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I am pretty green at this, but hopefully my ignorance won't shine too bright here :)

Is it just me or does this fishery seem to really lag behind other similar trout fisheries (i.e. bull shoals, norfork, greers ferry, and taney) as far as quality and quantity of fish? Any ideas on why this is? Is there not enough forage for the fish to survive, thrive, and grow? I don't know if this has any effect or not, but one thing that drives me crazy is how little movement there is in the water when there is no generation; I only know of a few places where I can get a decent drift on a fly under these conditions. Is the management of this tailwater significantly different than the others on the white river system? I have heard some arguments for lack of enforcement and poaching issues, but I tend to think there is just as much, if not more, poaching at any of the other tailwaters.

Is it worth while to discuss any of this with AGFC? I imagine I would be joining an ongoing discussion.

Again, I have a lot to learn here so I am just trying to pick the brains of some more experienced and knowledgeable fishers.

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Forage wise I have seen plenty of minnows and shad in the white and decent amounts of scuds and sculpin. It needs habitat improvement in a major way and a constant flow would help a great deal as would greater enforcement. They stock a lot of fish in there yet seems they vanish into thin air or more to the truth vanish into cars and trucks.

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Dredge the river from the dam site to Parker Bend add rock dams allowing for passing up and downstream of fish every 200 yards, a minimum flow regulation would be nice but i too doubt it will happen. Also a pure Catch and Release area from Parker bend to the dam WITH artificial fly only regs in place. The area could if managed and set up right be another Taney.

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One: The lake that feeds the fishery doesn't have nearly the water of the fisheries to which you compare it. That makes minimum flow, etc. far more difficult.

Two: Any management discussion must include Southwest Power, the quasi-governmental entity in charge of electrical generation.

Three: The Congressional resolutions that authorized the dam building did not include recreation or wildlife in its priority lists. As a result the Corps is duty bound to ignore those factors and the lands and water you are discussing are Corps.

Four: The grade between the Beaver dam and Houseman is less than the other locations, which means when water is off the water stays put.

I understand everyone's desire to upgrade the section to the level of the others, but the task will require enormous coordination of a serious political effort with a serious environmental effort. In the current political times, that is doomed. Furthermore, even if successful, the results will not be dramatic as the stretch is rather short and flat.

As a side note, there are many, many trout down in the lake. That is where many of the stockers go to grow large.

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I have been a part of the updating of the management plan for the last two years. The issue is the Commission. Here is the latest Management Plan Draft.

http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Documents/TP_BeaverTWManagementPlan2012-2016.pdf

Zack Hoyt

OAF Contributor

Flies, Lies, and Other Diversions

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rps, you make some good points. I couldn't agree more with number one on your list; that is why I said I didn't think minimum flow regs were realistic. Are items two and three that much different from the setup at Norfork or Bull Shoals Tailwaters? I honestly don't know...I do know that both are run by Southwest Power as one can check that website for generation schedules at all three of these locations. On item four, this is why we were talking about making some changes to the river bed; obviously, the elevation doesn't change much right now, but with some dredging work I would think we can improve this. Having trout in Table Rock Lake is great for people who fish the lake; personally, I don't fish the lake so I would love to improve the tailwaters above.

Zack, I am assuming the AGFC is the Commission; could you expand on the issue more? Feel free to shoot me a PM if you don't want to discuss publicly. I read through the management plan; I am excited about the change to start stocking more brown trout. Hopefully enforcement of the regulations goes up as stated in the plan. Has there been any discussion of changes to the riverbed? Do you think it would be effective to try and create a more regular flow?

Thanks for your input guys.

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It definetly doesn't have the habitat of other tailwaters. I know they use to put in a lot of stockers cause I would see everyone and their brother, sister there fishing for a stringer limit!! I haven't been there in a few years, but I remember the bottom being scoured to bedrock from the flooding. Is that still the case? As far as LE I was checked twice down there within a five year period. Last time I was in the C&R area they wanted to see if I had smashed the barb down. I hadn't, but was told I should and then the guy left me alone. I'm sure plenty of poaching goes on there.

"you can always beat the keeper, but you can never beat the post"

There are only three things in life that are certain : death, taxes, and the wind blowing at Capps Creek!

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Thanks for the input ollie. There are some places where the bottom is down to bedrock, but I would say the majority of the river from the dam down to parker has loose stones (fist-sized or a little smaller for the most part) as the bottom substrate. I have been checked for license twice, but never for the barbed hook. C&R starts just above parker and goes up to the bathhouse at the next campground, right? I have definitely seen people keeping fish in that stretch.

Obviously, something is lagging in this fishery. I know that there is no overnight fix for this sort of thing, but I am hoping to gain some knowledge and I'd love to see this fishery built up to its full potential. This leads to the next question: what is the full potential of this fishery? I saw that Feathers and Fins thinks it could be like Taney if managed correctly; what is everyone else's take on this? I am not sure that it could be quite like Taney just due to the size difference of the two waterways, but I don't see why it couldn't be similar to the Norfork...

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