More habitat sites added to Beaver Lake
Oct. 26, 2016 - Anglers from the Bear Creek Bass Club rolled up their sleeves and joined staff from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to break ground on a new weigh-in facility to be housed at the Prairie Creek Access on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas. They even managed to add a little extra habitat to the water while clearing the area making up the footprint of the new facility.
According to Jon Stein, AGFC fisheries biologist for northwest Arkansas, 15 new habitat sites were constructed and placed in Beaver Lake from the trees removed for the weigh-in center. Most branches from the large elm, maple and cedar trees were up to 15 feet long, so the brush piles created will be substantial additions to the fish attractors on Beaver Lake.
“This is a great example of how anglers have been our partners in this project from the beginning to help out the fish and fishing on Beaver Lake,” Stein said. “They are really excited about the new weigh-in facility and have really stepped up to help make it a reality.”
The facility will be similar to the one at Lake Dardanelle State Park, which has been extremely popular with tournament directors and anglers. “Prairie Creek is the most utilized access on Beaver Lake,” Stein said. “It has a six-lane boat ramp and a parking lot that can handle tournaments as large as 190 boats.”
In all, anglers contributed $32,500 worth of in-kind donations to the project and the AGFC contributed $41,250 of funding. This was enough matching money to secure $221,250 from federal grants to bring the total project cost to $295,000. When complete, the facility will have a 24-foot-by-36-foot pavilion facing a 42-foot laminated wood amphitheater. Two holding tanks will be at the rear of the amphitheater for anglers to keep their fish in while they wait to weigh-in. Water from the lake will be pumped into the tanks and an air blower will aerate them to ensure fish stay as healthy as possible during any weigh-ins.