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The lake is on Arkansas Highway 31, 11.2 miles northwest of Exit 31 (Beebe) on U. S. Highway 67/167. The lake is also accessible from Searcy via Arkansas Highway 36 west then Arkansas Highway 305 south to Floyd. Signs mark the turnoff to the lake 1.7 miles west of Floyd.

Area Specific Regulations
Area Type


Bottom Features

Creek channel, inundated ridges, rocky timber-covered bottom




Average depth 30 feet; maximum depth 90 feet (the lake is shallowest on the west end and continually deepens as one travels toward the dam)


Lake Barnett, formerly known as White County Lake, is one of the AGFC's most picturesque fishing spots. Although the surface acreage is relatively small, this narrow, serpentine lake winds for nearly three miles through forested hills. Rock bluffs and ledges tower over much of the shoreline. Some anglers describe it as a miniature version of Greers Ferry Lake. Construction was a joint effort involving the AGFC, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the Bayou Des Arc Improvement District. The lake was built on Bayou Des Arc to control flooding on nearby farmlands. It was named for Elbert Barnett of Romance whose efforts were instrumental in starting the project. Largemouth bass, bluegills and redear sunfish are foremost on the minds of most anglers visiting Lake Barnett, although the lake also has healthy populations of channel catfish, crappies and warmouths. Many anglers concentrate their efforts along the old bayou channel and in the very dense flooded timber covering all but the easternmost portion of the lake The lake's most prominent landmark is Red Bluff, a 150-foot rock formation jutting high above the water at mid-lake on the north shore. In the shadow of the bluff is another fascinating geological anomaly, a tall "chimney" of layered rocks standing like a watchtower above the lake. Observant visitors will see kingfishers, red-headed and pileated woodpeckers, herons, egrets, vultures and even an occasional deer. Boat travel is slow due to the lake's tight-knit timber stands, and small craft are advisable for easy passage. Boaters must watch carefully for the orange flagging and metal reflectors local anglers have used to mark the safest boating routes.

District Information

Click here for information about land-use policies on AGFC-owned lakes
District 10
213 A Highway 89 South
Mayflower, AR 72106


Bait and tackle can be purchased at shops near the lake entrance on Highway 31 and in Floyd. Motels and restaurants are available in Beebe. The nearest campgrounds are at Woolly Hollow State Park about 20 miles to the northwest and at Greers Ferry Lake about 30 miles north.

Fish Forage

Shad, small sunfish


Southeastern White County 12 miles northwest of Beebe

Major Sportfish

Bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, warmouth

Management Plan

View the AGFC Fishery Management Plan for this lake.

Other Fish

Bullhead, chain pickerel, common carp, green sunfish, longear sunfish, spotted bass


Lake Barnett is owned by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Restaurants, Camping and other Facilities

Restaurants and other facilities are located in nearby Beebe and Searcy.


245 acres

Visible Cover

Abundant flooded timber, riprap along the dam, rock banks and ledges

Detailed Interactive Map