LAKE VILLAGE — Lake Chicot anglers and landowners looking at a newly printed copy of the 2020 Arkansas Fishing Guidebook may notice an error on Page 60 that may concern them. The Lake Chicot profile on that page incorrectly states a drawdown will be held July 8-Dec. 31 of 2020. The drawdown was conducted during 2019 as part of the lake’s fishery management plan, but the wording also was included in this year’s guidebook.
“There is no planned drawdown of Chicot in 2020,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Communications Randy Zellers. “We apologize for the error and will make sure it is removed from future printings of the guidebook as well as the downloadable version of the guidebook on agfc.com.”
Last year’s 6-foot drawdown was a coordinated effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and AGFC to improve the fishery and allow lakeside property owners the opportunity to repair boathouses and docks on the lake. Drawdowns improve the fishery by concentrating predator species like bass and crappie with baitfish, giving them more opportunities to feed while temporarily thinning out abundant baitfish levels to increase their growth rate in fertile lakes.
“The remaining prey will have less competition for food, so they also see increased growth,” said AGFC District Fisheries Supervisor Kris Nault. “The drawdown also helps reduce siltation by drying out those shallow flats where bass, crappie and bream normally spawn to promote the harder bottom they need. Grass and other vegetation also grow during the drawdown, which provides cover for young-of-the-year gamefish, increasing their survival. This often results in a large year class. Once the terrestrial vegetation breaks down, it releases nutrients into the water, which benefits the food web.”
Visit www.agfc.com for a downloadable copy of the 2020 Arkansas Fishing Guidebook and 2020 Arkansas Trout Fishing Guidebook.