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  • Arkansas Outdoor News

    AGFC crews rush to help stop flow of oil near Lake Conway
    Location: Arkansas

    MAYFLOWER – If not for the quick work of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff, other state and local agencies, along with various hazardous material cleanup crews, the oil spill at Mayflower may have been much worse. Last week, a 20-inch pipeline carrying heavy Canadian crude oil burst spilling thousands of gallons of oil into a residential storm drain that leads to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir.

    The Pegasus pipeline carries crude oil from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas. Twenty-two homeowners in the Northwood subdivision were evacuated after the oil rushed across lawns and residential streets.

    At this time, oil has not reached the main body of Lake Conway. Several dams and booms have been erected to protect the lake from the spill. As of Wednesday, six dead ducks and a coot have been found. Nine other ducks have been found alive as well as a muskrat, a beaver, nine snakes and seven turtles that were affected by the spill. The animals have been taken to wildlife rehabilitators to be cleaned.

    If an oiled animal is found, the public should not handle any affected wildlife because of contamination concerns. Call 800-876-9291 to report any oiled wildlife.

    The 6,700-acre lake is located between Conway and Maumelle and parallels Interstate 40 in Faulkner County. The lake was built by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1948. Sportfish found in the lake include blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass and redear sunfish.

    Lake Conway is the largest AGFC lake and the largest lake ever constructed by a state wildlife agency. Because of its large size, central location and excellent fishing, it has been one of the state's favored fishing spots since construction began on Palarm Creek in 1948. Lake Conway was the first lake constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

    The lake is best known for its seemingly endless supply of bluegills and redears. Creel surveys indicate that bream are not only the most popular fish, they account for the most poundage taken by anglers.

    Bass and crappie fans also flock to Conway, hoping to catch one of the lake's lunker largemouths or a mess of big slabs. Big blue and channel catfish are abundant, and Conway is a hotbed for monster flatheads.

    Fishing is good around log jams, brush piles, stumps, cypress trees, lily pads buck brush, inundated lakes, creek channels, private docks and the Highway 89 bridge.

    Numerous boat trails are cleared and marked. Boaters leaving the trails should navigate cautiously. Many stumps and logs lie unseen just below the water's surface, making spare shear pins essential gear here.

    An east-side nursery pond stocks millions of crappie, largemouth bass and catfish directly into the lake. Fingerling fish from hatcheries are fed until they reach sizes ensuring safety from most predators. The fish are then released into the lake through a canal. Before the nursery pond was constructed in 1968, crappie were almost non-existent in Lake Conway.

    Prize money increased to $60,000 for Hot Springs Fishing Challenge

    HOT SPRINGS – Big Al the Second and his fishy fellows will lurk in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine this summer as the Second Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge throws more money and more species into the net.

    The Second Hot Springs Fishing Challenge begins at 6 a.m. on May 1 and ends on July 31, at 5 p.m. Central Time.

    The Challenge provides anglers the opportunity to catch tagged fish that can be redeemed for cash prizes. This year the total prize money has been increased to $60,000, with Big Al the Second worth the grand prize of $10,000.

    “Our first Fishing Challenge last year was a tremendous success,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Prize-winning fish were caught by men and women, young and old, Arkansans and out-of-state residents. We were frankly surprised by the enthusiasm that the Challenge generated and the amount of publicity it generated for Hot Springs as a premier fishing destination.

    “This year we hope to have even more prize fish landed and the level of fun to be even greater.”

    Last year, the grand prize fish, nicknamed Big Al, was not caught, Arrison said, “So we hope this year to hand some lucky angler a check for $10,000, in addition to prizes for 52 more tagged fish.”

    Here is how the Fishing Challenge works:

    Eligibility: The contest is open to anyone with a valid Arkansas fishing license. Employees of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at the Andrew H. Hulsey Fish Hatchery, and their immediate family members, and/or those living in the same household of each are ineligible to win a cash prize.

    How It Works: Fifty-three (53) tagged fish (total) will be released in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine. The fish released will be largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, white bass, crappie and walleye. The tags will have a phone number and a prize number on them. If a fish is caught the angler must call the number and present the fish with the tag attached.

    The fish will be tagged by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and released in both lakes by a neutral third party. No one will know the exact location of the release points except for this individual.

    No cash prize will be awarded to any participant presenting a tagged fish that has been caught other than during the fishing period. Tags must be presented during the fishing period to be redeemed. All tagged fish must be caught in accordance with all state and local laws, codes, rules and regulations. Rules and regulations can be found at:

    No cash prizes will be awarded to any participant who does not comply with state and local laws, codes, rules and regulations.

    Publicity Release: Each angler who catches a prize fish grants Visit Hot Springs the rights to use their name, likeness, biographical information, and photographs, without compensation, in any and all media without limitation for advertising and promotional purposes.

    General Prize Conditions: Prize winners shall be solely responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes associated with their prize.

    Prize Distribution: The tagged fish will each be assigned a number. Prize money will be divided as follows:

    1 fish


    2 fish

    $ 5,000

    30 fish

    $ 1,000

    20 fish

    $ 500

    Total possible prize money if all fish are caught during the contest period is $60,000.

    For additional information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.

    News Source: Arkansas F&G - Apr. 04, 2013

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