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AGFC boosts stocking capability at Parker Bend

BY Randy Zellers

ON 04-20-2022


April 20, 2022

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

EUREKA SPRINGS — Thanks to a partnership with Trout Unlimited Chapter 514 in northwest Arkansas, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently completed renovations at the Parker Bend stocking chute on the Beaver Tailwater. The new chute will enable rainbow trout stockings to occur much more frequently at Parker Bend, distributing trout more evenly in the tailwater.

The previous stocking chute at this location was damaged in floods during 2015. Water levels during the last five years have allowed for stocking to occur on this portion of the Beaver Tailwater only twice. Fish intended to be stocked at this location during poor conditions were stocked at other areas, including the Dam Site and Bertrand accesses.

The AGFC’s Trout Management Program and Regional Maintenance Coordinator worked with personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Norfork National Fish Hatchery to identify problems that prevented them from being able to use the stocking chute. The primary fix was pouring a concrete driveway to make backing the hatchery trucks to the chute much more safe. With the renovation complete, hatchery personnel were able to access the chute last Wednesday to stock 2,260 rainbow trout.Parker Bend Chute

Moving forward, Beaver Tailwater anglers can expect more frequent and evenly distributed stocking of trout in the fishery.

“We really appreciate all the help we’ve gotten with the National Fish Hatchery and other federal partners,” Christy Graham, AGFC Trout Program coordinator, said. “And I especially want to thank Trout Unlimited, who also contributed funding toward the project.”

Although often overshadowed by the tailwaters from Bull Shoals, Norfork and Greers Ferry lakes, the Beaver Tailwater in the far northwest corner of the state is a hidden gem that receives extensive management, both in the form of habitat work and trout stockings.

“This tailwater actually receives one of the highest stocking rates per river mile in the state,” Graham said. “And recent projects to enhance habitat and reduce erosion during high-water events were highlighted during Trout Unlimited’s national conference in 2019.”

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