A Management Survey Of Public Fishing In Delta Regions Of Eastern Arkansas

Intensive agricultural endeavor and accompanying environmental degradation have virtually eliminated the native fishery of eastern Arkansas' delta regions. Unsatisfied public demands for outdoor recreation have, of course, increased as corresponding opportunities have been reduced. The fisheries management biologist in eastern Arkansas is faced with a multitude of perplexing management problems which in many respects are unique to the heavily farmed regions of southeastern United States. Managed lakes and impoundments in northeast Arkansas will fall, generally, into one of three categories or classifications: I. Ridge or foothill impoundment which receive surface runoff from a primarily timbered or pastured watershed (little or no row crop farming in the watershed). The soils of the watersheds of these lakes fall within the Loessial Hills Association and, to a lesser extent, the Ozark Highlands Association. II. Oxbow or overflow lakes which receive surface runoff from an intensively farmed watershed. (Soils fall within the Loessial Terraces or Bottomlands and Terraces Associations). III. Floodplain impoundments which are designed for absolute topographic isolation from the watershed and must be maintained by pumping or water gate manipulation. (Soils are similar to those of Class II lakes.) Empirically determined management procedures as applied in distinct situations for maximum benefits to public recreational opportunities are reviewed in detail.

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