BASS MASTERS May 17...Greers Ferry Lake (Ramp: Devil’s Fork) Sept. 27...Lake Dardanelle (Ramp: Dardanelle State Park) Oct. 18...Wild Card (Ramp: Russellville State Park) Dec. 6...Greers Ferry Lake (Ramp: Devil’s Fork)

TRADER BILL’S TEAM TRAIL TOURNAMENT May 4...Greers Ferry Lake June 8...Lake Dardanelle July 13...Lake DeGray Sept. 20-21...Championship Tournament (TBA) FLW WAL-MART BASS FISHING LEAGUE May 10...Greers Ferry Lake (Ramp: Devil’s Fork) May 15...Beaver Lake (Ramp: Prairie Creek) May 29-31...Lake Hamilton (Ramp: Fish Hatchery) June 21...Lake Dardanelle (Ramp: Lake Dardanelle State Park) AMERICAN BASS ANGLERS May 17-18...Lake Ouachita (Ramp: Mountain Harbor) June 7-8...Bull Shoals Lake (Ramp: Diamond City Park) ARKANSAS BIG BASS BONANZA June 27-29...Arkansas River MR. BASS OF ARKANSAS PRO-AM May 25...Arkansas River (Ramp: Little Rock) June 29...Lake Millwood Oct. 24-26...2008 Mr. Bass of Arkansas Classic

BASSMASTERS Oct. 23-25...2008 Women’s Bassmaster Tournament, Lake Hamilton ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Mulberry River

Go With the Flow Arkansas streams offer peaceful getaways and outdoor adventures for floaters. By Emily Griffin

With more than 9,000 miles of streams in Arkansas, a great float trip is always within driving distance. Canoe, kayak, johnboat or a good ole’ raft, no matter how choose to float them, Arkansas’ streams will always provide you with a peaceful and serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But if it’s adventure you’re looking for, don’t rule out the rugged whitewater rafting found here in The Natural State. The variety of Arkansas river rafting adventures is remarkable. Below is a list of waterways to float, and nearby outfitters. Big Piney Creek At 67 miles, Big Piney Creek is not particularly long by Arkansas standards. But mile for mile, there’s no doubt it ranks among the best float streams in the state. Whitewater enthusiasts will agree that stretches of Big Piney are prime spots for canoeing adventures. Moore Outdoors 3827 SR 164 West, Dover (479) 331-3606 14 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, campground, supplies, and Kayak. River Tech 5393 N. Arkansas, Russellville (479) 890-6980 Services offered: canoe rental, supplies, and kayak. Buffalo National River The Buffalo National River originates in the rugged Boston Mountains division of the Ozarks near Fallsville in southwestern Newton County. The Buffalo flows east where it joins the White River. Along the way it descends nearly 2,000 feet through layers of sandstone, limestone, and chert. One immediately obvious result is bluffs and more bluffs--the highest in all the Ozarks. Other geologic marvels include natural springs, caves, waterfalls, natural bridges, and box-like canyons. Perhaps the most famous of all Buffalo River floats are those that take place between Ponca and the Arkansas Highway 7 crossing. Along this 25-mile

section find “Gray Rock”, the highest waterfall in mid-America at Hemmedin-Hollow, towering cliffs, and an assortment of swimming holes. Buffalo Adventures Canoe Rental P.O. Box 414, Jasper (870) 446-5406 Located 5 miles west of Jasper. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, supplies, and kayak. Buffalo Camping & Canoeing, Inc. Gilbert (870) 439-2888 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Buffalo Outdoor Center Hwy. 43, Box 1, Ponca (870) 861-5514 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, and supplies. Buffalo River Outfitters 9964 N. Hwy 65, St. Joe

(870) 439-2244 Located on Hwy. 65 South. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Crockett’s Country Store & Canoe Rental Harriet (870) 448-3892 Located at the intersection of Highway 27 and Highway 14. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, lodging, and supplies. Dillard’s Ozark Outfitters, Inc. 17 Dillard Loop, Yellville (870) 449-6619 Located on Hwy. 14 South. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, supplies, and kayak. Dirst Canoe Rental & Log Cabins 538 Hwy. 268 E, Yellville (800) 537-2850 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, supplies, and kayak. Gordon Motel & Canoe Rental Jasper, AR (870) 446-5252 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, and supplies. Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging Hwy. 43 Box 10, Ponca (870) 861-5522 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Newland’s Lodge, Float Trips and Conference Center 295 River Road, Lakeview (870) 431-5678 Services offered: canoe rental, guide services, lodging, and supplies. Norfork Trout Dock Fisherman Street, Norfork (870) 449-5500 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, lodging, and supplies.

Spring River

Riley’s Station Outfitter Hideaway 129 CR 640, Mountain Home (870) 425-4221 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, lodging, and kayak. Riverview Motel and Canoe Rental Jasper, AR (870) 446-2616 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, and lodging. Silver Hill Canoe Rental St. Joe, AR (870) 439-2372 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, supplies, and kayak. Silver Hill Grocery and Watercraft 9819 N. Hwy 65, St. Joe (870) 439-2599 (Silver Hill entrance to Tyler Bend Buffalo National River) Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, supplies, and kayak. White Buffalo Resort 418 White Buffalo Trail Mountain Home (870) 425-8555 Located in Buffalo City. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Wild Bill’s Outfitter 23 Hwy. 268 East #1, Yellville (870) 449-6235 Services outfitter: Canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services,

guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, restaurant, and kayak. Caddo River While the Caddo River is “floatable” above Norman (the water has to be high, and it’s a very fast float), most float trips on the stream’s upper reaches begin at the southwest edge of this small town. The eight-mile float down to Caddo Gap is scenic, but is possible only after extended periods of rainfall. Probably the most popular Caddo River float trip is the six-mile journey from Caddo Gap to Glenwood. One highlight is a swinging footbridge over the river at the put-in (the low-water bridge west of the Caddo Gap community), which, for safety’s sake, should be appreciated from below. Rock gardens are common along this stretch and can cause consternation when the water’s low. The float trip from Glenwood to Amity is a slower version of the upper sections. Pools are longer, and the rapids lose some of their intensity. Yet it’s a fine, float trip, perfectly suited for those wishing to gain encouraging experience in a canoe. Arrowhead Cabin and Canoe Rental 69 Arrowhead Dr., Caddo Gap (870) 356-2944 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, and kayak. Caddo River Camping and Canoe Rental 26 Hwy. 8 East, Glenwood (870) 356-5336 Located at the junction of U.S. 70 & Hwy. 8, 35 miles west of Hot Springs Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Two Rivers Canoe and Tube Rental 1484 Hwy. 128, Arkadelphia (870) 403-3682 Located on Hwy. 7, Caddo River Bridge, Caddo Valley. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, supplies, and kayak. Cadron Creek The Cadron begins in Cleburne County, around Heber Springs. It flows in a westerly direction, is joined by its North Fork near Quitman, then continues on a southwesterly course toward its eventual destination--the Arkansas River. Along the way the stream passes by things most might expect--fields and occasional farm houses--and, for many, some startling surprises--rapids, bluffs, and canyon-like surroundings. Cadron Creek Outfitters 54 Cargile Lane, Greenbrier (501) 679-5050 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, campground, supplies, and kayak. Crooked Creek As it meanders across northern Arkansas on the way to the White River, Crooked Creek passes through typical Ozark landscapes featuring rolling hills, cedar glades, bluffs, bottomland thickets, and lush pasturelands. In addition to its nationally known smallmouth bass fisher y, Crooked Creek also provides habitat for many other species including channel catfish and several varieties of sunfish. Living along the stream corridor are numerous mammals--beaver, mink, and deer, to name a few--and an abundant assortment of water-oriented birds including kingfishers, ospreys, and great blue herons. Dillard’s Ozark Outfitters, Inc. 17 Dillard Loop, Yellville (870) 449-6619 Located on Hwy. 14 South. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, supplies, and kayak. 16 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Wild Bill’s Outfitter 23 Hwy. 268 East #1, Yellville (870) 449-6235 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, restaurant, and kayak. Eleven Point River A year-round float stream, the Eleven Point is fed by numerous springs making it an ideal destination for floaters any month. About 70 percent of its flow is supplied by these springs. Even when the river is low after a period of drought, all shoal areas can be navigated. Rising in the Ozarks of Missouri, the Eleven Point flows southward through the Mark Twain National Forest, passing rocky, dramatic country. But once it enters Arkansas, the terrain becomes more alluvial. Its pace slows, and the scenery becomes bucolic. A clear, unpolluted stream, the Eleven Point is a favorite of canoeists because of its frequent rapids. Sand and gravel bars on the lower river, some of considerable height, are subject to cave-ins due to the natural action of the water. This can be a problem to floaters, since the resulting debris can obstruct the stream’s flow. Woody’s Canoe Rental and Campground 9931 Hwy. 93, Pocahontas (870) 892-9732 Services offered: canoe rental, campground, supplies, and kayak. Kings River High in the Boston Mountains of Madison County lie the beginnings of the Kings River. From this steep country the stream twists its way northward to the White River and finally flows into southern Missouri’s Table Rock Lake. In its upper reaches, the Kings cuts a narrow gorge through sandstone, shale, and limestone. On downstream the surrounding countryside is not quite so precipitous, but the water is the same-clear and cool. The Kings’ most attractive features are found along the rocky banks and bluffs where floaters will notice wild azaleas, ferns, umbrella magnolias, and other fascinating plants. In addition,

observant visitors can view a great many signs of wildlife--beaver cuttings and deer and raccoon tracks, for instance-and may even spot some of the local creatures. Kings River Outfitters Eureka Springs (479) 253-8954 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Kings River Retreat 8190 Hwy. 221 S, Eureka Springs (479) 253-2346 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Riverside Resort and Canoes 3031 Hwy. 62W, Berryville (800) 528-4645 Located 5 miles east of Eureka Springs on Hwy. 62. Services offered: canoe rental, guide services, lodging, and kayak. Mulberry River It wouldn’t be completely accurate to describe the Mulberry River as 50 miles of whitewater, but it would not be far from the truth for several months of the year. The stream is definitely one of the state’s wildest rivers during spring. From its beginnings deep in the Ozarks to its confluence with the Arkansas River, the Mulberry pours over ledges, shoots through willow thickets, and whips around sharp turns. These “wild” characteristics are what give the stream its class II/III rating, and high marks from the floating public. In drier times, the river takes on a completely different personality. It’s a good place to swim, wade, skip rocks, and stalk the wary smallmouth, spotted bass, and longear sunfish. The best floating during the summer months is on an air mattress at one of the local swimming holes. Byrd’s Adventure Center 7037 Cass Oark Rd., Ozark (479) 667-4066 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, and supplies.

Turner Bend Inc. 20034 North Highway 23, Ozark (479) 667-3641 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Ouachita River From its beginnings where two small creeks converge at the base of Rich Mountain in Polk County, the river winds its way through the scenic Ouachita Mountains and beyond. It is in these higher elevations that the stream offers a good range of recreation opportunities for floating and fishing enthusiasts alike. A major draw is its location within the Ouachita National Forest. The Forest Service provides campgrounds, picnic areas, and access points along the river and several of its tributaries. In addition, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission maintains several access areas along the stream. These developments attract not only experienced river travelers, but many people venturing out for their first trip in a canoe.

870-867-4757 Services offered: canoe rental, lodging, campground, and kayak. River View Cabins and Canoes 92 West River View Dr., Oden (870) 326-4630 Services offered: canoe rentals, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, and supplies. Two Spirits Ltd. Canoe

Adventures 1167 Puckett Bend Rd., Mt. Ida (870) 867-5028 Located 5 miles west of Mt. Ida on Hwy. 270, then right on Highway 298 for .25 miles then right on Puckett Bend Rd. Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, restaurant, and kayak. Saline River The upper portion of the Saline,

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Two Rivers Canoe and Tube Rental 1484 Hwy. 128, Arkadelphia (870) 403-3682 Located on Hwy. 7, Caddo River Bridge, Caddo Valley. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, supplies, and kayak. M&M Canoe Rentals Pencil Bluff (870) 326-4937 Corner of Highways 270 & 88 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, guide services, campground, supplies, and kayak. Ouachita River Haven Resort 122 Ouachita River Haven Road Pencil Bluff (870) 326-4941 Located east of Pencil Bluff just off Hwy. 88. Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Ouachita River Mountain Outfitters 95 Riverside Drive, Mt. Ida


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Ouachita River

above Benton, is characterized as a clear, cold-water section with a series of fast-running shoals interspersed with short, quiet pools. The middle section of the river (Benton to Warren) contains long pools and few riffles with clear to murky water. The river’s lower section below Warren has sluggish current with slightly murky water. The Saline is one of only a few rivers that has a gravel bottom throughout its entire length. Saline River Canoe I-30, Benton 501-847-8554 Services offered: canoe rental, and shuttle services. Spring River There’s no getting around the fact that Spring River is chilly. But it is this volume of cool water that makes the Spring River a year-round float stream, and allows the river to be regularly stocked with rainbow trout. Most Spring River canoe trips take place in the 17-mile stretch between Mammoth Spring State Park and Hardy, a historic town in northern Sharp County. This section is recommended for beginning to intermediate canoeists, and is very popular for family outings. 18 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Three Rivers Outfitters Junction of Highways 63/62 & 412 Hardy (870) 856-4945 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, supplies, and kayak. Hardy RV Park and Canoe Rental 3 S. Spring St., Hardy (870) 856-2356 Downtown on Spring River Services offered: canoe rental, lodging, and campground. Mammoth Spring Canoe Rental Mammoth Spring (870) 625-3645 Located on Highway 63, 15 miles north of Hardy. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Many Islands Camp and Canoe Rental 2988 Many Islands Road Mammoth Spring (870) 856-3451 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground,

supplies, and kayak. Riverside Resort, Camp & Canoe Rental Mammoth Spring (870) 625-7501 Located 11.2 miles north of Hardy off Highway 63. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Southfork Resort 7230 Hwy. 289 N, Mammoth Spring (870) 895-2803 Located 14 miles south of Mammoth Spring on Hwy. 289, Saddle, AR Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. Spring River Canoe Rental Hardy (870) 856-2396 Located 4 miles north of Hardy. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, and kayak. Spring River Oaks Camp and Canoe Rental 1868 River Oaks Trail Mammoth Spring

(870) 856-3885 Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, campground, supplies, and kayak. Spring River Valley Camp and Canoe 9248 Nine Mile Ridge Road, Hardy (870) 856-4595 Located on Bluff Road. Services offered: canoe rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, supplies, and kayak. White River The first 31 miles of the White River are similar to the beginning stretches of other Ozark streams--fast and furious in the wet months, and comparatively calm the rest of the year. In this upper stretch above the first impoundment-Lake Sequoyah--the stream offers a series of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms. While Arkansas 16 is seldom more than a quarter of a mile away, it goes virtually unnoticed by floaters. The bluffs, forests, and quiet pastures hold visitors’ interest. The next “floatable” section of the White begins many miles downstream, right at the base of Bull Shoals Dam. Here the river is considerably larger and, because of the hydropower discharges from deep within the lake, very cold-just right, in fact, for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout. Each year thousands of people try their luck with these fish, and numerous guide services, outfitters, trout docks, and resorts have been established to help out. Anglers White River Resort Mountain View (870) 585-2226 Located at highways 5-9-14 North. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, lodging, supplies, and restaurant. Bull Shoals-White River State Park Trout Dock 129 Bull Shoals Park, Lakeview (870) 431-5557 Located one mile below the Bull Shoals Dam. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, campground, supplies, and kayak.

Cotter Trout Dock 321 Big Spring Parkway, Cotter (870)-435-6525 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, campground, and supplies. His Place Resort 89 Chamberlain Lane, Cotter (870) 435-6535 Located on Denton Ferry Road, .75 miles from U.S. 62. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, guide services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Hooks Trout Resort and RV Park 14300 Hwy. 14 West, Mountain View (870) 585-2400 Northwest corner of the junction of highways 5, 9 & 14; just five miles north of Mountain View at Allison. Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Hurst Fishing Service 926 Denton Ferry Road, Cotter (870) 435-6414 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, guide services, and supplies. Jack’s Fishing Resort Mountain View (870) 585-2211 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, and restaurant. Newland’s Lodge, Float Trips and Conference Center 295 River Road, Lakeview (870) 431-5678 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, guide services, lodging, and supplies. Norfork Trout Dock Fisherman Street, Norfork (870) 449-5500 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, and supplies. Rainbow Drive Resort 669 Rainbow Landing Drive, Cotter (870) 430-5217

Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, guide services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Sylamore Creek Camp 204 Sylamore Creek Road Mountain View (870) 585-2326 Located five miles north of Mountain View on Highway 14 on Sylamore Creek. Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, lodging, campground, and supplies. White Buffalo Resort 418 White Buffalo Trail Mountain Home (870) 425-8555 Located in Buffalo City. Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Wild Bill’s Outfitter 23 Hwy. 268 East #1, Yellville (870) 449-6235 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, supplies, restaurant, and kayak. Woodsman’s Sport Shop & Fishing Services 59 Fisherman Street, Norfork (870) 499-7454 Services offered: canoe rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, campground, and supplies. Riverview Resort and Country Store 17939 Hwy. 62 West Eureka Springs (479) 253-8367 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, shuttle services, guide services, lodging, supplies, and kayak. Spider Creek Resort 8179 Hwy. 187, Eureka Springs (479) 253-9241 Services offered: canoe rental, johnboat rental, raft rental, shuttle services, lodging, supplies, and kayak. River information is provided courtesy of the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department. For more information on these rivers visit www. ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008



Jay Harrod holding the last catch of the day. 20 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

ing the ‘Big Ones’ Striper Fishing in Arkansas By Jay Harrod Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

“But I want to give you a shot at “Keep both hands on it,” John the big ones,” he says as he throws the T. Hall, our fishing guide for the day, live shad into the water. He’s hooking instructs. “That’s a $300 rod and reel, the baitfish about 25 feet below slightly and a striper will jerk it into the water inflated balloons that will basically act before you know it.” as bobbers. Once in the water, the shad It’s happened before, and John sometimes swim as far as 200 yards from has a story to tell about a time when the boat. Other lines he’s rigged have no it did. Though the sun has yet to rise above the mountains surrounding Sunrise on Lake Ouachita. 40,000-acre Lake Ouachita, I’ve already realized John has lots of stories. And he should. He started guiding on the Buffalo River in 1973, and he’s been a full-time guide — primarily at Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton — for more than 12 years. On this lateMay morning, John has taken my brother, Ian, and balloons, but sinkers that keep the shad me to a spot on Lake Ouachita where directly below the boat — in this case at the day before his client landed a 30a depth of about 45 feet. pound striped bass — the largest species Twenty minutes later and we haven’t of bass found in Arkansas’s waters. After had a bite. Then John notices one of the he anchors and as he baits the lines with balloons moving rapidly and changing shad he’s netted on the Arkansas River, directions. “Something is making him John tells us we’ll be lucky to catch a nervous,” he says while pulling more fish here.

slack from the reel. “Now remember, if he takes it, give it 10 seconds before you set the hook.” His instructions are interrupted by the sound of line whizzing from the spool. “One’s got it,” he exclaims. I take the rod, but I’m not quite sure if 10 seconds have passed. It doesn’t matter; John yells, “now!” I point the rod down towards the water, reel fast, and give it what I think to be an aggressive jerk. The rod bends, and I feel the fish diving. Seconds later, the rod is still bent, but there’s no movement in the line now. “He’s gotten into the treetops,” John says. “You let him dive too deep.” I’m hung, and that’s the only bite we get at this spot where John thought our chances of landing a monster-sized striper were best. It’s 6:30 a.m., and we’ve now been on the lake a little over an hour. “All right,” John says as he begins reeling in one of the six lines in the water. “Are you guys ready to catch ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


some fish?” We motor farther west, to a place where two former river channels meet. “Stripers use river channels like we use highways,” John says. “They have a cruising speed of seven miles per hour and can have bursts of speed up to 18 miles per hour. They might be here today and at Brady Mountain [some 6 miles to the east] tomorrow.” But John, like the other experienced guides on Lake Ouachita, knows these fish. He knows where and what they were biting last month, last week and yesterday. And he knows where they’ll be biting tomorrow — even if an unusual north wind is blowing, as is true on the day of our trip. Once there, John cr uises around slowly, watching his depth finder, looking for changes in the underwater terrain and for fish, which can also show up on the graph. He locates the drop-off he sought and — more importantly — several stripers. “See ‘em?” he asks. “They look like inverted ‘V’s.’” I look at the graph, and then I watch as the images nearly blackout the screen. “Fellows, they’re all around us,” John says as he works feverishly to bait the lines and get them in the water. Again he rigs “balloon lines” for us and then rigs the sinker lines on the other rods, which he places in holders. Seconds after the first sinker line is in place, we hear line being pulled from the reel. Neither Ian nor I have fished for stripers before, and it’s obvious we have lessons to learn. John grabs the rod, feeds it some slack, and then sets the hook before handing it to Ian, who is fumbling, looking for a holder in which to place his rod. “You guys have gotta be quicker than that,” John says. We prove to be quick learners, though. Shortly after Ian’s bass is in 22 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

his wrists. Catching a striper — even a relatively small one — is no easy task. Thirty minutes after arriving at John’s hot spot, I’m reeling in the fish that equals our limit for the day. But it proves to be the largest of the outing, and it took the bait some 150 yards from the boat, so the fight is long and hard. Once in the boat, I hold it up for a photo. My arm is burning from the exertion, and I’ve Hall baits the lines with Shad. burst a blood vessel in my hand. It’s hard to imagine the struggle of catching a 30 pounder, let alone a 53-pound, 9-ounce striped bass, as did one of John’s clients on Lake Hamilton in 1997. That fish set a new state record, but was beat four days later. Today the record stands at 64 pounds, 8 ounces, which was caught in 2000 in the White River, just below Beaver Lake. While certainly not a new state record, this is the largest fish I’ve ever caught. I guess it to be “at least” 13 pounds. “Eleven, 10,” John says, referring to pounds and ounces. We get a scale — 11 pounds, 11 ounces. “I can always get to within four ounces,” John says, smiling. On Lake Ouachita, the limit for striped bass is three. According to John, stripers usually hit top-water baits in April and May, but this year they have not. If we were able to use top-water lures, John says we could continue fishing and release our catches alongside the boat. When fishing with shad, though, There’s not much time to gloat. the stripers regularly swallow the hooks Ian’s balloon has just disappeared, and and they are almost always stressed due there’s the sound of line whizzing from to fighting from such depths — meaning his spool, which by now draws my immethey won’t survive if let go. diate attention and causes adrenaline to But I’m satisfied with our catch and pump through my veins. He sets the the fun we’ve had. That night, my family hook, and his rod bends sharply. The fish and I have a fish fry, and striper filets is probably 100 yards from the boat, and prove to be some of the best fish I’ve the struggle to land it begins. tasted. And for the next few days, I’m “Keep reeling!” John yells. “Don’t reminded of the excitement of striper let him have any slack. You’ll lose him if fishing each time I laugh and agitate you do.” When the fish is in the boat, the bruises caused from wedging the I watch as Ian rubs his arm and shakes the boat, I again hear line reeling. This time, I promptly grab it, feed it slack, wait a moment more, and then set the hook. The fight is on, and it’s a feisty one, but because this fish was only some 40 feet below our boat, John is netting it about two minutes later. Like Ian’s, this striper weighs — by John’s estimate — about nine pounds.

rod against my stomach while landing those big ones. About Striped Bass Stripers are a saltwater species of bass that, like salmon, run up rivers to spawn. They can complete their lifecycle — but not reproduce — in freshwater, which means they must be continually stocked in Arkansas’s waters. The Arkansas Game and Fish stocks striped bass in the Little River and in 10 lakes: Beaver Lake, DeGray Lake, De Queen

Lake, Greers Ferry Lake, Lake Catherine, Lake Greeson, Lake Hamilton, Lake Maumelle, Lake Norfork and Lake Ouachita. Striped bass are also sometimes caught in the Arkansas River. Many of these lakes also have hybrid striped bass, which are a cross between striped bass and white bass and which are smaller but can reproduce in freshwater. Fishing Guide Services in Arkansas On most of the large lakes that are

stocked with stripers there are several guides that offer guided fishing services. Many services are comparable to those offered by John Hall, who provides the boat, all necessary gear and the bait, and who cleans and filets the fish for his clients. For a half-day fishing trip, Hall charges $220 for one or two persons and $280 for three persons. Hall can be reached at (501) 767-1468. A list of fishing guides that provide services on Arkansas bodies of water can be found at

Arkansas Yamaha 4524 MacArthur Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118 501.753.6394 Before you assume you're getting the best deal, call us! We won't be beat! Open Monday-Friday 8am - 5pm, Saturday 8am - 4pm ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Upper Cossatot River in the Shady Mountains. Photo by Andy Threlkeld

Fishing License & Permit Requirements By Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

If you are 16 years or older, an Arkansas fishing license is required to take or attempt to take game fish, turtles or frogs in Arkansas, unless you are fishing in a licensed “put and take pay lake.” The license must be carried with you. You may not possess a license that belongs to someone else or one that has been altered, backdated or counterfeited. If you are a nonresident, you may not possess a resident license. If you guide, aid or assist someone else in fishing for hire, you must have a guide license. To find out if you need a commercial license, call (501)2236386 for a copy of Commercial Fishing Regulations. License Retailers Most licenses can be purchased from sporting goods stores, hunting 24 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

and fishing supplies stores, some discount chains and the AGFC’s Little Rock or regional offices. You can call 223-6349 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Little Rock area. Or you can call 1-800-364GAME (1-800-364-4263) 24 hours a day, sevn days a week. Please have your credit card and an identification number ready. Your identification number can be a driver’s license, social security number, hunter education number, state ID number or passport number. Your hunting or fishing privileges become effective immediately and your license will arrive in the mail in a few days. Lifetime and commercial licenses are not available by phone or online. Licenses can be purchased online. You will be asked to supply personal information and a Visa or Mastercard

number. The license itself will be printed on your home printer. License Expiration Unless it is a 3-, 7-, or 14-day license, te license will expire one year from the date of purchase. Fishing License Replacement fI your sport license is lost, stolen or destroyed, you can replace it for $2 at any AGFC regional office, the AGFC Little Rock headquarters, by mail or phone at (800) 364-4263, during normal business hours. You will need to supply your name, date of birth and the type of license that was lost or stolen. If you lose more than one license form, the charge is $2 per form. Any questions can be answered

Josh Douglas of Plainview.

Matt and Malory Payne's Large Mouth Bass caught in a private pond in Cabot.

Bryan Walden with a largemouth bass caught at Indianhead Lake in Sherwood.

by calling the toll-free number during normal business hours. Payment can be made by check, money order, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Cash is accepted in person. If you lose any commercial license, you will need to call the toll-free number.

leges for hunting and fishing. Active duty servicemen and women who were Arkansas residents at the time of entering service are also granted resident privileges for hunting and fishing, regardless of where they are currently stationed.

Resident License Qualifications A resident is any person who has established a bona fide or actual residence for at least 60 days and who declares intentions of becoming a citizen of Arkansas. Ownership of Arkansas real estate by a person living outside the state does not qualify the owner as a resident. Also, the following students (who must carry proof of full-time enrollment in schools, colleges or universities while hunting or fishing in Arkansas) are eligible to purchase a resident licenses: • Resident foreign exchange students attending school outside of Arkansas • Nonresident foreign exchange students attending school in Arkansas • Residents of Arkansas enrolled as full-time students in colleges and universities outside of Arkansas • Nonresidents enrolled as fulltime students in colleges and universities in Arkansas. Active-duty ser vicemen and women permanently assigned in Arkansas are granted resident privi-

License Descriptions Resident Fisheries Conservation License entitles a resident to fish the waters of the state with noncommercial tackle. A Resident Trout Permit must also be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters.

Resident Trip License, or resident lifetime fishing licenses. Not required for holders of the non-expiring $1,000 Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit. No stamp will be issued. Resident Guide License, Fishing is required of any person who guides, aids or assists another person, for pay or other consideration, in the taking of fish. This license does not include fishing privileges. White River Border Lakes License entitles Arkansas Resident Fishing License holders to fish in Missouri waters of Bull Shoals, Norfork and Table Rock Lakes without having to purchase a nonresident fishing license from Missouri.

If you are 16 years or older, an Arkansas Fishing License is required to take or attempt to take game fish, turtles, or frogs in Arkansas. Resident 3-Day Trip Fishing License entitles a resident to fish the waters of the state with noncommercial tackle for the 3-day period specified. A Resident Trout Permit must also be purchased to retain trout or to fish in certain waters. Res id e n t Trou t Pe r mi t is required to retain trout or to fish in certain waters in addition to a Resident Fisheries Conser vation License, a

Lifetime License Qualifications 65 Plus Lifetime Combination License - PLC ($35.50) entitles Arkansas residents 65 and older to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License (fishing). Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration is required to hunt migratory game birds. To hunt waterfowl, a state lifetime waterfowl permit (purchased once after age 65) and federal waterfowl stamps also are required. A lifetime trout permit (purchased once after age 65) must be purchased to fish in certain waters. Proof of applicant’s age and three years of Arkansas residency are required. ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Mike Canard and Dylan Craven with a bream caught at Indianhead Lake in Sherwood.

These licenses are available at the AGFC’s Little Rock office, regional offices or by mail. If you wish to purchase a license in person, bring proof of age and proof of three years of Arkansas residency. For details, call 1-800-364-4263 or (501) 223-6388 in the Little Rock area, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Lifetime licenses are not available by phone or online. Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit - LSP ($1,000) entitles purchasers of any age permanent privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the resident Fisheries Conservation License (fishing). Fees for trout permits, leased-land permits, elk permits, state waterfowl stamps and wildlife management area permit hunts are covered with this license. Lifetime license holders must apply for WMA hunts and be drawn before being issued a permit. Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration is required to hunt migratory game birds. For waterfowl hunters, federal waterfowl stamps also are required. This permit is available only from the AGFC’s Little Rock office. Applicants must apply in person with identification showing proof of resi26 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

Dylan Craven with one of his first fish he ever caught also at Indianhead Lake in Sherwood.

dency. Applications are available at AGFC regional offices or by calling 1800-364-4263 or (501) 223-6388 in the Little Rock area. Lifetime licenses are not available by phone or online. Proof of one year of Arkansas residency is required for this license. Resident 3-Year Disability Combination License - RDC ($35.50) entitles all totally and permanently disabled persons privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Resident Fisheries Conser vation License (fishing). Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration is required to hunt migratory game birds. To hunt waterfowl, state and federal waterfowl stamps are also required. A trout permit must be purchased to fish in certain waters. Disability certification from Social Security Administration, Veteran’s Affairs or Railroad Retirement and proof of one year Arkansas residency is required. Valid for three years from date of purchase; recertification is required for license renewal. This license is available from the AGFC’s Little Rock office and by mail. Call (800) 364-4263 or (501) 2236388 in the Little Rock area, 8 a.m.4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, for details.

Josh Douglas of Plainview caught this 41 pound catfish using juglines.

Fishing Regulations You may not legally: • Refuse an officer’s lawful request to see or inspect your wildlife, tackle, weapon or license. • Inter fer e with an of ficer performing his or her duties. • Flee from an officer. • Aid, accompany or abet someone else in a violation. • Hunt or fish after your license has been revoked or suspended. • Import, transport, possess or take endangered species. • Transport illegally taken fish or wildlife across state lines. • Waste the edible portion of fish or wildlife, with the exception of rough fish (excluding buffalo). • Take wildlife for scientific studies without a permit from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Fisheries Division. • Use gamefish, or parts thereof, for bait or lures. General regulations • Buy or sell game fish unless they were raised by a licensed fish farmer or unless they are bream four inches or shorter. In either case, a fish dealer’s license may be required.

• Litter or fail to extinguish fires on public property. • Take bait other than insects, freshwater shrimp, worms and baitfish from public waters and sell or offer to sell it. A fish dealer’s license may be required. • Release any fish, baitfish or crayfish into public waters without written permission from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. • Feed or lure alligators in the wild. • Possess fish or wildlife taken by someone else without a signed statement from the taker, stating name, address, species, date taken and license number. This requirement also applies to commercial storage facilities. On AGFC wildlife management areas, lakes and accesses, unless otherwise noted in the fishing guidebook, you may not legally: • Hunt, trap or possess hunting equipment except when seasons are open. • Possess a loaded firearm in a camping area or in fishing or boating

access areas. • Remove anything from Commission-owned land without permission. • Camp outside a designated area, camp more than 14 consecutive days (including time when the camp is set up but not occupied), or allow the camp to remain unoccupied for more than 48 hours. • Disobey official signs. • Damage Commission property. • Cut trees. • Burn timber, brush or grass. • Burn materials containing nails, screws or other metal objects. • Leave a fire unattended. • Bait wildlife. • Post signs. • Create a disturbance after 10 p.m. • Use or possess alcohol while hunting. • Engage in commercial activities without prior Commission approval. Construct, place or occupy a permanent hunting stand, building, shelter

or moored houseboat. • Use or possess chainsaws, handsaws, hatchets, axes, weed trimmers, string trimmers or other cutting devices. Chemical defoliants are prohibited. • Operate any motorized vehicle on any road, trail, levee or dam owned by the Commission, where no maintained road exists, or in a direction of travel contrary to directional signs on a wildlife management area or Commission-owned lake. • Water ski or use personal watercraft. • Create a hazardous wake. • Obstruct an access area, parking area, launching ramp or access road. • Build a structure on Commissionowned (or controlled) lakes unless it complies with Commission policy. Further information is available from the Fisheries Division office by calling (501) 223-6371. • Possess firearms except while legally hunting. During open hunting seasons, fi rearms may be transported by boat if unloaded and cased.

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Saline River

Free-flowing water, remarkable fishing and rare mussels By Jay Harrod, The Nature Conservancy

The Middle Fork of the Saline River.

There are no public fishing lodges. No marinas. No campgrounds. No notoriety. The upper Saline River watershed, which includes four major tributaries – the South, Middle, Alum and North forks – is one of the most overlooked watersheds in Arkansas. Talk to folks who have fished it, though, and they’ll tell you it’s one of the Natural State’s best-kept secrets for rock and smallmouth bass fishing. While there aren’t many services, there are several access points along each of the forks, which flow from the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains between Hot Springs and Little Rock. Take a look at a map of the watershed, and aside from Hot Springs Village, you’ll see only small towns – Jessieville, Crows, Owensville and Paron – before the four streams join together just south of Benton. Because the Saline’s forks flow mostly through forests, they are among the state’s healthiest streams. In fact, 28 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

the Alum, Middle and North forks have been designated by the State of Arkansas as Extraordinary Resource Waterbodies, or ERWs. This means laws are in place to provide extra protection from potentially detrimental actions such as damming and gravel mining. According to the state, ERWs warrant the extra protection because of their “scenic beauty, aesthetics, scientific values, broad scope recreation potential, and intangible social values.” Of 20,000 stream miles in the state, only 1,500 miles have this designation. The Saline River flows southeast from Benton before joining the Ouachita River at Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge near the Louisiana border. It is the last major stream in the Ouachita Mountains that has not been dammed. While most Arkansans may not think of the Saline as an equal to the Buffalo, Mulberry or Cossatot rivers, those who work in water quality issues do.

“The Saline is one of the most pristine watersheds in Arkansas,” said Chris Davidson, endangered species coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “It’s rich in fish and mussel species.” But the upper Saline watershed is under increasing pressures that range from illegal gravel mining, incompatible development and the damming of tributaries to stream bank erosion and increased sedimentation. Water quality has become too poor in the South Fork to support the Arkansas fatmucket mussel, a good indicator species for the overall health of these streams. Davidson has spent countless hours on the upper Saline and its forks looking for Arkansas fatmucket mussels, a species his agency has listed as threatened. The Arkansas fatmucket lives only in the upper Saline River watershed and three other streams in the Ouachita Mountains.

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Fourche Creek â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Threatened Home to Rare Plants and Animals By Johnnie Chamberlin and Brent Kelley, Audubon Arkansas

Fourche Creek is an amazing and largely unknown recreational and educational resource that flows for 30 miles through Saline and Pulaski counties and the heart of Little Rock before draining into the Arkansas River just beyond the airport. In addition to housing hundreds of thousands of people, the Fourche Creek Watershed is home to hundreds of species of wildlife including at least four rare plants and a rare mussel. What Makes Fourche Creek Special? Fourche Creek Watershed is home to a large number of plant species and wildlife. Most people are shocked to learn the area is so biologically diverse, given that it flows through the heart of urban Little Rock. Audubon Arkansas, in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), the Arkansas Highways and Transportation Department, and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC), has 32 ARKANSAS WILD â&#x20AC;˘

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identified a good number of plants and animals occurring along Fourche Creek and in Fourche Bottoms. Plants of the Fourche Watershed To date, Audubon Arkansas, aided by Theo Witsell of ANHC, has collected around 230 species of plants or about 8.5 percent of known plant species for the entire state. This plant inventory is far from complete and upcoming plant searches will surely turn up many more species of plants. Four plants, of those found so far, stand out for their rarity in the state. The rarest of these is Thalictrum arkansanum, or Arkansas meadow-rue. An inconspicuous plant with purple stems and small flowers, this plant was recently discovered in Pulaski County by Donna Gardner of the Arkansas Highway Department. Audubon Arkansas subsequently identified 16 other locations of this member of the buttercup family along Fourche Creek.

Arkansas meadow-r ue can be found on steep banks or stream terraces amongst buckeyes, trout lilies, spring cress, toothworts, mayapples and rue anemone to name a few. Arkansas meadow-rue is only found in a few counties in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas and is federally listed as threatened, meaning that it is one step away from becoming endangered. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission tracks Arkansas meadow-rue and all rare and sensitive species in the state. Three other species add significantly to the importance of Fourche Creek Watershed, as well as that of the state. These include: Rattlesnake root, Prenanthes crepidinea, a member of the sunflower family which needs a good deal of sunlight to flower. Water pygmy-weed, Crassula aquatica, a small plant that grows along shallow muddy shores and is a member of the stonecrop family. And Caric sedge, Carex arkansana,

which was found in an area of willow oak flats at Gillam Park. Gillam Park is under the management of Audubon Arkansas and will be part of the new Audubon Center campus when it is built in 2009. Animals of the Fourche Creek Watershed

Fish With the help of Arkansas Game and Fish and students from the University of Central Arkansas, Audubon compiled a list of 33 species of fish found in tributaries of Fourche Creek. The most abundant of these was the golden topminnow with over 900 individuals caught and released. Other notable catches were bowfins, spotted gar, and cypress and mud darters. Fourche Creek is also the home of a newly discovered species of mussel, recently found and researched by John Harris of the Arkansas Highway Department. As this new find demonstrates, the biological inventory of Fourche Creek Watershed is far from complete. In time, who knows what we will find living in and around this species rich creek that runs through our state capital.

Mammals With help from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s mammalogist David Clark, Audubon employees used game cameras, scent stations, scat examination, live traps and visual identification to begin cataloging mammals living in Fourche Bottoms. Before being stolen, the game cameras captured a couple of good images of a coyote, several photos of stray dogs, and numerous photos of Audubon employees checking on the cameras. Audubon has compiled a list of 33 species of The scent stations fish found in tributaries of Fourche Creek. attracted minks and muskrats among other animals. Researchers identified a bobcat’s visits by the presence of scat. Deer and otter too are apparent in the bottoms. In total, four teen dif ferent species of mammals were identified in this initial, far from exhaustive, study. Such diversity of animals was remarkable given that highways and urban areas surround Fourche Bottoms. Insects Audubon, aided by Michael Warriner of ANHC and Dr. Forrest Payne of UALR, also surveyed insects in the Fourche bottoms this past year, collecting 655 specimens, which were then painstakingly examined with dissecting scopes. This collection was found to represent 116 families of insects. These specimen collections add to what is known of insect diversity in the Fourche Creek Watershed and will be on display at the Little Rock Audubon Center.

Resource in Peril Fourche Creek offers numerous recreational and educational opportunities as well to nearby citizens. Over 20 miles of Fourche Creek can be floated in a kayak or canoe, depending on skill level and one’s willingness to portage. For skilled, adventure seeking kayakers, many of Fourche Creek’s largest tributaries are also floatable following a good rain. Though relatively short, Fourche

Creek flows through three of Arkansas’ six major ecoregions, providing paddlers a unique change in scenery from a gravel streambed lined with pine, river birch, and silver maple upstream to a meandering silt/clay stream channel dominated by towering cypress downstream. In addition to these recreational uses, students from local universities, high schools, and middle schools have learned valuable high-tech skills while studying Fourche Creek and its tributaries. It may come as a shock then to find that this great resource is rapidly being destroyed. Fourche Creek faces many threats, all of which are related to poorly controlled human activities in the watershed. Based on six years of water quality monitoring and stream assessment work, Audubon Arkansas has determined the four largest problems in Fourche Creek to be turbidity, floatable trash, dissolved metals, and fecal coliforms. Turbidity T u r b i d i t y, a measure of how cloudy water is, is primarily caused by poor sediment and erosion controls at construction sites. Extremely turbid water destroys stream invertebrate habitat and can lead to fish die-offs. ADEQ recently conducted a sampling sweep of all major tributaries of Fourche Creek and all were found to be in violation of turbidity standards. Though Audubon and ADEQ’s water quality data have shown problematic turbidity levels in local creeks for six years, little has been done to prosecute violators. There are numerous reasons given by local government agencies for why this is, but the bottom line is that developers currently have no incentive to spend the extra time and money to do things the right way if they are rarely penalized or inconvenienced for doing things ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Trash buildup along the banks of Fourche Creek is an unsightly problem. Audubon Arkansas is working with Little Rock city officials to combat the trash piles.

the wrong way. As a result of our poor handling of construction site runoff, Fourche Creek will soon be placed on the EPA’s 303d list of impaired waters for turbidity. Floatable Trash Floatable trash is perhaps the most visible of Fourche Creek’s problems. Floating from Benny Craig to Interstate Park, paddlers encounter numerous large “trash islands”, or places where enormous amounts of trash have piled up behind logs or on the stream bank. These unsightly deposits of styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, basketballs, tennis balls, etc. detract greatly from an otherwise spectacular floating experience. Cleanups unfortunately are inconsequential to the amount of trash in the creek. The fact of the matter is that as long as there is trash on our streets there will be trash in our creeks. Whenever someone litters in a parking lot or while driving down the road, or in a city park, the trash eventually washes into a storm drain, which in turn empties into our local creeks. To tackle this problem, Audubon is encouraging the city to explore using grates, improved street sweeping, and other trash filtering systems to keep litter from entering tributaries of Fourche Creek. Audubon is also working on an educational storm drain-marking project with Sustainable Alternatives, a local non-profit. Over 4,000 storm drains around Little Rock will soon 34 ARKANSAS WILD •

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feature colorful markers with messages like “Don’t Pollute. Drains Directly to Fourche Creek.” Metals High levels of copper, cadmium, lead, and zinc have been detected in multiple samples gathered along Fourche Creek and its tributaries. Found in batteries, paint, and parking lot runoff, these metals can all negatively impact the health of both humans and wildlife. Expanding the use of vegetated stormwater retention ponds would lower the impact of parking lot runoff on our streams. Audubon is currently seeking funding to track down illegal sources of metal contamination in our creeks. Fecal Coliforms Fourche Creek often has high levels of fecal coliforms following large rain events. Sanitary sewer overflows are a major contributor to this problem though sewage also enters our creeks through leaks in private sewer lines and illegal private discharges. To tackle this problem, Little Rock Wastewater has spent ~$140 million in the last 18 years replacing and upgrading Little Rock’s degraded sewer infrastructure. They report that this effort has decreased the number of sewer overflows by ~90%. Little Rock’s recent sewer rate increase will be used to fund further improvements to our infrastructure and hopefully all but eliminate the problem of

sanitary sewer overflows. What you can do to help While Fourche Creek has many problems, it remains an incredible resource with tremendous potential for a vast city park and recreation area. One of the most important things you can do to help Fourche Creek is to go out and enjoy it. After you enjoy its scenic beauty, tell someone else about your experience and offer to show him or her the creek. Let the mayor, your city director, and your other political representatives know that you value Fourche Creek and would like to see it better protected and enhanced. You could also tell them that you support the Little Rock Open Space Policy, which if approved would help expand, protect, and improve open spaces in and around the City of Little Rock. For more information please visit, which contains numerous reports on water quality, wildlife surveys, floating Fourche Creek, etc. To find out more about the Little Rock Open Space Policy visit: http:// blog/. To find out more about Audubon Arkansas and its vision to “inspire and lead environmental education, resource management, habitat restoration, bird conservation and enlightened advocacy,” visit

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Gardening with Native Arkansas Plants By Theo Witsell, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

Butterfly Milkweed Photo by John Pelton

Blazing Star Photo by John Pelton

Gardening with native plant species is growing in popularity throughout the United States. From coast to coast, gardeners are becoming interested in capitalizing on the beauty, hardiness, wildlife benefits, and low water requirements of many native species. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consider a few of the reasons why: Convenience Native plants have been here for a long time. They know the territory and have proven their ability to thrive in the right habitat. They are specifically adapted to our climate and other local growing conditions like sun exposure, soil moisture, and pH. Plants that are well matched to your site will be low maintenance and hassle free. Conservation Many native plant species are in trouble in the wild. A number of prairie species, for example, have declined dramatically over the last century, as their habitat has been lost to fire suppression, urbanization, and conversion to crops or non-native pasture grasses. Growing uncommon or rare natives in your 36 ARKANSAS WILD â&#x20AC;˘

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garden can help preserve rare species or rare local genetic variants (genotypes) of a species into the future, provided they are grown from seed and not dug from wild populations. Another reason to use native plants is to avoid creating potential problems for native ecosystems by the introduction of non-native invasive species. Like it or not, when a species is removed from its native ecosystem where it is balanced with competing species, predators, and diseases, and is then introduced into a totally different ecosystem halfway around the world, there is no way to predict the long-term outcome. Some introduced species have proven to be harmless additions but others, such as kudzu, Chinese privet, and Japanese stiltgrass, have clearly had negative impacts on our native ecosystems, dominating the landscape, excluding native species, and altering habitat resources for native wildlife.

Native Plants Are For the Birds (and Bees and Butterflies too) Native birds, bees, butterflies, and other animals are specifically adapted to our native plants. The relationships between native plants and animals are often impressive and complex. Many animals rely on specific plants for their food or to complete their life cycle. For example, the spicebush swallowtail butterfly depends on native species such as northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and the endangered shrub pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) as a larval food source. The beautiful zebra swallowtail depends on our native pawpaw (Asimina triloba). On the flip side, many plants rely on specific animal

species for pollination, seed dispersal, or habitat maintenance. One example is the endangered plant running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) which hasn’t been seen in Arkansas since the late 1800s. This species occurred historically along bison trails and depended on the bison to transport the seeds and keep competing plants at bay with their trampling and wallowing. As the bison declined so did the running buffalo clover until it was thought to be extinct in the 1980s. A few populations have since been found along hiking trails that provide similar conditions to the bison trails. A Native Plant For Every Site A recent inventory of the plants of Arkansas found nearly 2,900 kinds of plants existing outside of cultivation in the state. Of these, about 2,280 are considered to be native (growing in the region where they evolved). Early explorers visiting Arkansas found native plants covering almost the entire state. From the driest rock glades to the wettest, muckiest bogs, there are native plants adapted to every conceivable set of growing conditions. This means that we gardeners are in luck, whether we have a dry, rocky hillside in full shade or a sunny, wet puddle in mucky buckshot clay. An experienced naturalist will look to nature for suggestions on what to plant where. Take a walk in a natural area near you and pay special attention to plants growing in sites similar to the ones with which you are working.

Others may need to have their hard seed coats scratched with sandpaper or have boiling water poured over them. Still others need alternating cycles of warm and cold temperatures. Seeds of some plants from fire dependent habitats will break dormancy when exposed to smoke! Growing from seed can be a rewarding experience and a good lesson in seed ecology for young and old alike. Unless you are performing a legitimate plant rescue (from a site about to be bulldozed) and have permission from the landowner, don’t dig native plants from the wild. Grow them from seed instead. Also be wary of buying wild dug plants. Find a seller that offers seed grown material. Seed grown plants may cost a little more, but will help preserve wild populations of our native plants. General Tips For Growing Natives 1) Properly match plants and sites. Just because a plant is native doesn’t mean it will do well in your garden.

Native plants need the right growing conditions to thrive. Some need full sun and dry conditions. Others need their feet wet or can’t take more than a few hours of morning sun. A few are even partially parasitic on the roots of other species and must be planted with the proper host(s). A little research on the front end will pay big dividends. 2) Help them get established. Though many native plants ar e drought tolerant and will not require much supplemental water once they are established, they may need regular watering to get them through the first year while their roots are spreading, especially if you are starting them from seed. Again, this is related to a good plant/site match. 3) Be careful about soil amendments. Many native species, particularly those native to prairies, glades, and other poor-soil habitats, may grow too tall and fall over in rich soils. When growing these types of plants, don’t give them too fertile a soil or too much water. If they get too tall, you can cut them back before they flower.

Finding and Planting Native Plants A number of nurseries in the region specialize in native plants. Many others are beginning to carry some natives along with their more traditional stock. Tell your local nursery that you are interested in purchasing native plants. They will respond to demand. Many people enjoy the process of wildcollecting seeds from native plants and raising plants themselves. There are a number of books available that give species-specific information on how to germinate the seeds of native plants. Many need only to be cold moist stratified (place seeds in moist sand in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for 60 days or so) to break dormancy. ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Lucky Ladybugs

By Michael D. Warriner

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home, Your house is on fire and your children are gone, All except one, And her name is Ann, Brian Davis, PhD, Regional Biologist, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. And she hid under the baking pan.

Ladybug, ladybird beetle, or lady beetle, these small brightly colored insects have been a source of fascination for centuries. Lady beetles have long been thought of as symbols of good luck by various cultures. Still today, even though most insects instill fear in many, lady beetles enjoy a relatively high approval rating even amongst the most ardent entomophobic. The name “lady beetle” dates back several hundred years to Europe and is derived from “Beetles of Our Lady,” signifying the belief that these insects were sent by the Virgin Mary to ease suffering from agricultural pests. Germans call these insects “Marienkafer,” translated to English as “Marybeetle.” In the U.S., most know these insects as “ladybugs,” although they are not true bugs, but beetles. Since they are beetles, not bugs, they are most aptly termed lady beetles. Now that we have their name straight, all lady beetles belong to the insect family Coccinellidae. The family contains approximately 450 species in the U.S. and Canada, 38 ARKANSAS WILD •

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meaning there is more than just one kind of lady beetle. Around 70 different lady beetle species occur in Arkansas. Life of a Consummate Killer With the exception of a small number of species, most all lady beetles are voracious predators that feed on other insects. Their prey can range from aphids, scale insects, to mealy bugs. Since many of those aforementioned insects are often injurious pests of plants grown by humans, lady beetles have long been recognized as very valuable garden residents. The most familiar lady beetles are those species that specialize on aphids. Adult lady beetles may feed on a few hundred aphids in one day and up to 5,000 by the end of their lives. Larvae can consume a few hundred aphids on their way to adulthood. As garden predators, lady beetles are most effective when aphid numbers are high. In fact, plants may start exhibiting aphiddamage before lady beetles have an impact on the pest population. As aphid popula-

tions are depleted on infested plants, lady beetles move off in search of new prey populations. Lady beetles start life as tiny yellow eggs deposited in clusters on the underside of leaves of plants hosting aphids or other potential prey. The larvae that hatch from these eggs are often black or grey in coloration, sometimes with bands of orange or yellow, with alligator-like bodies. Because most people are only familiar with adult lady beetles, these “little alligators” may be confused with pests and destroyed. As they near the end of their larval stage, lady beetles enter what is known as the pupal stage. This portion of the lady beetle’s life is spent attached to a leaf or stem in a cocoon-like structure. In the pupal stage, the lady beetle undergoes metamorphosis and emerges a week or so later as an adult beetle. Total developmental time from egg to adult takes around three to six weeks depending on temperature. Multiple generations of beetles may be produced over the course of a single summer.

Decline of the Nine Along with the multi-colored Asian lady beetle, several other lady beetle species have also been introduced into North America to serve as biological control agents in agricultural settings. There is growing concern now, though, that some of these non-native lady beetles may be negatively impacting populations of native lady beetle species. The native nine-spotted lady beetle (Coccinella novemnotata) is one such example. The nine-spotted lady beetle was once one of the most common species in the northeastern U.S. Collections of this beetle began to decline in the 1980s and by

possibility is that non-native lady beetles may have harbored parasitic wasps that are, in turn, now attacking native lady beetles. Habitat loss and changes in farming practices have probably not helped populations much either.

Cultivating Ladies If you have ever leafed through a garden catalog, you have no doubt seen ads for lady beetles. Lady beetles can be purchased for release in your garden. The lady beetle seen most often for sale is the convergent lady beetle (Hippodamia convergens). The efficacy of this practice is debatable, however. Often, the lady beetles advertised for sale are ones that were collected during the winter months from large aggregations in the western U.S. The problem with releasing these overwintering lady beetles into your garden in spring is that, Lady beetle eggs. once they come out of their period of winter inactivity, a strong natural instinct kicks in that drives the beetles to disperse long distances. That basically means your neighbors may benefit more from your purchase than you do. If you want lady beetles in your garden, the best option is to promote populations of species that already exist in your area. Ways to do this include limiting your use of pesticides and maintaining a diverse array of flowering plants in your garden. Include plants such as angelica, bronze fennel, dill, cilantro, cornflower, Queen Anne’s lace, speedwell, and tansy. Tolerate aphids on these plants to encourage lady beetles Lady beetle eating an aphid. to hang around and reproduce. Remember, lady beetles like to lay their eggs on plants that already have food the 1990s the nine-spotted had seemingly (aphids) for their offspring. Maintain some disappeared from 11 northeastern states. woody cover in your garden as a windbreak This lady beetle has also been noted as to provide winter shelter. If you happen to declining in the southeastern U.S., specififind aggregations of lady beetles outside cally Alabama and Mississippi. The nineduring the winter do not disturb them. To spotted lady beetle’s decline is coincident cultivate a lady beetle population, recogniwith the introduction of the non-native tion of all the lady beetle’s life stages is a seven-spotted lady beetle (Coccinella septemmust. An excellent photographic resource punctata) from Europe. One proposed for identifying lady beetles can be found reason cited for the nine-spotted’s decline at, just search under is that non-native lady beetles may be outCoccinellidae. Enjoy your bugs! Err, I competing native lady beetle species thereby mean beetles! reducing populations of the latter. Another Photo by Bradley Higbee, Paramount Farming

Winter Squatters Although lady beetles are much appreciated in the garden during summer, the sometimes annoying habit of certain species taking up residence in houses, in very large numbers, is not as equally appreciated. At the end of summer, lady beetles stop feeding and prepare to overwinter. Native lady beetle species generally seek protection from winter weather outside under leaves or inside rock crevices. The chief offender, when it comes to winter squatting in human abodes, is the multi-colored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyyridis). As its name implies, this lady beetle is from Asia and was introduced into the U.S. on multiple occasions and now has become a widespread and common member of our insect fauna. The multi-colored Asian lady beetle is an effective aphid predator and has proven very beneficial to the pecan industry, but has the habit of moving into houses during the winter. According to Timothy J. Gibb, an extension entomologist with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, multi-colored Asian lady beetles “are most attracted to buildings where abrupt color contrasts occur in a longitudinal fashion. For example, black shutters on a white house, dark windows on a light colored house, or light colored gutter drain pipes on a dark house. For this reason, beetles usually first appear on the southwest facing sides of lightcolored buildings, close to wooded areas.” As temperatures drop, the beetles move further into a house through cracks in walls or under siding where they remain dormant over winter. Aggregations of multicolored Asian lady beetles can number in the hundreds to thousands. In early spring, they awake from their winter slumber and move towards warm areas of a house, like a living room. Multi-colored Asian lady beetles do no structural damage and don’t go after our food, they are simply a nuisance. Prevention is the most effective step in preventing multi-colored Asian lady beetles from entering your home. Inspect the outside of your house for spaces and cracks that may allow these, and other insects, to enter. Make sure to seal these areas by later summer.

ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Hunting Requirements Arkansas Game and Fish Commission What kinds of licenses or permits do I need to hunt in Arkansas? If you are 16 or older, an Arkansas hunting license is required to hunt wildlife unless you are on a licensed game-bird shooting resort that supplies pen-raised birds. The license must be carried with you. You may not possess a license that belongs to someone else or one that has been altered, backdated or counterfeited. If you are a nonresident, you may not possess a resident license. If you guide, aid or assist someone else for pay or other value, you must have a guide license. Where can I find a license dealer? Sporting goods stores, hunting and fishing supplies stores, some discount chains and AGFC offices. How do I buy a license by telephone? Call (501) 223-6349 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Little Rock area. Or call (800) 364-GAME (4263) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please have your credit card and an identification number ready. Your identification number can be a driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license, Social Security number, hunter education number, state ID number or passport number. Small game and fishing privileges become effective immediately. A valid license obtained by mail from the AGFC must be in your possession before hunting


Spring 2008

big game (deer, turkey, bear, elk or alligator). Lifetime and commercial licenses are not available by phone or online. How do I buy a license online? Licenses may be purchased online at You will be asked to supply personal information and a Visa or MasterCard number. A receipt and confirmation number will be printed on your home printer. A valid license obtained by mail from AGFC must be in your possession before you may hunt big

game (deer, turkey, bear, elk or alligator). Small game hunting and fishing priviledges are effective at the time of purchase.

Bryan Walden with a 9 point buck shot on private land in Faulkner County.

Connie Harris in Cleveland County near the Saline River.

This 8 point buck was taken by Eddie Cruz during gun season at Poison springs WMA south Arkansas.

Garrett Arnold of Camden at Buena Vista deer camp.

Do I qualify as a resident? A resident is any person who physically inhabits a bona fide residence within Arkansas for at least 60 days and declares themselves a full-time resident of Arkansas. Also, the following students (who must carry proof of fulltime enrollment in schools, colleges or universities while hunting or fishing in Arkansas) are eligible to purchase annual resident licenses: resident foreign exchange students attending school outside of Arkansas; nonresident foreign exchange students attending school in Arkansas; residents of Arkansas enrolled as full-time students in colleges and universities outside of Arkansas; and nonresidents enrolled as full-time students in colleges and universities in Arkansas. Ownership of Arkansas real estate by a person living outside the state does not qualify the owner as a resident. Active-duty military personnel assigned to duty stations in Arkansas are granted annual or trip resident privileges for hunting and fishing. Active-duty servicemen and women who were Arkansas residents at the time of entering service are granted annual or trip resident privileges for

hunting and fishing, regardless of where they are stationed.

Who needs to register for HIP? Hunters 16 or older are required to carry proof of Arkansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration when hunting ducks, geese, doves, coots, woodcocks, snipe, rails, gallinules or moorhens. Available at no charge, HIP registration can be obtained by completing a short survey at license dealers or any Game and Fish Commission office and will be noted on the license form.

Are there any additional residency requirements for licenses? Resident Special Guide License, the nonexpiring Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit have a one-year residency requirement. The 65 Plus Lifetime Hunting License and the 65 Plus Lifetime Combination License have a three-year residency requirement. What are disability licenses? Resident disabled hunters may purchase a three-year disability hunting license for $25 or a three-year combination license for $35.50 (includes fishing privileges). Proof of one year’s Arkansas residency and proof of 100 percent disability from the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or the Railroad Retirement Board is required. These licenses expire three years from the date of purchase. These licenses are available through the Little Rock AGFC office. Other required permits and stamps must be purchased annually.

Which licenses do hunting guides need? A guide is someone who guides hunters for pay or other consideration. An Arkansas resident may guide hunters on land not owned or leased by the AGFC with a Resident Guide License ($25). An Arkansas resident, who provides proof of at least one year’s residency, may guide hunters, but not waterfowl hunters, on land owned or leased by the AGFC with the Resident Special Guide License ($150). There is no nonresident equivalent of this license. A nonresident may guide hunters on land not owned or leased by the ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


This nice buck was taken in the Ouachita National Forest on November 23, 2007. One shot from a .300 Winchester Magnum at 130 yards dropped the deer in his tracks. The deer had 17-inch inside spread, 12-points split brow tine.

AGFC with the Nonresident Guide License/Hunting ($150). Hunting guide licenses expire June 30 and do not include hunting privileges. These licenses are available fromAGFC offices. Who needs a hunter education card? A hunter born after 1968 must carry a valid hunter education card, unless ‘HE-VERIFIED’ is noted on your hunting license. Hunters under 16 do not need to have a card if they are under the direct supervision of a holder of a valid hunting license at least 21 years of age. Arkansas honors the home state hunter education cards of nonresidents. Call (800) 482-5795 or visit for a class schedule. Which commercial or wildlife-related activities require a license or permit? Resident Fur Dealer ($50), 44 ARKANSAS WILD •

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Nonresident Fur Dealer ($200), Wildlife Breeder/Dealer’s Permit ($50), Commercial Wildlife Hunting Resor t Per mit ($500), Special Commercial Quail Permit ($25) and Game-bird Shooting Resort ($150). A complete list is available. Call (800) 364-4263 ext. 6456 during business hours. These licenses expire June 30. Which other wildlife-related activities require a license or permit? These include falconry, alligator or alligator snapping turtle commerce or farming. Call (800) 364-4263 ext. 6456 during business hours for information about these licenses or permits. Lifetime Licenses 65 Plus Lifetime Hunting License ($25) entitles Arkansas residents 65 or older to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License.

HIP registration is required to hunt migratory game birds. To hunt waterfowl, a state lifetime waterfowl permit (purchased once after age 65) and federal waterfowl stamps are required in addition to HIP. Proof of applicant’s age and three-years of Arkansas residency are required to apply for this license. 65 Plus Lifetime Combination License ($35.50) entitles Arkansas residents 65 or older to the privileges of the resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Resident Fisheries Conservation License. HIP registration is required to hunt migratory game birds. To hunt waterfowl, a state lifetime waterfowl permit (purchased once after age 65) and federal waterfowl stamps are required in addition to HIP. A lifetime trout permit (purchased once after age 65) must be purchased to fish in certain waters. Proof of applicant’s age and three years of Arkansas residency are required for the license.

the flowing waters of the Mississippi Resident license holders of either state The lifetime waterfowl permit River, adjacent waters which are accesmay hunt migratory waterfowl on and lifetime trout permit are available sible by boat from the river proper flowing waters of the Mississippi River, from the AGFC Little Rock Office and and the old river chutes that form a on waters accessible by boat from the AGFC regional offices. If you wish to common boundary. Excluded are wildmain channel of the Mississippi River purchase a license in person, bring proof life management areas established by or on state line lakes when the season of your age, such as a driver’s license, either state and the Wolf, Loosahatchie, is open in both states. The St. Francis, birth certificate or military record and Hatchie, Forked Deer and Obion rivers. proof of three years of Arkansas resiDustin Floyd Migratory waterfowl may be hunted on dency, such as driver’s licenses, propfrom Russellville these waters by a license holder of either erty assessments, Arkansas income tax scored 196 and state when the season is open in both forms, etc. Applications and informa5/8 with this states. Hunters may not hunt from, tion are available by calling (800) 364buck. nor attach any device or equipment to, 4263 or (501) 223-6388 in the Little land under the jurisdiction of the state Rock area Monday-Friday, between 8 in which they are not licensed. Hunters a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Lifetime licenses must obey regulations of the state that are not available by phone or online. issues the license. Holders of nonresiNonexpiring Lifetime Resident dent licenses issued by either state have Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s the same privileges as a licensed resiPermit ($1,000) entitles purchasers of dent. any age to the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License (hunting) and the Deferred Hunter Resident Fisheries Conservation Education Licenses License (fishing). Fees for trout A hunter can apply and use permits, leased lands permits, allia Deferred Hunter Education gator permits, elk permits, state License as long as the user: waterfowl stamps and wildlife • is at least 16 years of age and born management area permit hunts are after December 31, 1968, and not waived with this license. License hunter education certified. holders must apply, however, for • is in the immediate presence of WMA hunts, be successfully drawn an adult hunter who is at least 21 and return notification of accepyears of age and possesses valid tance before being issued a permit. hunter education certification, HIP registration is required to hunt Left to right: John Voss, Mark Shatley, Scott Rosson and Chris Headrick at Bayou Meto. or who was born on or before migratory game birds. To hunt December 31, 1968. waterfowl, federal waterfowl stamps Brian Hays of Galla • possesses a valid Arkansas are required in addition to HIP. Creek Wildlife hunting license. This permit is available from Management Area in A DHE license can be acquired the AGFC Little Rock Office. If Pope County. once in a lifetime. The DHE you wish to apply in person, bring license expires June 30. A person proof of identification and resiis not eligible if convicted or dency, such as a driver’s license, forfeited bond for prior violation vehicle registration or personal of Hunter Education Certification property taxes. Applications are Requirements or under AGFC available at AGFC regional offices sanctioned hunting privilege revoor by calling (800) 364-4263 or cations. (501) 223-6388 in the Little Rock area. Lifetime licenses are not availWhat is CID #? able by phone or online. Proof of The CID #, also known as the one year of Arkansas residency is Customer Identification Number, required to apply for this license. is a number that will be issued with all new hunting and fishing licenses. White and Arkansas rivers and their Reciprocal Licenses This number is unique to each indioxbows are excluded from this agreeMississippi and Arkansas recogvidual purchasing a license. If a hunter ment. Floodwater is not included in nize the validity of Arkansas resident has one of the newer hunting licenses, this agreement. Hunters must obey hunting licenses on Mississippi lands please record the CID#. If the hunter the regulations of the state where that lie west of the main channel of the has an older hunting license, please do they’re hunting. Mississippi River. Mississippi resident not record a number in this box, just Tennessee and Arkansas recognize hunting licenses are valid on Arkansas leave it blank. the hunting licenses of both states on lands that lie east of the main channel. ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Mt. Nebo

Degray sunset

Mt. Magazine ARKANSAS WILD â&#x20AC;˘ Fall 2007


Skiing on Lake DeGray


Queen Wilhelmina

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Fall 2007

Lake Ouachita

Old Washington

Devils Den

Devil's Den ARKANSAS WILD â&#x20AC;˘ Fall 2007


Calendar Calendar

of Events

May 23rd-25th: Riverfest, Little Rock. Arkansas’s largest premier family festival will take place at the Little Rock Riverfront Park and North Shore Riverwalk. Three days of fun Memorial Day weekend with five states, 100 acts, large children’s area, visual arts, food and many special attractions. Admission prices vary. For more information call 501-255-3378 or visit 23rd-26th: Art Car and Skateboard Festival, Eureka Springs. Art cars will begin arriving in Eureka Springs on Friday. On Saturday, take your spot along Spring Street for the parade. Cars and “cartists” will be downtown until 6 p.m. for photos and questions. Skateboard competition at Harmon Park on Sunday begins at 1 p.m. On Memorial Day, join the cars and skaters for a potluck and old fashioned, all-American picnic at Lake Leatherwood City Park. Admission is free. For more information contact Ken Rundel at 866-947-4387 or visit www.eurekaspringsartcar. com. 24th: 19th Annual Tri-Lakes Bass Tournament, DeQueen. Tri-Lakes Bass tournament brings in more than 350 fishermen around the state. Pay outs every hour for eight hours. Big Bass payout for 1st place is $1,500. Over $12,000 in prizes will be awarded. Entry fee is $40 per person. The tournament is free to spectators. For more information contact Deborah Azizinamini at 870-584-3225 or visit 24th: Fishing Derby on the Ridge, Paragould. Put your fishing skills to the test at Walcott Lake! Bring your fishing pole, bait, and enthusiasm to compete for prizes that will be awarded in several categories. This event is co-sponsored by Arkansas Game and Fish and is open to anyone ages 15 and under. Admission is free. For more information contact Crowley’s Ridge State Park at 870-573-6751. 24th: 7th Annual Big Woods Birding Festival, Clarendon. Celebrate the natural beauty of the Big Woods of Arkansas and the wildlife that inhabit it. Enjoy a “Birds of Prey” program from the Little Rock Zoo, early morning bird walks, and a tour to the Louisiana Purchase Monument. Admission is free. For more information contact Valerie Davenport at 870-747-5414 or visit 25th: Mustangs on the Mountain, Morrilton. Show and shine at the Mustangs on the Mountain show sponsored by the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain. No entry fee, all year models included. Door prizes will be awarded. For more information contact Alan Hoelzeman at 501-727-5427 or visit www. 28th: Spring River Cleanup, Mammoth Spring. Memorial Day is past, the crowds left some litter, so we need to clean up the Spring River. Join us for this fun, 8-mile float and clean up. Space is limited, call by May 23 to register and reserve a canoe. Local outfitters will provide canoes and personal floatation devices. For more information contact the Mammoth Spring State Park at 870-625-7364. 29th-31st: Bulldog 100 Race, Texarkana. This mini-NASCAR race will take place at Texarkana College and will benefit the Rising Star Scholarships. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. For more information contact Kirk Lohse at 903-838-4541.


Spring 2008 • ARKANSAS WILD

30th: “Happy Birthday, Lake Chicot State Park,” Lake Village. Come celebrate Lake Chicot State Park’s 51st birthday with park staff. Enjoy birthday cake while peeking into the past with a slide show to see what the past 51 years have been like. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to listen and share some of the memories you made a Lake Chicot State Park. This program is part of Arkansas State Park’s yearlong 75th anniversary celebration. Admission is free and guests should meet at the visitor center. For more information call the park office at 970-265-5480. 31st: Kids Fishing Derby, Little Rock. 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. Contest is for kids 15 and under. Admission is free, bring your own bait and tackle. Participants should meet at the Environmental Education Pond. For more information contact Pinnacle Mountain State Park at 501-868-5806. 31st: 21st Annual Hillbilly Daze, Witts Springs. At Witts Springs Park Pavilion, a kiddie parade will begin at 10 a.m. and a Hillbilly Daze parade will follow at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served by EH organization at noon and will include hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, brown beans, dessert and Riverfest in Little Rock drinks. Other activities will include a turtle race, horseshoes, arts and crafts, and a fish fry at 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information contact the EH Organization at 870-496-2342. 31 st : Peak-to-Peak Poker Run, Mena. Attention motorcycle enthusiasts: Travel the scenic highways of western Arkansas between Queen Wilhelmina State Park and Mount Magazine State Park, and collect your poker hand that could lead to valuable prizes. The best prize of all will be the scenic vistas shared with fellow bikers as you travel from the state’s second highest peak to the tallest. Contact Queen Wilhelmina State Park for more information call 479-394-2863 or visit June 1st-14th: 13th Annual Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs. For two weeks every June, the Spa City overflows with music as 200 international mentor and apprentice musicians converge to create 20 live concerts and over 250 open rehearsals of symphony orchestra, chamber music and music theater in Hot Springs’ downtown historic district. Rehearsals are free to spectators. Ticket prices for concerts range from $5-$25. For more information contact Laura S. Rosenberg at 501-623-4763 or visit 1st-30th: 31st Annual Cache River Regional Duck Calling Contest, Brinkley. The contest will take place at the convention center and is sanctioned by the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest Rules Committee in Stuttgart. The winner qualifies for the World Calling Contest in Stuttgart in November. Admission is free. For more information contact the Brinkley Chamber of Commerce at 870-734-2262. 5th-7th: 23rd Annual Steamboat Days Festival, Des Arc. Free festival entertainment will take place at the court house square and includes a pageant, cook-off, arts and crafts, sporting events, children’s games, and much more. For more informa-

tion contact T.J. Nelson at 870-256-5289 or visit 6th-7th: Arkansas Valley Antique Tractor Club Show, Ozark. The show will take place at the fairgrounds. Admission is free. For more information call the Ozark Tourist Information Center at 479-963-3988. 6th-7th: Cruisin’ the Ouachitas Car Show, Mena. Open show of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Visitors can also enjoy a swap meet, car corral, poker run, food, and games. There will also be door prizes, event T-Shirts, dash plaques, and entertainment. The show will be held in Janssen Park, adjacent to Mena’s Lum & Abner Festival. Entry fees are $15-$20. For more information, contact Alan and Donna Drewry at 479-437-3427. 7th: Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby, Huntsville. Young anglers ages 1-15 are invited to a trout fishing derby. Prizes will be awarded according to age groups. Door prizes will be given throughout the tournament. Bring your own bait, tackle, stringer, and cooler. Participants should meet at the Withrow Springs Pond. Parents, your help is welcome, but the kids must do the fishing. Admission is free. For more information contact the Withrow Springs State Park at 479-559-2593. 7th: Fishing Derby, Pocahontas. Participants should meet at Park Nature Cabin. Prizes will be awarded in both adult and children’s divisions for the heaviest catfish and bass and other categories. Bring your own tackle and bait. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at Trapper Lake. Prizes awarded at noon. Those ages 16 and up must present a valid Arkansas fishing license upon registration (available for purchase on site). Contact the park for further details at 870-892-4708. Admission is free. 7 th: National Trails Day Celebration, Dardanelle. Join us to discover some of the mountain’s beautiful trails, and if you like, give something back in the form of a trail improvement project. Volunteers welcome. Contact Mount Nebo State Park, at 479-229-3655, for more information. 7th: 3rd Annual XTERRA Eureka Springs—Off-Road Triathlon and Trail Run, Eureka Springs. The race consists of a 0.5-mile swim, 13mile mountain bike and a 5-mile trail run. In addition, a 3.5-mile trail run will take place in the morning before the start of the triathlon. Participants should meet at Lake Leatherwood City Park. For more information contact Nick Cross at 479-244-5775 or visit 7th: Cars and Cycles Against Cancer, Blytheville. Ride registration begins at 8 .m. at Walker Park. Prizes will be awarded for the dice run and several cycle categories. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. For more information call 870-762-7184. 9th: 12th Annual Conway Regional Golf Classic, Conway. The classic will include a scramble format with four-player teams. Both morning and afternoon rounds will be available with prizes and awards for each round. Participants should meet at the Centennial Valley Country Club. For more information contact Joan Shofner at 501-513-5771 or visit 10th-14th: 32nd Annual Wynne Farmfest, Wynne. Live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and concession, and vendors of all kinds will be on hand at the Knights of Columbus Hall Grounds. Visitors can also look forward to PBJ Happee Days Carnival fun with rides for all ages, as well as a giant slide and climbing wall. Admission is free. For more information contact Jan Hess at 870-238-4183 or visit 12th-15th: 66th Annual Johnson County Peach Festival, town square, Clarksville. Festivities will include terrapin derby, frog jump, peach jam and jelly and peach cobbler bake-off, street dance, parade, diaper derby, craft booths, concession stands, peach pit spitting contest, water balloon toss, fiddling contest, egg toss, bicycle obstacle course, horseshoe pitching contest, Princess Elberta Pageant, and Miss Arkansas preliminary pageants. For more information contact Ken Medeiros at 479-754-9152 or visit

13th-14th: 2nd Annual Ribs, Rides, Rhythm and More, Booneville. This Kansas City BBQ Society Sanctioned BBQ Cook-Off event will be held at the South Logan County Fairgrounds. There will also be a backyard amateur BBQ competition, poker run, games and more. For more information contact the BDC/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce at 479-675-2666 or visit 13th-14th: 51st Annual Lions Club Rodeo, Calico Rock. All rodeo events, both junior and senior, start at 8 p.m. Tip Wiseman Rodeo Arena gates will open at 7 p.m. Concessions will be available. Admission is $6. For more information contact Clifton Woods at 870-297-8837 or visit 13th-14th: 52nd Annual Pink Tomato Festival, Warren. Festivities will include a 5K run/walk, arts and crafts, street dance, tomato eating contest, kids’ land, free entertainment on the square, and the All Tomato Luncheon Car Show. Warren is the County Seat and home of the Arkansas Tomato Market. The festival was awarded the 2006 Arkansas Festival Association’s Festival of the Year. Festivities will take place on the Warren town square, with free admission. For more information contact Joel Tolefree at 870-226-5225 or visit 13th-15th: 10th Annual Turpentine Creek Native American Pow Wow, Eureka Springs. Join us on Father’s Day weekend for a weekend of festivities including color guard, drumming, dancing, craft booths, wildlife exhibits and food and drink concessions on the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Admission is $5 per day. For more information contact Clif Jackson at 479-253-3790 or visit www. 13 th -15 th : Bat-O-Rama XIX, West Fork. Bat-O-Rama is one of the most Hope Watermelon Festival popular special events in the Arkansas State Parks system, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year! Enjoy a weekend of programs dedicated to one of nature’s least understood mammals, the bat. The schedule includes audio/visual programs, a bat house building demonstration and amphitheater. Admission is free. For more information contact Devil’s Den State Park at 479-761-3325. 14th: Junior Fishing Contest, Star City. Parents, spend the morning relaxing while your junior anglers compete for the highest weight caught during this informal fishing derby. Bring your pole, bait, and fishing skills to the Cane Creek State Park visitor center and we will lead the way! Cane Creek will provide you with a pole if you do not have one. Prizes will be awarded. Admission is free. Contact the park for more information, 870-628-4714. 14th: 3rd Annual Antique and Classic Car Show, Stamps. Enter any type of antique car or truck for display and trophies. Pedal car races for children 4-6 years old (must fit in car). Enjoy food, drinks, face painting, games, and more. Admission is $20 per vehicle entry. For more information contact Frank Lofton at 870-703-0249. 14th: 30th Annual Peach Festival 4-Miler, Clarksville. Race will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration starting at 7 a.m. at the courthouse square. Pre-registration fee is $15, race day fee is $20. All entrants will receive a T-Shirt. Trophies will be given to top three finishers in each age group. An overall and masters trophy will also be awarded. For more information, contact Natasha Wilson or JaNiece Hall at 479-754-4500. 14th-15th: 21st Annual Classic Truckers and Cruisers Club Car and Truck Show, Fort Smith. Classy trucks, colorful cars, big rigs and motorcycles! This is a judged show and lots of trophies and prizes are handed out. Food and drinks will be on hand, as well as fun for the whole family. A woman-less beauty pageant will take place on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the gate for the Kistler Center. For more information contact Kathie Smith at 479-785-4677 or visit 14th-15th: Kennel Club of Texarkana All Breed Dog Show, Texarkana. This ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Mount Magazine Butterfly Festival in Paris.

annual two-day, first class, all-breed dog show is sponsored by the Kennel Club of Texarkana and will be held at the Four States Fairgrounds. For more information call 903-277-4111 or visit 18th-21st: 31st Annual Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival, Waldron. Rhonda Vincent will be at Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival along with 16 more bluegrass bands. Come and camp with us or visit for the day. You are sure to enjoy one of the best bluegrass parks in the country. Admission prices vary. For more information contact Bill Lovett at 479-637-3717 or visit 18th-22nd: Solar Splash World Championships, Fayetteville. The World Championship of Solar/Electric boating is an international intercollegiate competition and will take place on Lake Fayetteville. Technical Inspections are done on the first day, and the remainder of the time is occupied by five on-the-water competitive events. Admission is free. For more information contact Shelly Stewman at 479521-5776 or visit 19th-21st: 2008 H.O.G. Rally, Fort Smith. The Arkansas State Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Rally will have events taking place at various venues downtown all day. For more information contact Dave Higgins at 479-890-6241 or visit www. 20th-21st: Mount Magazine Butterfly Festival XII, Paris. The Mount Magazine Butterfly Festival is one of the most popular nature-related family events in the Arkansas State Parks System, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Immerse yourself in the habitat of over 86 different butterfly species that live on or migrate over Mount Magazine throughout the year. Event includes activities for butterfly lovers of all ages and level of experience. Guest speakers and park interpreters lead walks and talks exploring butterfly biology and gardening. Children of all ages will enjoy the popular Bug Bonanza Pavilion, which includes live insects, games, and make-and-take crafts. Don’t miss the special concert Saturday night that closes out this natural festival! Admission is free. For more information, contact Mount Magazine State Park at 479-963-8502. 20th-21st: 2nd Annual Bootlegger Daze, Calico Rock. Food and craft vendors, street dance, poker run, live music, shoeing of the Bootlegger Movie, moonshine still, silent auction, and trolley car tour are among the activities that will take place at Main Street and Peppersauce Alley. Admission is free. For more information contact Gloria Gushue at 870-291-8899 or visit 20th-21st: 18th Annual Riverfront Blues Festival, Fort Smith. Enjoy music, food and fun at Fort Smith River Front Park. For more information contact Danielle Rogers at 479-573-1345 or visit 21st: Plant Show, Contest, and Sale, Pine Bluff. Take this opportunity to exhibit a bit of everything from your perfect plant to your cute but ugly plant. Amateur or professional, first grader or senior citizen, participation is open to everyone. Admission is free. Participants should meet in the multipurpose room at the Delta Rivers Nature Center. For more information contact Diana M. Neal at 870-534-0011 52

Spring 2008 • ARKANSAS WILD

or visit 21st: Annual Spearfishing Contest, Jordan. This contest will take place on Lake Norfork. Participants should meet at Jordan Marina. Cash prizes will be awarded and a fish fry will take place after the weigh-in at the marina. Admission is $20. For more information contact Denise Weber at 870-499-7348 or visit 21st: 17th Annual Hardy Homesteaders Day, Hardy. Thirty to forty hands-on demonstrations of pioneer skills will be performed in an outdoor setting at Loberg Park. Music, skits, and drawings will be held throughout the day. Buggy rides, bucking barrel, treasure hunts, and terrapin will be just a few of the children’s activities. Admission is free. For more information contact Nina Thornton at 870856-3811. 27th-28th: 11th Annual Buffalo River Elk Festival, Jasper. This major event celebrates Newton County’s title of “Elk Capital of Arkansas.” At the downtown square you will find quality artists, crafters, and other vendors showcasing their wares as well as nature seminars, wildlife displays, fishing derby, lots of kids’ activities, great entertainment, brilliant fireworks display and the infamous Elk Permit Drawings. Fun for all ages! Admission is free. For more information contact Nancy Atkinson at 870-446-2455 or visit 27th-28th: 19th Annual Purplehull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race, Emerson. This festival pays homage to purple hull peas and hosts world’s fastest garden tillers. Arts and crafts, World Cup Purple Hull Pea Shelling Competition, Great Purple Hull Peas and Cornbread Cook-Off, Million Tiller Parade, pea meals, pea-stompin’ street dance, horseshoes, dominoes, kids’ bike race, and more. Admission is free. For more information contact Dale Fish at 870-547-3500 or visit 27th-28th: 20th Annual Great Arkansas Pig Out, Morrilton. Join us for a spectacular 2-day festival of games, contests, sports, food, top country entertainment, as well as local talent in the city park. Also, the famous pig chase for the little ones. Admission is free. For more information contact the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce at 501-354-5400 or visit 27th-29th: 9th Annual Big Bass Bonanza, Little Rock. This fishing tournament along five pools of the Arkansas River yields approximately $300,000 in prizes with the top prize of $100,000. You must register to fish! For more information contact the Arkansas Hospitality Association at 501-376-2323 or visit www. 28th: 2nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Kayak Race, Calico Rock. This oneperson and two-person kayak race will start at Red’s Landing and end at the White River Bridge at Calico Rock. Float the beautiful White River and win great prizes! To race, participants must be at least 12 years old. For more information contact Velda Dixon at 870-297-4129 or visit Cost is $30 per kayak. 29th: Webb Civil War and Antique Collection, Prairie Grove. Local residents and

dedicated park volunteers Ann and C.W. Webb will display and talk about an array of items from their personal collections of Civil War and antique kitchen ware. The talk will take place at Hindman Hall at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. For more information call the park office at 479-846-2990. Admission is free. 30th-July 6th: 2008 LPGA Tournament, Rogers. The stars of LPGA Tour will once again be competing in a 54-hole format at Pinnacle Country Club. The tournament will host a July 4th celebration following the first round of championship play, Friday. Initial plans for the festivities include a musical concert and fireworks display. Title sponsor is Proctor and Gamble. For more information contact Adam Harris at 919-531-0500 or visit July 1st-4th: 64th Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale. Springdale’s foremost event celebrates our nation’s birthday each year while giving audiences the opportunity to experience part of our nation’s heritage through Pro Rodeo. Over 500 contestants and professional athletes will compete in seven PRCA and WPRA sanctioned events—Tie Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping, and the ever popular Bull Riding at Parsons Stadium. Fireworks will take place after each performance with a huge show on the 4th. Also, enjoy two great parades on the first and fourth. Admission prices are $10-$18. For more information contact Janet Edwards at 479-756-0464 or visit 5th: 31st Annual Sizzle ‘N Sweat Brewery Collectables Show, North Little Rock. If you collect brewery items, this is the show for you! Sponsored by the Ar-CanSas Brewery Collectables Club, you can buy, sell or trade, or partitipate in a 50/50 raffle and more. Admission is free and will take place at Burns Park at the Louis Gerschner Pavilion. For more information contact Dwayne Stokes at 501-3450042 or Kenn Flemmons at 501-221-3976. You can also find more information at 5th: Junior Fishing Contest, Star City. Parents, spend the morning relaxing while your junior anglers compete for the highest weight caught during this informal


fishing derby. Bring your pole, bait and fishing skills to the visitor center and we will lead the way! Cane Creek will provide you with a pole if you do not have one. Prizes will be awarded. Participants should be 15 years old and younger. For more information call 870-628-4714. Admission is free. 5th: Veterans Appreciation Night, Hot Springs. This evening will honor all veterans, active military, firemen, law enforcement, and EMTs (along with one guest) with complimentary admission at The Witness Amphitheater at Panther Valley Ranch. Special patriotic festivities include door prizes, a spectacular fireworks/music display, and honoring each branch of the military and “those who protect us.” Admission ranges from $7 to $13.50. For more information contact M. Tipton at 501-623-9781 or visit 7th-13th: Rising Star Open Golf Tournament, Texarkana. This pro golf tournament, formerly Tight Lies, will benefit the Rising Star Scholarship at Texarkana College and will take place at the Texarkana Golf Ranch. For more information contact Scott Norton at 903-838-4541. 11th-13th: National Youth Assembly, Little Rock. This event is a bi-annual gathering of Arkansas youth to celebrate non-violent principles and teach effective techniques, putting Dr. King’s philosophies into real applications. The assembly will take place at Robinson Center. For more information contact the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission at 501-683-1300 or visit 12th: North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count, Mena. Explore Rich Mountain with park interpreters and other butterfly experts to search for the most beautiful of the insects. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned butterfly watcher, your help will be appreciated and you’re sure to gain new knowledge about the distribution and population of these winged beauties. Wear sturdy shoes and bring bug spray, drinking water and snacks. Participants should meet at the house across from the Queen Wilhelmina State Park entrance. Admission is free. For more information contact the park or visit 14th: Nature’s Cornucopia, Hot Springs. Sponsored by Hot Springs Parks and Recreation Department, this program features Lake Catherine State Park Interpreter Julie Tharp sharing treasures from her most popular programs including turtles,

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The thrill of the drive is back! Available in 3 or 5 door ■ Standard OnStar® ■ 30 to choose from ■

5105 Warden Road • North Little Rock • ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


“grab bag” activities and some special surprises. Come enjoy beautiful Entergy Park and be a part of this action packed program. Admission is free. For more information contact Bea Arline at 501-321-6871 or visit 18th-20th: 11th Annual Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, Eureka Springs. This mountain bike festival will feature competitive and non-competitive cycling events including cross country, downhill, short track, observed trails, bike parade, film fest, and fun rides. This event is the largest event of its kind in the Central United States. Cash and prizes will be awarded. Contact David Renko at 479-363-0625 or visit 19th: Mightymite Triathlon, Forrest City. This exciting multi-sport race begins with a swim race at Lake Dunn at Village Creek State Park then a bike ride to EACC then the foot race begins to Forrest City. For more information contact the Forrest City Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-633-1651 or visit 25th: Christmas in July: A Herb Workshop, Mountain View. Join herbalist Marion Spear for a present-day approach to some traditional Ozark foods. Workshop fee includes lunch. Advance registration is required. Admission is $50 plus materials fee. For more information contact the Ozark Folk Center State Park at 870-269-3851 or visit 25th-26th: 26th Annual Altus Grape Festival, Altus. Join Chateau Aux Arc in celebrating Altus’ annual grape harvest by visiting the winery for tastings, and music. Dress us toga-style as your favorite Greek/Roman god/ goddess. Admission is $5 for tastings. For more information contact Chateau Aux Arc Winery at 479-468-4400 or visit 2 6 t h : World Championship Cardboard Boat Races, Heber Springs. The races will begin at 10 a.m. with both a youth and adult division. Participants vie for the “Pride of the Fleet” award or the notorious “Titanic Award.” Battle it our in a tug of war contest, the kids can dig for treasures or enter the sandsculpting contest. Visitors can stuff themselves at the World Championship Watermelon Eating Contest. However, nothing is over until the Cardboard Boat Annual Eureka Springs Demolition Derby. For a Fat Tire Festival boat application visit www. Parking is $5. For more information contact the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce at 501-362-2444. 26th: Wilderness Survival Workshop, Pocahontas. Handheld GPS units, cell phones, two-way radios and other devices have revolutionized the way we navigate in nature, but can you survive in the great outdoors without all the latest technology? Can you construct a shelter, administer first aid, start your own fire, stay warm and perform at your best when nature is at its worst? If so, that’s great; however, if you would like to learn more about outdoor survival this hands-on workshop is for you. Join the park interpreters for a morning filled with interesting survival skills ranging from knot tying to fire starting. Reservations are required. Admission is $15. For more information contact the Old Davidsonville State Park at 870-892-4708. 31st-Aug. 2nd: Old Soldiers Reunion, Heber Springs. This reunion of veterans will take place in Spring Park and will include a parade, carnival, and beauty pageant. For pageant information call Jan Awalt at 501-362-5229. For parade or carnival information call the American Legion at 501-362-9979. August 1st-2nd: Original Toughman Contest, Fort Smith. The contest will begin at 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn City Center. Admission is $15-$25. For more information contact S. Schemer at 501-664-1118 or visit 1st-2nd: 36th Annual Pine Tree Festival, Dierks. This festival will take place in the city park and depicts the timber industry with lumberjack competitions, kids’ 54

Spring 2008 • ARKANSAS WILD

rides, games, archery, antique cars, heavy equipment, arts and craft vendors, IBCA BBQ cook-off, ending with a country music concert Saturday night. For more information contact Misti Eudy at 870-286-3163 or visit 1st-31st: 110th Annual Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown. Famous Italian spaghettis dinners, live entertainment, carnival rides, arts and crafts, and a used book sale in the old church are a few of the many activities scheduled for the festival. Admission is free. For more information contact St. Joseph’s Parish at 479-361-2612 or visit 1st-31st: 65th Annual White River Water Carnival, Batesville. Arkansas’s oldest annual water event includes numerous features such as arts and crafts, foods, entertainment, sporting events, a car show, bike show, and grand parade. The carnival also includes the White River Beauty Pageant. Festivities will take place in Riverside Park. For more information contact the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-793-2378 or visit 7th-9th: 29th Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival, Cave City. Entertainment will begin on Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m. in city park and continue through Saturday. A festival parade will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. For more information contact Charles Landers at 870-283-5959 or visit 7th-10th: 32nd Annual Hope Watermelon Festival, Hope. Join us in celebrating Hope’s legendary watermelons! More than 200 booths of arts and crafts, music, melon eating and seed-spitting contests, hillbilly horseshoes, conventional horseshoe tournament, antique engine show, gospel show, sports car show, 5K run, softball tournament, melon judging, and dog show. Parking is $3, Admission is free. For more information contact Mark Keith at 870-777-3640 or visit www. 9th: Junior Fishing Contest, Star City. Parents, spend the morning relaxing while your junior anglers compete for the highest weight caught during this informal fishing derby. Bring your pole, bait, and fishing skills to the visitor center and we will lead the way! Cane Creek will provide you with a pole if you do not have one. Prizes will be awarded. The contest is for children 15 years and younger. Admission is free. For more information contact the park at 870-628-4714. 9th: 11th Annual First Security Conway Kids Triathlon, Conway. Kids ages 7-15 will swim, bike, and run. All finishers will receive a medal. No race day registration. Race is limited to 400 participants so register early! Registration fee is $20 before July 31 and $25 after July 31. For more information contact Karen Mann at 501-450-7533 or visit 10th: 6th Annual XTERRA Iron Will Triathlon, Jonesboro. Come test yourself and your will on what has been called the toughest mountain bike trails in the state of Arkansas. The triathlon course runs within the beautiful confines of Craighead Forest Park and will challenge you every step of the way. The out and back, halfmile swim will start from the beach and exit on the boat launch. After making your transition to the bike, the 10.6 mile mountain bike course littered with rocks, roots and steep hills will put the hurt on a set of legs. To finish up, you only have to run three miles of trail that will lead you back to the start/finish area. This is definitely a course to see if you have an Iron Will! Admission is $40 before Aug. 1, $50 Aug. 2-8, and $60 Aug. 9 until the day of the race. For more information contact Jeff Owens at 870-933-4604 or visit 14th-16th: Polk County Rodeo, Mena. The rodeo will begin at 8 p.m. nightly at Polk County Fairgrounds. Bronc riding, bucking bulls, calf scrambles, and calf roping are just a few of the traditional features of this annual rodeo. There is also a Queen’s Contest, parade, dance, funny rodeo clowns, and plenty of good food. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children. For more information contact John Puckett at

479-394-1238 or visit 16th: 38th Annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social, Fayetteville. This event will feature all you can eat ice cream and homemade cakes. Headquarters House tours will be available and musical entertainment will take place throughout the evening. Admission is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children ages 6-12, and $15 for a family. For more information contact the Washington County Historical Society at 479-521-2970 or visit www. 22nd-23rd: 33rd Annual Rod Run, Mena. See classic cars everywhere! Menaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown is host to this event on Friday and Saturday night. Activities include a street dance, concessions, vendors, music, and much more. Admission is free. For more information contact LeAnn Dilbeck at 479-394-8355 or visit 23rd-24th: Bat Weekend, Little Rock. Batcha canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t guess how many mosquitoes a colony of bats can eat in one night! Programs for the weekend, including hikes, games, demonstrations, and talks, will focus on everything batty. There will even be an opportunity to build bat houses. For more information contact Pinnacle Mountain State Park at 501-868-5806. Admission is free. 23rd-24th: 15th Annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;End of Summerâ&#x20AC;? Hang-Glider Fly-In, Dardanelle. Join the Central Arkansas Mountain Pilots (C.A.M.P.) at Sunrise Point this weekend to watch and learn as they hang glide throughout the weekend. Due to the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high dependence on weather and wind, no times will be announce for the flying; however, weather and wind permitting, the pilots fly throughout Saturday and Sunday beginning in the afternoon. Admission is free. For more information contact Mount Nebo State Park at 479-229-3655. 23rd-31st: 23rd Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Rages, Clinton. Festivities will include chuckwagon races, snowy river race, bronc fanning, concerts, camping, western trade show, dance, trail rides, horseback clinics and events. Admission is $15-$25. For more information contact Dan Eoff at 501-745-8407 or visit 25th: National Park Service Anniversary, Hot Springs. Celebrate the 92 nd birthday of the National Park Service by touring a rehabilitated bathhouse, to be announced. Preservation and stewardship are the goals of the National Park Service and the bathhouses in Hot Springs National Park provide a good example of accomplishing this goal. Admission is free. For more information contact Gail Sears at 501-620-6701 or visit 30th: Petit Jean Foundersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Day, Morrilton. In 1923 Petit Jean became the first state park in Arkansas thanks to the efforts of Dr. T.W. Hardison. In 1933, 75 years ago, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) laid the foundation for the park as we know it today. Join us for activites and programs exploring the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage, including the famous riddle hunt. Admission is free. For more information contact Petit Jean State Park at 501-727-5441 or visit

30th: 25th Annual Antique and Classic Car Show, Mammoth Spring. Gates open at 9 a.m. and judging is at 1 p.m. Enter your pre-1980s car or truck, or come just to wander among these classics! Prizes will be given for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Longest Distance Traveledâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choiceâ&#x20AC;?, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of Showâ&#x20AC;?. Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 entries. This is a MAACC event. Admission is $15 to compete, spectators are admitted free. Participants should meet in the ball field area. For more information contact Mammoth Spring State Park at 870-625-7364. 30th-Sept. 1st: Wings of Wonder Butterfly Weekend, Mena. Live butterflies can be viewed up close! Park interpreters will offer programs, hikes, and activities about these beautiful insects. Learn why butterflies flock to the mountain and how to attract them to your yard. Contact the park for a detailed program schedule. Admission is free. For more information contact Queen Wilhelmina State Park at 479-394-2863 or visit

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ARKANSAS WILD â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2008


News Briefs Photo by Marjie Jones

Lake Norfork Dam

■ Recent floods shouldn’t affect Arkansas’s fisheries LITTLE ROCK–There has been some concern among the state’s anglers regarding the recent floods and its effect on Arkansas’s waters. Not to worry, say Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fisheries biologists. Trout, bass, crappie, bream, catfish and other Arkansas fish have ways of adapting to flood conditions. Jeff Williams, the AGFC’s trout program coordinator, explained that since Arkansas doesn’t have much natural reproduction of trout, he’s not overly concerned that fish may be washed downriver will be washed away due to the flooding. “We’re not going to have a great deal of newly deposited eggs or young fr y swept away. We haven’t received any reports of mortality and since we stock trout heavily in the state’s coldwater fisheries any trout lost would be quickly replaced. So there should still be plenty of trout out there for anglers to catch,” he said. “Trout are holding closer to the banks of the river and around cover and staying out of the main channel,” he explained. Fishermen have already returned to the upper portions of the White and North Fork rivers, Williams said. “Above Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River, the flooding was not nearly as bad as farther down the river where flooding has been a real problem,” he said. Arkansas’s warm water fisheries have been in the bulls eye of floodwaters over the past couple of weeks. In the big picture, that’s a plus according to Mark Oliver, the AGFC’s assistant chief of fisheries. “More water means 56 ARKANSAS WILD •

Spring 2008

more fish,” Oliver said. “We haven’t had a big spring flood event in a long time. In reservoirs and the backwaters of our streams, largemouth bass, spotted bass, bream, crappie, redear and bluegill all do better when floods stir up large amounts of nutrients. This creates more phytoplankton and zooplankton which in turn feed the forage fish that the larger fish feed on,” he explained. The only fish that may be adversely affected by the floods is the state’s stream walleye populations. “Walleye spawn earlier than other fish in Arkansas. Their spawning peaked in March and their eggs and fry were likely washed away,” Oliver said. That may mean a short drop in the walleye population, but the AGFC stocks walleye because they don’t reproduce well in Arkansas. “They don’t protect their eggs or fry, so other fish usually get them. The muddy water will help hide some of the eggs and young fish, but we don’t rely on natural reproduction to sustain our walleye fisheries,” he said. If the flooding continues into April and May, then biologists may see a drop in the warm water fish populations in streams. “If this should continue for the next couple of months, then we may have a problem since the eggs and fry, especially of smallmouth bass, could possibly be washed away or smothered with silt,” Oliver noted. Although the floods have been catastrophic to Arkansans living near rivers, the overall picture appears bright for the state’s fisherman. “We’ve needed something like this in several of our lakes and rivers. The large lakes have flooded into areas where there’s new habitat available and the flooded rivers will recharge nearby oxbow lakes and other backwaters,” Oliver said. “It may not look like it now, but this should be a bumper year for Arkansas anglers,” he said. ■ Mayflower firing range maintenance continues MAYFLOWER–Due to recent rains, shooters who enjoy the Dr. James

E. Moore Jr. Camp Robinson Firing Range in Mayflower may have to wait a few weeks longer before they’re able to return to the range. “With all of the rain we’ve been experiencing over the past weeks, our construction schedule has been pushed back,” explained AGFC Hunter Education Coordinator Joe Huggins. “I expect the skeet and trap range to be complete around the first of May. We have decided to close the pistol range down on May 5 for renovations to that part of the facility,” Huggins said. “We will keep the rifle range open along with skeet and trap while this work is being done,” he added.

“Once the pistol range is complete we will move to the rifle range and reopen the pistol range. We feel like that it will take about three weeks on pistol and two weeks on rifle, but it’s all subject to the weather,” Huggins said. The construction project includes rebuilding the skeet houses and rebuilding the skeet and trap field and sidewalks to the make the handicapaccessible, Huggins explained. “We are also replacing the skeet machines with new ones. On the pistol range we extended the shooting pad back to make more room for shooters. We’re also replacing the roof over the shooting pad along with making some needed repairs to the baffling system. On the rifle range, we plan to replace the roof over the shooting pad,” he said. Huggins said the entire project should be complete by the end of May, weather permitting. Once construction is complete, all ranges will be open during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Shooters can call ahead for range conditions at (501) 470-9904. For more information on the firing range, go to http://www.

The Northern Snakehead, shown above, has many similarities to the Arkansas Native Bowfin. Be sure to check the major differences before contacting the Arkansas Game and Fish.

■ Northern snakehead makes Arkansas arrival BRINKLEY–Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fisheries biologists confirmed a breeding population of northern snakehead, an invasive species from Asia, in Lee County on April 28. The population was discovered when a farmer found an unusual fish wiggling along a gravel farm road near a ditch and contacted the AGFC regional office in Brinkley. AGFC Fisheries Management Biologist Lee Holt identified the fish as the invasive species that recently made national headlines. Since the confirmation, fisheries biologists have worked to establish how far the population has spread and to control the population. The species was banned in Arkansas in 2002 and placed under a federal importation ban the same year because of its potential to cause problems with native fish. However, biologists believe the species may have been brought to Arkansas before these regulations were passed. “The northern snakehead is used as a food species in Asia, and we know some were brought to fish farms in the U.S. before 2002,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Fisheries Mark Oliver. “Fish farmers in Arkansas realized the potential danger the species posed and tried to eradicate them even before bans were imposed.” AGFC biologists are killing every snakehead they find in their research, but they’re not optimistic that they can eradicate the population. “We can’t be sure exactly where this population came from and we just don’t know how far they’ve spread,” added Oliver. “Their abilities to live in extremely poor water conditions and reproduce quickly make them a difficult target to completely eliminate.”

John Odenkirk with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has worked with the species since its discovery in the Potomac River in 2004. He said the fish are harmless to people, contrary to their vicious reputation. “The fish’s name, appearance and ability to survive out of the water for short periods make it easy to sensationalize. They’re nothing like the horror stories I’ve heard and seen.” Oliver agreed, “They’re a topshelf predator in our fisheries, but they aren’t some kind of Frankenfish that will attack people or chase them on land. (AGFC Fisheries biologists) handled quite a few of them in the last few days, and no one has had any sort

of injury or bite.” The largest fear biologists have concerning the species is its impact on native fish such as largemouth bass, bream and crappie. Snakeheads are very aggressive predators, attacking food species as well as fish their own size. “Right now it’s just too early to tell what sort of impact snakeheads may have on a fishery,” said Odenkirk. “But invasive species rarely provide many benefits to systems where they are introduced. By the time the damage is seen, it can be too late to control.” Oliver said that the sooner the AGFC knows about a population of invasive species, the better the chances for controlling their spread. If you catch a snakehead or find one in your area, please immediately contact the AGFC Regional Office in Brinkley, (877) 734-4581, or the Fisheries Division in the Little Rock Office, (501) 223-6428. Commission regulations prohibit the import, transport or possession of snakeheads in Arkansas, however snakeheads caught may be immediately turned in to the AGFC.

ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008


Hunt of a lifetime By Josh Doyle, special to Arkansas Wild


am no different than you, a hunter who dreams of killing the buck of a lifetime every time I go hunting. I have read my share of articles on harvesting big bucks and thought maybe one day it will happen to me, and, it did, the day after Christmas in 2006. It all started the morning of December 3. When hunting this particular stand, I preferred to hunt my way to the tree I hunted in. I usually waited until daylight to walk very slowly to my tree. I walked about 20 yards crossing a beaver dam of an old lakebed. Along my way I noticed a doe standing in some cattails. I stopped and got down on my knees to hide. I pulled up my binoculars to take a look. As I watched, three does walked out nervously into the old lakebed. Well, this time of the year I had one thing in mind, “I sure hope there is a buck behind them.” Sure enough about that time the buck appeared through my binoculars. I could not believe what I saw. It was the biggest buck that I have ever seen in the woods. I lowered my binoculars and laid flat on my stomach. I pulled my gun up to try and get a steady shot. This once-in-a-lifetime buck stood 250 yards away and had one thing on his mind. He began chasing the does around within 100 yards of the tree I was trying to get to for my morning hunt. I laid there for about a minute trying to get a good shot on him and just as quickly as he appeared he disappeared back into the cattails. About five minutes later I heard the 58 ARKANSAS WILD •

Fall 2007

splashing of water as they crossed a slough. I lay there thinking how did I just let the deer of a lifetime get away. I finally made it to my tree. I hunted until about 10:30 a.m. and left. I hunted most of the day the following day only to be disappointed again. Well, by this time rifle season had closed for about three weeks. Over this time I hunted with my bow, every chance I had. I saw one other nice deer, but not the deer I was looking for. I told a few of my close buddies about what I had seen and I am sure they thought, “oh here we go; another one of Doyle’s deer stories.” I explained that I could not count points, but I knew it was big and had something strange on his right side. The day after Christmas I went back to the same area. I didn’t see a thing. I had an idea where the deer might be bedding down, but catching him leaving was the challenge. I decided to try a different approach from a different spot. I put on my waders and walked around the area I thought he might be bedded down in. It was a little over a mile walk and I had to cross two sloughs to get there. I got up in the tree and looked about 60 yards away and saw the largest 3-point I had ever seen bedded down. It had good mass and width, but only one tine coming off of his main beam. I picked up my binoculars and started glassing across the thickets. I noticed someone walking in wearing orange. He was walking right at me and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe this!” I couldn’t believe that after all this I was

going to miss my chance again. I walked all this way and someone is going to walk in and mess up my hunt. Not to mention there were only two days left in the season. It turned out to be a game warden that didn’t think I had permission to hunt the property. After checking my license and permission slip, the warden headed back to his truck. I figured there was no need for me to stay here after all the noise we just made. I walked out to the edge of the field and sat down. I had been setting there for about 30 minutes when I saw a deer poke his head out of a thicket. I pulled up my binoculars and was so excited to see that it was the deer that I had been hunting. I pulled my gun up to take the shot. I adjusted my scope. The deer stood just over 100 yards broadside offering a great shot. I squeezed the trigger and the deer turned and ran. My heart was pounding in my chest; I could not believe what had just happened. I walked about 90 yards in the direction of the deer and I hit my knees praying for God to please let me find this buck. He must have been listening because soon after that I found his blood trail. I started tracking the deer. Stopping several times trying to decide if I should back out and give him some time. I walked about 80 yards and there he laid to rest. As it turned out he was a non-typical 12-point with a lot of palmation in both horns. His official Boone and Crocket score is 177 2/8 gross and 164 5/8 non typical. I can only dream of harvesting another buck of this caliber in my lifetime.

We proudly support Ducks Unlimited • Teeth whitening • Crown and bridge work • Root Canals • Partials and full dentures • Cosmetic and restorative dentistry • Children welcome • Emergency and new patients welcome

Scott T. Hill, D.D.S. Matthew E. Moudy, D.D.S. 906 S. Pine St., Ste. 5 Cabot • 501-628-5555


285 ARENA ROAD, CABOT 501-941-2044 FAX 501-843-5449 ARKANSAS WILD • Spring 2008



Fall 2007

Arkansas Wild Spring 2008  

Hunting and fishing in the natural state