|Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the Project
|Friends of Lake Ouachita/Corps of Engineers
|Project Leader Contact Information
|1424 Blakely Dam Road
|Google Maps Location
|Please describe the project objective(s).
Lake Ouachita was impounded in 1952 and is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The lake lies within the Ouachita mountains and has a watershed of 1,105 square miles, most of which is within the Ouachita National Forest. At conservation pool, the lake covers 40,000 acres and has an average depth of 51 feet. Pool levels are variable and typically fluctuate 10-15 feet throughout the year. Lake Ouachita is considered a low productivity reservoir with a Trophic State Index of 37 (ADEQ unpublished 2017). The main purpose for the construction of Blakely Dam was to provide hydropower and to be used as a flood control structure to minimize flood damage downstream. Other purposes for the construction of Lake Ouachita was to provide recreation to the public and to preserve/manage natural resources. The USACE manages many recreational areas and concession areas that provide picnicking, camping, swimming, hiking, and many other activities. Fishing and hunting are also very popular sports that thousands of visitors enjoy each year. Sport fish in Lake Ouachita are managed and sampled by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) under the authority of Amendment 35 to the Arkansas Constitution. Lake Ouachita supports a diverse fish community including major sportfish such as black bass, crappie, bream, and catfish as well as Striped Bass and Walleye. Since the mid-1950s, Lake Ouachita has received regular stockings via fish truck and utilization of the Lake Ouachita Nursery Pond. The nursery pond is 20 surface acres and located on the west side of the lake. Since 2007 the nursery pond has been on a three-year rotation of bass, crappie, and walleye. Many fish are kept by anglers for food; however the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has a fish consumption advisory due to mercury. Species affected include Largemouth Bass, White Bass, and Striped Bass. Habitat consists mainly of aquatic vegetation, rocks, and standing timber. Major aquatic plant species include Hydrilla, Coontail, Water Willow, watermilfoils and Button Bush. Hydrilla was first discovered in Ouachita in the late 1990s and by 2003 it covered an estimated 10,000 acres. In response to this rapidly spreading vegetation, the USACE began introducing Pakistani Flies (Hydrellia Pakistani) to help with the control of Hydrilla. Pakistani Flies are species-specific and feed exclusively on Hydrilla. In 2008, the abundance of all aquatic vegetation rapidly declined and by 2009 only small areas of vegetation remained. Pakistani Flies are known to have a “topping effect” on Hydrilla, so it’s very unlikely they were responsible for such a decline in biomass. Many other factors are believed to have played a major in the decline of vegetation. These factors include high pool levels of turbid water, pool fluctuations, and cold weather. The USACE began planting Vallisneria from 2011 until 2014. This was to help promote native vegetation establishment since Hydrilla was no longer occupying these areas. Little success was observed partially due to natural aquatic herbivores including carp and turtles. Beginning in 2016, there was a noticeable reemergence of aquatic vegetation (Hydrilla, Coontail and Eurasian Milfoil). During 2017 dense mats of Hydrilla were observed on the northeast and central portions of the lake. As of 2021, there are still some dense mats of Hydrilla in these portions of the lake, but are serving as fish habitat and not creating any known negative impacts.
|Please describe the project methods. Will the product be used in conjunction with existing habitat restoration efforts on the reservoir? Will the product supplement natural brush, rock, or other materials being added to the reservoir?
A. Cypress Tree Planting:
|Will state fish and wildlife agency staff be directly involved in the project? How so (planning, site selection, participation in installation)? Is there an associated lake or habitat management plan that states the need for structural habitat enhancement?
The primary selection base will be coordinated with FOLO & AGFC partnership representation in coordination with COE management objectives.
|List the species that the project is expected to benefit:
Crappie, Bass, Bream, mossback vegetation habitat enhancement.
|How do you plan to conduct outreach and advertise the project? (Examples: on-site signage, press releases, websites, message boards)
Facebook, maps for the public at our local office, signage presentation at the site, and GPS coordination upon project completion for manipulation.
|Partnership and Budget
|Does the project involve one or more youth groups?
|Please list all partners involved in the project:
|Partner List Upload (If you're having trouble with the table above)
Small Grant Review