In response to public comment, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been removing fish from Lower White Oak Lake. The fish were relocated to Upper White Oak Lake, Bragg Lake and state fish hatcheries for restocking Lower White Oak Lake. The removal of the fish is part of AGFC’s plan to repair the water control structure and restock the popular south Arkansas fishing destination.
AGFC biologists were out in force last week electrofishing and netting fish from Lower White Oak Lake as the lake is drained. Beginning in May 2011, the lower gate on the lake’s water control structure began leaking. By early April, the lake will be lowered to the point that it will have to be closed due to its low water level. By August 2012, repairs on the water control structure will begin. Repairs will include replacing gates, gate guides, stems, stem guides and screens with stainless steel components.
Gates on the lake will be closed in January 2013 and the lake will be allowed to fill naturally. Habitat structures will then be constructed and placed in and around the lake. Exposed stumps also will be removed from the boat lanes while the water is down.
Re-stocking of the lake will begin in April 2013 with shad, fingerling bluegill, fingerling redear sunfish, adult fathead minnows, fingerling channel catfish and catchable channel catfish. The following June, Florida largemouth bass will be stocked in the lake. Fingerling black crappie will be stocked in in the fall. Shallow areas of the lake will be planted to attract wintering waterfowl.
The schedule calls for the lake to be re-opened in January 2014 for catch-and-release fishing.
For additional information on the repairs, contact the AGFC Camden Regional fisheries staff at 870-836-4612.