Greene County lake’s water levels have fishermen concerned

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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DELAPLAINE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stopped pumping Lake Ashbaugh and it has the fishermen who enjoy the spot looking for answers.

The Game and Fish Commission had a contract with a local business to pump the lake, but the contract ended this year.

Pumping the lake keeps the water levels where they need to be as well as keeps a healthy amount of fish living in the water, both of which are suffering.

“It’s heartbreaking not being able to fish where you want in this lake,” said Rick Hampton, who has been fishing in Lake Ashbaugh for 30 years. “I brought my grandson here last week and we could barely get the boat in the water.”

The commission decided to not resign the contract because of a price change in the last year. Brett Timmons, is the Fishery Supervisor for Northeast Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said there are not too many options.

“Bringing in a contractor, similar to what we had out there in the past, has increased their price quite a bit,” said Timmons. “There is another way naturally to bring life back into the lake that we have seen Ashbaugh do before.”

Hampton hopes the commission will re-sign the contract and allow a fisherman like himself to enjoy the lake once again.

“It’s the quickest way to pump it, quickest way to save the fish, and save the whole area once for all,” said Hampton.

Although, Timmons said this is a decision that will take some time and asks patrons to be patient.

“I would just have to ask them to hang in there with us,” said Timmons. “We are assessing the fishery and hopefully, we can make it a great fishery once again.”

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