Stimulus funds to improve fishing at Beaver Lake
October 26, 2009
To restore the quality of trout fishing at Beaver Lake's Tailwater Habitat near Eureka Springs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded a $110,000 contract to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, popularly known as stimulus funds.

Problems in the Beaver Tailwater Habitat arose after the Beaver Dam floodgates were opened in April 2008, resulting in a heavy flow that flushed out much of the in-stream habitat and damaged stream banks.

"The need for habitat improvement came out of a series of public meetings to develop a Tailwater management plan," Tim Burnley, trout habitat manager for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said. "One of the things that the public wanted was more physical habitat."

The project will construct four j-vanes, which are angled rock jetties, and place boulders and root-wads to improve the habitat. The j-vanes push the channel toward the middle and protect the shorelines, create depth and improve the water quality. The boulders and root-wads provide refuge for the trout, and also increase the trout food sources in the habitat.

"Anglers at Beaver Habitat spend about $2 million a year, and make about 10,000 fishing trips,"Burnley said. "The improvements that we are making will generate a much healthier and stronger habitat."

Work on the project should begin early in 2010.

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