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AGFC habitat project


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District 1 Biologists worked with Beaver Watershed Alliance to draft a proposal for a large habitat project on Beaver Lake and the project was funded by the National Fish Habitat Partnership! The project is a large cooperative endeavor, with partners from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Hobbs State Park, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Beaver Lake Office, Bear Creek Bass Club, Northwest Arkansas Bassmasters, Quail Forever, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Lake Crappie Association, Hook, Line and Sinker Tackle Shop, and landowners.
The project will begin after funding is received, possibly in summer of 2021. The 130 new fish habitat sites will be a great place to catch some fish. More updates about the project will be provided as they development. The goals the habitat project can be found below.
 
Goals for the project:
 
  • Implement source water protection best management practices to improve water quality in Beaver Lake by reducing nutrients and sediments in the watershed
  • Restore 300 linear feet of eroded streambanks to reduce sediment and nutrients into Clifty Creek, a tributary to War Eagle Creek and Beaver Lake. 
  • Enhance 6 acres of riparian with native vegetation along 1,383 linear feet on Big Clifty Creek.
  • Provide education and outreach to over 20,000 landowners on Fish Habitat Enhancement in the Beaver Lake watershed.
  • Add 130 new fish habitat sites to Beaver Lake to improve fish usage, angler satisfaction and success
  • Add 30 of the 130 fish habitat sites close to shoreline fishing areas to improve bank angler success
  • Evaluate catch rates of sportfish on brush piles vs. no brush piles and among different configurations of cedar tree fish habitat
  • Evaluate angler use and preferences of habitat sites with creel survey
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Nice summary Quillback!

I'm glad to see Jon and staff are continuing to add habitat to the lake. Beaver has lost a lot of habitat since it was first flooded. When I first started working on the lake in 1986 there was considerably more standing timber and other woody habitat. We did habitat projects back then but didn't have the equipment to do it on a grand scale. We worked mostly out of an 18 foot flat bottom work boat but still managed to do some good with the help of volunteers. We counted on the help of several fishing clubs during the years when we utilized discarded Christmas trees for habitat. It was a lot of work gathering, hauling and sinking them in the lake and we couldn't have done it without the volunteers.

Fortunately Jon and co-workers have some great equipment to handle a habitat project big enough to make an impact on the lake and that it's a cooperative effort with many other groups and agencies participating.  The additional habitat will help the lake on many levels but most importantly, help anglers have a better chance to locate and catch some fish!          

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