Arkansas River

Discussion in 'ARKANSAS RIVERS TALK' started by ictalurus, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. ictalurus

    ictalurus New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Conway, Arkansas
    I was able to view some preliminary data from a habitat study by Mississippi State U. that indicated approximately 9,000 acres of aquatic habitat has been lost on the Arkansas in Arkansas since 1973.

    The good news is that AGFC, USFWS, and the Corps are working to conserve and restore aquatic habitat on the river by notching most of the dikes on the system, constructing islands to create backwaters and side channels, and dredging channels into oxbows and sloughs that have shallowed or filled. If they get the money they need to the job we could see substantial improvements to the fishery over the next 4-6 years that will yield benefits for years to come or even decades.

    We should see more fish, more habitat to fish, and more vegetation and woody debris for the fish. Good times are ahead for the Arkansas.

    I started this thread for any and all discussions about the Arkansas River, one of the greatest fisheries in the U.S.
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    In addition to notching the dikes, the Corps and AG&F are increasing wetlands and backwaters along the Arkansas River. Here is some information on the expected results:

    Fishing and Floods

    What effects did the 1993 flood have on fishing success? That depends on the time perspective of the question.

    During the Flood

    Fish were able to access the entire river floodplain for feeding, spawning, escape and growth. Big river fish have evolved their reproductive cycle to the natural occurrence of floods. They rely on floods to successfully spawn and for the young to survive.

    That's why the Flood of 1993 was so beneficial to fish. In the past, what would be considered a "normal flood" (i.e. much smaller magnitude than '93 flood) would flood bottomlands and benefit the fish. Over time, construction of levees has prevented this from happening.

    Spawning and nursery areas were created as the water saturated the vegetated floodplains. Big river fish could move into these areas, away from the strong current, to spawn and rear their young. The flooded bottomlands provided protected homes to young growing fish which returned to the river when levels dropped.

    A few fish were stranded as waters receded, and died. Most, however, found their way back to the river safely.

    Little sport or commercial fishing could take place. Access to the rivers was restricted by blocked roads and damaged ramps and parking lots. Also, the Coast Guard and the Corps officially closed the rivers to recreational and commercial activities because of the danger to levees.

    Fish populations experienced little angling pressure, growth was excellent, and reproductive success was the best that it had been in years.

    After the Flood

    Fish were able to take advantage of the new habitat created "off-channel." This enabled them to continue accelerated growth and reproductive success. The 1995 floods will make new blew holes and create even more habitat.

    More and larger game and non-game fish were available for anglers who have enjoyed the "bounty" of the 1993 flood.

    If we are successful in protecting and preserving habitats for aquatic life created by the flood, we will see improved fishing on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers for years to come.

    BIG RIVER HABITAT

    Have you ever wondered why some anglers catch more fish than others? Usually it's because the successful anglers are familiar with the habitat they fish. The Missouri and Mississippi rivers have many varieties of habitat. Learning about them wil l increase your ability to catch the fish that live there.

    Tailwaters

    The tailwater is that reach of deep, swift water extending for one-half mile below each Upper Mississippi River lock and dam. Water passing through the dam is rich in food attractive to small forage fish, which attract larger fish. Gizzard shad, freshwater drum, walleye, sauger, channel catfish and white bass frequent the swift water below each upper Mississippi River lock and dam.

    Wing Dikes

    Wing dikes are rock structures extending from the river bank perpendicular to the river's current. The Corps built them to prevent the main channel from filling by directing the river's current away from the bank and into the channel.

    Trail dikes

    Constructed along outside bends of the channelized Missouri River, trail dikes are positioned to protect against bank erosion. Similar to wing dikes, trail dikes provide rock habitat and dee p holes, which attract many fish species.

    As water is forced around and over a wing dike, it carves deep "scour holes" at the tip and downstream of the dike. The holes provide important winter and summer habitat for flathead catfish, blue catfish and channel catfish. The rocks of a wing dike also provide spawning and rearing habitat for catfish. Other big river fishes, such as carp, walleye, bluegill and largemouth bass, use the rock as shelter to avoid the constant force of the river's current.
    Notched Dikes

    Below St. Louis, several wing dikes have had sections removed to allow water,to flow through, creating deep water holes below each notch. These modified wing dikes are called "notched dikes," and often attract flathead, channel and blue catfish, gizzard shad, freshwater drum, walleye, sauger and white bass.
    Cut Banks

    Another habitat sought out by river-wise anglers is the deep water associated wi th a cut bank, where the erosive force of the current scours deep areas that attract many fish. Cut banks frequently occur along outside channel bends, on the back side of islands and along non-reveted (unrocked) banks.

    Sandbars

    Fishing in the deep, slow moving current downstream of a submerged sandbar can be productive. Fish tend to collect here, out of the swifter main channel current. Sandbars are abundant along the Missouri River and unpooled Mississippi River. Channel catfish often frequent sandbar habitat.

    Off-Channel Waters

    Oxbow lakes, sloughs, side channels, blew holes and chutes are located off the river's main channel. In these habitats, the river's current is slow to nonexistent, providing essential spawning and rearing areas for several fish species. Off-channel waters usually have abundant cover - fallen trees, submerged vines and tree limbs - that provides shelter for young fish.


    I seem to remember seeing a Corps map online somewhere showing the location of notched dikes on the lower Mississippi River; has anyone seen such a map for the Arkansas River?
     

  3. ictalurus

    ictalurus New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Conway, Arkansas
    The Corps is proposing a website to show the habitat improvement project sites, notches, islands, etc. It will be decided within the next month or two whether to spend the money on the site or not. I will keep you posted of the decision and the website address.
     
  4. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    When there is no current on the river the fish bite very slow.
     
  5. DorianGre

    DorianGre New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Arkansas
    Anyone have a report on the central ar. parts of the river?
     
  6. DorianGre

    DorianGre New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Arkansas
    Oh, and which dam is best to fish?
     
  7. janton311

    janton311 New Member

    Messages:
    654
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Thats good to hear. The Arkansas runs about 2 miles from my house in Wichita..
     
  8. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Keith, I ain't been to the river in a couple of weeks but it had been slow for me. They are giving us any water now and I haven't figured out how to catch them without some current. Anyway, welcome to the Brotherhood. It's alway good to have more Arkies in the family. What part of the state do you live in?

    ST
     
  9. DorianGre

    DorianGre New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Arkansas
    I live in Conway, but am willing to travel anywhere within a reasonable distance to go fishing. I spent 3 hours at Toad Suck last night and came home empty handed.
     
  10. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Keith, Greg [seedtick] is also from Conway. I have fished with him on a couple of occasions. We only caught a few small ones but had fun never-the-less.
     
  11. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Keith, you are better than just an Arkie you are a Conway Arkie. Maybe we can hook up sometime. You know I've lived here a year now and I haven't even been over to Toadsuck yet.

    ST
     
  12. Cause They're Big

    Cause They're Big New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Conway, Arkansas
    Hey Seedtick, just starting to fish Toad Suck like it should be fished. I'm gonna go out this weekend and see if I can't figure something out. Let me know if you're ever looking for company out there. My buddy Circle Hook (new BOC guy) is comin' down this weekend to see if we can't get on top of 'em.
     
  13. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Duell, Welcome to the Brotherhood. It's good to have another Conway Brother. I'm sure wanting to get back out on the water but it has been to hot for me. It's suppose to cool off some this weekend and I am ready. I usually fish the river out of Palarm Creek at Mayflower but I haven't got into the good ones so far this year. I went over to the dam on the lake and looked around today. I was hoping to find some easy pickens on some shad but I didn't find any. It looks like they have dropped around 2 feet or so of water.

    ST
     
  14. samh

    samh New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Damascus,Arkansas
    shouldn't the water coming out of Conway put a little current from the mouth of Palarm creek down aways, with hardly any current in the Arkansas River now I've been thinking of put'n in at Parlam this weekend and see'n if the current from the creek might turn something on.
     
  15. Cause They're Big

    Cause They're Big New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Conway, Arkansas
    You would think so. Let us how you did if you go. I've never fished there, but have heard some good things.
     
  16. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    how would I get to palarm creek from BeeBe I have heard of palarm creek but don`t know where it is Iwant to put in my note book for later
     
  17. samh

    samh New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Damascus,Arkansas
    Take the Mayflower exit of the freeway just south of Conway, hit highway 64 south til you cross Palarm creek, ramp just off 64.
     
  18. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Sam, There is some current I don't know if it is enough but it's more than we've had in a while. I'm hoping to try em the first of the week. Good luck and let us know how you do.

    ST
     
  19. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Shep and I will try the river out of Piney Bay. I have caught some nice blues over at the barges. I hope the wind cooperates with us.
     
  20. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    Good luck and take some good pics.