June 13, 2018
FLIPPIN - Wildcat Shoals Access on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam will be closed for maintenance starting Monday, June 18.
Work on the access could take up to two months, but anglers will enjoy many improvements once the work is completed.The access currently has a gravel parking lot and launching boats during low water is often difficult. Plans for the access include hauling in fill material to raise the elevation of the access, construction of a new ramp for easier launching of boats, and improved bank-fishing access.
According to Christy Graham, AGFC Trout Management Supervisor, Wildcat Shoals is used by many bank and boating anglers.
“When we revisited the Bull Shoals and Norfork management plans last summer, a number of attendees at our public meetings expressed interests in making improvements to current access areas” Graham said. “Wildcat Shoals was specifically mentioned as an access area in need of repairs, and we are very excited that we are able to make these improvements for our stakeholders.”
While Wildcat Shoals is closed, Graham encourages anglers to use one or more of the many other AGFC accesses located along the river.
“One of the greatest aspects of the Bull Shoals trout fishery is the number of accesses available to the public,” Graham said. “Six other public accesses are available in the 18-mile stretch between Bull Shoals Dam and Cotter, including the Forrest and Nina Wood State Park Access, Jim Griffin Access, Bull Shoals State Park Access, White Hole Access, Bronie-Yurkonis Walk-in Access, and Cotter Access.
“We realize that the closure of Wildcat Shoals may be an inconvenience to some anglers, especially anglers and guides who shuttle vehicles from Bull Shoals Dam to Wildcat or from Wildcat to Cotter Access,” Graham said. “But, we believe the benefits of improving the access will outweigh the temporary closure in the long run.”
Similar work also has started at White Hole Access, 5 miles upstream from Wildcat Shoals. While currently open, anglers should expect a closure of that access in the near future as well. The AGFC will notify the public as soon as work is completed and these accesses are once again open.
Maps of all trout fishing accesses on the White River are available in the 2017-18 Trout Fishing Guidebook.