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Bear Creek Lake


From Marianna, take Arkansas Hwy 44 seven miles southeast to its junction with Lee County Rd 221 to reach the boat ramp. Other access points for kayaks and canoes are located around the lake and can be accessed by Forest Service roads. 

Aquatic Vegetation

Water willow, rushes, alligator weed

Area Specific Regulations
  • Largemouth bass from 13 inches to 16 inches long must be released immediately.
  • Handicapped-accessible fishing pier is available.
  • Boat motors may not exceed 9.9 horsepower on USDA Forest Service lakes.
Area Type


Bottom Features

Creek channels; mud, silt bottom; riprap along dam






Average depth 5 feet; maximum depth 32 feet


Bear Creek Lake is owned by the USDA Forest Service and is in the St. Francis National Forest. The lake has more than 30 miles of shoreline, offering good opportunities for bass and bream fishing during spring. Many anglers target largemouth bass and crappie, but the lake is host to a variety of other sportfish species. Many structures like docks and fallen trees from surrounding Forest Service land create prime fish habitat, while water willow and other vegetation offer widespread cover along the bank.

District Information

Fisheries District 4
1201 N Highway 49
Brinkley, AR 72021

Forage Species

Shad, small sunfish, crayfish, macroinvertebrates


St. Francis National Forest in Lee County, 7 miles southeast of Marianna

2955 State Hwy 44, Marianna, AR 72360

Major Sportfish

Blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass and redear sunfish

Other fish

Grass carp, green sunfish, hybrid bream, longear sunfish, warmouth


USDA Forest Service

Points of Interest
  • Medical services and camping supplies are located in nearby Marianna.
  • Mississippi River State Park offers a variety of camping experiences from primitive to motorhome pads with electric and sewer hookups. The park also hosts trails, a visitor center and a large multipurpose building for large events such as family gatherings and get togethers. 
  • Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area offers camping, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, and hiking. The U.S. Forest Service maintains the campsites on a fee basis. These campsites are semi-private, meaning there are restrooms, tent pads, trailer areas, grills, picnic tables and water sources. No electricity is available at Storm Creek Lake campsites, but 14 sites at Beech Point Campground on Bear Creek Lake have electricity, sewage and water hookups.
  • The St. Francis Scenic Byway is part of the Great River Road and winds along Crowley’s Ridge, offering views of the Mississippi and St. Francis River Valleys. The Crowley’s Ridge National Scenic Byway travels the length of the ridge through the state, passing through several state parks and the national forest. 

500 acres

Visible Cover

Forested Shoreline with brushtops and blowdowns

Detailed Interactive Map