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Payneway Dam repairs prove no impact to duck hunting on Sunken Lands

BY Randy Zellers

ON 11-26-2019


Nov. 26, 2019

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

MARKED TREE — Water levels at St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area in Northeast Arkansas should remain on target during the remainder of waterfowl season, thanks to the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Just before the opening of duck season, Corps contractors moved in to fortify areas that had settled and eroded since its original repair in 2015. The project required the Corps to overlay a section of the degraded area with rock at a high enough level to drive the large trucks necessary for hauling riprap needed for the repair. Area managers warned the public that waterfowl hunting on the area may have been delayed when a large trackhoe sank on the downstream side of the washed out area.

“The contractors worked quickly and removed the excavator,” said Jessica Homan, wildlife biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “They also completed overlaying the rock up to 212.5 feet (msl), which allows them access to complete repairs without impacting water levels on the hunting area.”

According to the Corps of Engineers Memphis District, the Marked Tree Siphons have been managed to maintain water levels in the floodway and no complaints from hunters have come in concerning the water levels.

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