Perception Is Reality: Resurrecting the “Dead Sea” in Arkansas Through Partnership

Monday, September 9, 2013: 3:20 PM
Izard (Statehouse Convention Center)
Benjamin Batten , Fisheries, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, AR
Lake Maumelle is a 3,600 ha raw water supply lake located 22 km northwest of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.  The lake is part of a metropolitan water system managed by Central Arkansas Water that serves approximately 400,000 customers in Central Arkansas.  Because the lake was designed as a water source, the majority of large woody debris was removed before impoundment.  This resulted in a lack of traditional reservoir fish habitat remaining in the lake.  Lack of habitat and low nutrient levels desirable for a water source impoundment have led to a history of frustration for the angling public.  Based on a public meeting held in 2009, it was determined that the top five priorities for anglers were: access, habitat, stocking, forage and regulations.  Over the past four years, Central Arkansas Water and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have cooperated to address all five of these issues with the largest effort being directed at placing 1,250 pieces of artificial fish habitat throughout the lake.  These projects have all been met with broad public approval, and the partnership will continue to improve the resource and its’ reputation in the future.