JONESBORO (AGFC) –
This week's heavy rainfall is forcing the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission to manipulate water levels on several wildlife management
areas in northeast Arkansas. The measures are necessary to prevent
damage or failure of infrastructure such as levees and water-control
news for duck hunters is that affected areas still will be at or near
target water levels for Saturday's opening day of duck season.
are manipulating or may be forced to manipulate water levels at Dave
Donaldson Black River WMA, Earl Buss Bayou DeView WMA, St. Francis
Sunken Lands WMA, Big Lake WMA and Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA.
"As a result
of the recent rains and expected and observed elevated river levels,
the area staff will be closely monitoring and manipulating water to
alleviate infrastructure damages to levees, slough plugs and other areas
susceptible to erosion," said Terence Teel, biologist supervisor in the
AGFC's Jonesboro Regional Office. "Pool levels will be monitored and
are not expected to fall below target levels during this time. We will
monitor the gauges and maintain adequate water levels in all
compartments when the elevated waters recede."
Some 4 to 5
inches of rain fell across the region Tuesday and Wednesday, causing a
rapid rise in streams and rivers that feed the management areas. The
surge of water potentially could cause blowouts in levees and
water-control structures, causing additional water loss. Infrastructure
on many of the affected WMAs was recently repaired following past
will manipulate water-control structures at Dave Donaldson Black River
WMA and Earl Buss Bayou DeView WMA today and Thursday, depending on
rising water levels. If necessary, staff at St. Francis Sunken Lands
will lower the Payneway gate Thursday to protect a recently constructed
erosion dam and prevent drainage of St. Francis Lake.
levels should be reached this weekend at Big Lake WMA, but some
water-level manipulation may be required next week if water levels
continue to rise. Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA should be at full pool for
opening day, with little or no water manipulation required.
popular duck hunting areas in eastern Arkansas, including Dagmar WMA and
Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA, will need more rainfall to reach full
pool. The latest rains did not fall as heavily in the Stuttgart area and
will have little impact on Bayou Meto WMA's water levels.