AGFC Biologists and anglers are working together to stock the Beaver Lake nursery pond with adult crappie. An easy way to get large numbers of fish is by working crappie tournaments. AGFC Fisheries staff will be collecting adult fish over the next week.
The adult fish will be stocked into the nursery pond and the fish will spawn. The small crappie will be able to grow out in a predator-free environment, at which they will be released into Beaver Lake. The pond is also fertilized to produce food (zooplankton) for the small crappie to eat. AGFC has used this pond since the mid-’80s to stock Beaver Lake.
Meanwhile, AGFC Fisheries staffers in west-central Arkansas have been collecting brood stock for the Lake Dardanelle and Lake Hinkle nursery ponds. The Lake Dardanelle nursery pond is being stocked with a combination of adult black and white crappie. These adult crappie will spawn in the pond and produce fry. The fry will grow into 4- to 6-inch fingerlings that will be harvested and stocked into Lake Dardanelle in November. This stocking will supplement the 2021 year class of crappie naturally produced in the lake. Crappie produced from this year’s crop should reach legal size (10 inches) in 2023.
The Lake Hinkle nursery pond is being stocked with a combination of bluegill and redear sunfish. Like the crappie in the Dardanelle pond, these adult fish will also spawn in the pond. The fry produced will grow to two-inch fingerlings that will be released into Lake Hinkle in November. These fingerlings will make excellent forage for larger predators (especially largemouth bass) and provide panfish anglers with additional fish to catch.
Remember that beginning next Thursday, April 1, boaters and anglers who use federal waters in Arkansas (as well as out of state) need to be aware of a new federal law that goes into effect that day. The law requires the operator of a boat to wear a link to the boat’s Engine Cut-off Device. The law applies to motored recreational vessels with 3 hp or more that is less than 26 feet in length.
Engine Cut-off Devices are critical safety features on a boat that can help prevent fatalities if the boat operator were to be ejected or fall overboard. The new law applies to all federal waters; In Arkansas, this includes U.S. Army Corp of Engineer reservoirs and the Arkansas, White, Red, Ouachita, and Mississippi Rivers.
For more information about the law, please visit the U.S. Coast Guard website.