AGFC hurries to repair flood-damaged lake as duck hunting season - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AGFC hurries to repair flood-damaged lake as duck hunting season looms

PAYNEWAY, AR (KAIT) - Since late last week, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has lowered the St. Francis lake's water level to 2 feet in preparation for repairs...totaling near 140 thousand dollars.

River water began flowing around the Payneway dam after last year's record flooding eroded away one critical point in the levee.

Wayne Hinds with Drainage District number 7 says the task is not only to fill-in a troublesome wash-out, but to prevent others from occurring.

"When you dam up this ditch, dam up Ditch 61 over there, water's going to seek the next lowest spot. When it drops over on the ditch on the lower side, it's going to start eating back and you're going to have another washout."

Hinds views this as a temporary fix, since the sandy ground may shift in time.

They have revisited this problem several times but only in a handful of decades.

"This is the first washout here, where this gate is at. It started in '56, but by '69 it had started to eat into the lake, this washout here."

According to the AGFC, the eroded area is preventing the lake from holding water and following the WMA's normal flooding routine.

Construction is scheduled to end next Friday, with duck-hunting season opening on November 17th.

Once repairs are finished, they will begin raising water levels in preparation for waterfowl season.

"In a week's time, it should be back up to 210, whether it's back up to 212, I don't know about that."

For more information on the upcoming waterfowl season, click here.

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