Fall, Winter Drawdown Planned for Lake Chicot

Sept 22, 2004

LAKE VILLAGE - Lake Chicot, the nation’s largest oxbow lake, will be drawn down this fall and winter to allow property owners around the shoreline to make repairs.

Lake Chicot ArkansasThe Chicot County Quorum Court made the request of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. AGFC personnel will begin the drawdown on Oct. 1, and it should reach the maximum, targeted depth of six feet before normal level by Nov. 1, said district fisheries biologist Diana Andrews.

A crop of young crappie, fingerling size, will be drained into the lake before the full drawdown, she said. Chicot is a major crappie fishing locale.

AGFC is operating the southeast Arkansas lake under a management plan drafted a couple of years ago in conjunction with the Lake Chicot Citizens Advisory Committee. Centuries ago, Chicot was the main channel of the Mississippi River.

Creel limits on game fish in the lake will likely be reduced by half. This action is on the agenda for the October meeting of the Game and Fish Commission. Fisheries staff members have requested the black bass daily limit be reduced to five, and the limit for crappie to 10. The reductions would be in effect from Nov. 1 until March 31.

Another request is for a commercial fishing season on the lake to run 31 days, Jan. 1-31, to help reduce the number of rough fish in the lake. Commercial fishermen would be required to use one ramp and to take out all rough fish caught. Nets would have to have at least 4-inch mesh. Commercial fishermen would also be required to submit records of what they caught at the end of the special season.

Questions about the Chicot drawdown and special fishing rules can be directed to Andrews at (877)367-3559 or by e-mail to .

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