U.S. Water News Online
LITTLE ROCK -- The recent Arkansas drought has caused
concern across the state, but it may be a good thing for the state's
Mike Armstrong, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's chief of
fisheries, said the drought and did not start early enough to harm
fish. Armstrong said low water improves imbalanced fisheries.
"The low water crowds predators with prey, helping the predator
fish such as bass, crappie and walleye to feed efficiently and put on
fat reserves needed during next spring's spawning season," he said.
Armstrong said that low water exposes lake sediments to drying and
oxidation -- which will help firm the bottom, improving it as a
spawning substrate, and releasing nutrients into the water when
"Grasses and brush that grow on the exposed lake bottom will
provide nursery habitat when re-flooded," he said.
Another benefit of the drought is that anglers can use the low
water to build and locate fish shelters and other habitat features
normally hidden under water.
But if lakes that are hit hard by the drought do not refill with
winter and spring rains, spawning and nursery areas will be left dry,
resulting in poorer spawning success and fewer fish for anglers to
catch in later years, Armstrong said.
"The short of it -- the drought in Arkansas up to now has, except
for hampering anglers launching boats or leaving their docks high and
dry, not critically effected fish populations and has potential
benefits," he said.
But to avoid problems, rains must return to normal and above now
to refill lakes and flush needed nutrients from the watershed into
the lakes and rivers to support the fishery during the coming year,
the U.S. Water News' past archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.