HARRISBURG, Ark. (KAIT) - It has been nearly a three-year project to help renovate one of the major lakes in Northeast Arkansas, but Arkansas Game & Fish Commission officials said this week that the work is nearing the end of a three-year marathon.
According to a media release from AGFC, the 471-acre lake near Harrisburg has been dry since 2017 as work has been done on a massive, $3.2 million renovation project.
The work was done after problems began years ago.
“Problems with the lake began to surface when shoreline erosion was documented a little over 10 years ago. This erosion became larger over the years and a plan to stabilize the shore was developed by the AGFC’s Arkansas Stream Teams Program,” officials said. “But in 2016, a significant failure to the water-control structure rendered it inoperable.”
Officials also found out the lake level was dropping, while an outflow pipe that was attached to the water control structure had gone out. That caused water to escape the lake.
Crews have worked to install materials like Flexamat to help stop erosion, while pallets have been added to the lake bed to help with fish habitat in the future.
Brett Timmons, a regional fisheries supervisor with AGFC, said the work now will help stock fish in the lake in the future.
“We’ll stock catchable-size channel catfish as soon as we think the lake can support them for some instant gratification, and we’ll stock forage species in 2021 to let them get a good head start on the game fish to give the lake a good foundation. In 2022, we plan to stock bass and crappie. If all goes as planned, anglers should see some excellent fishing within four years or so," Timmons said.