Water over road to WMA in SE Ark. forces closure

GILLETT, Ark. (AP) - State hunting officials say rising water on the lower Arkansas River has led to closure of a road leading to a wildlife management area on Big Island. Big Island is a remote lowland area between the White and Arkansas rivers in southeast Arkansas.

The state Game and Fish Commission said in a news release today that water has begun crossing the road and is 5 inches deep in some places.

The agency said the reading Wednesday at Lock 1 on the Arkansas River is 143.7 feet, with the Army Corps (KOR) of Engineers projecting a slow rise to 144.2 feet at Lock 1 by April 11. The road should reopen when the water has fallen below 143.5 feet at Lock 1, the release said.

The agency said the turkey season remains open in the Trusten Holder Wildlife Management Area served by the closed road. The release said hunters trying to reach the WMA by boat should use extreme caution and be on the lookout for unusually swift currents and floating debris.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.