The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will hold a dedication ceremony renaming the lower Dry Run Creek Access in honor of retired AGFC Fisheries Division employee Larry Rider. The dedication ceremony will be held April 19 beginning at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Arkansas Highway 177 and Fish Hatchery Circle in Salesville.

The access will be known as the Larry Rider Dry Run Creek Access after the former fisheries employee and his untiring dedication and work in the state’s trout waters. During his 38 year AGFC career, Rider was instrumental in establishing Dry Run Creek as a catch-and-release area for youths and mobility-impaired anglers. He dedicated himself to improving the fisheries resources in the state through management, research and aquatic habitat restoration. Dry Run Creek was an intermittent warmwater tributary of the North Fork of the White River prior to the construction of the Norfork Dam and the Norfork National Fish Hatchery in the 1940s and early 1950s. Coldwater discharges from the hatchery created year round trout habitat in the lower section of Dry Run Creek. Discharges from the hatchery greatly increased productivity and soon a dense population of trout was supported from fish migrating up from the Norfork and Bull Shoals tailwaters.

Dry Run Creek has never been stocked with trout and was closed to fishing until 1988. Rider played a pivotal role in establishing Dry Run Creek as a catch-and-release area for youths under 16 and mobility impaired anglers. Through an Embrace a Stream Grant, Rider and Trout Unlimited constructed stairs leading to the lower section of Dry Run Creek in the late 1990s. The stairs provided access to the waterfall where trout can be seen jumping up the falls during their spawning run.

Most recently, Rider participated in the design and construction of the Dry Run Creek Enhancement Project. This project was designed to increase access for mobility impaired and youth anglers, reduce erosion and improve physical habitat in the creek. The project received the outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Fisheries Project in 2010 from the American Fisheries Society. Dry Run Creek is recognized as a popular fishing destination for young anglers and is located adjacent to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery in Salesville.

photo: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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