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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

AGFC battling effects of above-average river flow by stocking Lake Dardenelle with black crappie

Recent floods and three years of above-average flow on the Arkansas River have negatively affected Lake Dardanelle’s crappie population, according to AGFC Fisheries Division biologists. In an effort to mitigate these negative effects, 100,825 black crappie were recently stocked into Lake Dardanelle.

These fish were stocked in three different areas of the lake, including Illinois Bayou (46,060), the Piney Narrows at the Piney/64 Ramp (46,060), and Shoal Bay (8,705). The fish stocked in Illinois Bayou and Piney Narrows averaged 3-4 inches in length, whereas the fish stocked in Shoal bay averaged 5-6 inches in length.

Although anglers may catch a few more fish in future years because of this stocking effort, overall catch rates likely will not increase much. However, upon maturity of the fingerlings, biologists are hoping this effort will put a few more spawning adults in the lake. This may in turn lead to a quicker rebound in population numbers when spawning conditions improve.

* The AGFC has begun the drawdown of Lake Charles in northeastern Arkansas. Gates were opened Nov. 15. The released water will be used to inundate greentree reservoirs at Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl habitat. Once Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA is flooded, biologists will close the gates. Following the drought year, biologists expect the drawdown to last more than the usual two-week period; likely through the middle of December.

This year's drawdown is the perfect opportunity for adjacent landowners to perform maintenance inspections and to repair fishing piers and boathouses, or to complete other AGFC-approved land-use projects. Landowners must acquire a permit for any activities on AGFC property, including building new structures and stabilizing shorelines. How quickly the lake will refill is dependent on Mother Nature, so don’t delay and get to those projects before it's too late.

Download Pier and Boathouse Permit Application and the AGFC Land Use Policy any time, or request them by calling 833-200-5199 or emailing your Regional Fisheries biologists, Allison Asher ( or Brett Timmons (

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