Originally Posted by Andy H.
So the lesson from last year went unlearned.
Is the impact on the fishery really significant or is this just kowtowing to the fishing community?
Folks if you have not read the report please read pages 5-8 as if you boat it will have a real impact on flows over the next decade or more.
Andy - IMO it is not really significant for the fish. Wildlife has gone the route of attempting to create a perfect environment for a non native at the expense of recreational river users.
It is to be noted that Wildlife has basically totally taken over Parks in the merger and in turn Wildlife will get what they want. OR we will see lower flows unless boaters/businesses get involved. The scary part is that they want all "winter" water moved by March 1st this allows no time to see if the spring storms will come and is a round about way of eliminating the Flow Program entirely.
Also it is true that the report is flawed as it claims that 100,000 fishermen fished the Ark last year. The real number is closer to 25,000. Also to be noted is that fishermen do not have to pay the same $3 to use the river as you and I do.. The AHRA or Wildlife/Parks only checks boaters for the parks pass. Found this out when I asked that the AHRA count paid parks passes to get a real count of the fishermen. Seems like a double standard to me.
It is also true that Wildlife and parks is attempting to push the Ark to below boatable flows of even 600 at Wellsville for all of the year except from July 1 - Aug 15th. This is accomplished by moving any water that could be used for the flow program in the winter as we have seen in the past few years. In super high storage years like 2008 and 2009 it will not matter but in normal snowpack years the new rules will have a huge impact on keeping flows below 600 cfs for most of the summer...
The Management plan review is starting in April and there might be some headway made to keep the Flow Program on the Ark intact but right now wildlife is doing all they can to ensure on even high storage years like last year that they can almost ensure that there is not enough water for the flow program. Many of these changes were made "under the radar" of private boaters in 2009 and 2010.
Right now and from what I see the private boaters are failing miserably at even getting a message to the AHRA that we want water in shoulder seasons. Please read that again if you boat the Ark and let it sink in.
Logan plugging away by himself at this will get no where. It seems that the only time private boaters want to get involved with water is in the yearly knee jerk reaction 2 days before Paddle Fest when the question of "cant someone turn on the water" get thrown around.
I am pleading with all private boaters to get involved and voice you opinion to both the AHRA and the private boater reps to the Citizens Task Force.
So let the private boater Reps know or at least give some support in this thread or directly to the AHRA that you want enough water in the Arkansas to float and give the message that you do not support Wildlife/Parks eroding away the foundation of the flow program on the Arkansas River.