Minimum Flow Underway On Norfork

The siphon releasing minimum flow below Norfork Dam _ image courtesy of AGFC


IT’S BEEN long debated, argued over and delayed plenty but we now have minimum flow operating on both the Norfork Tailwater and White River.

Brenda Dugan and son Alex Cunningham were wading Norfork yesterday when the minimum flow (without warning of course) kicked off. Brenda told me last night that the fishing turned on as about an extra 5″ of water came in. The siphon being used on Norfork will help somewhat in allaying the river’s chronic but seasonal low DO issues.

No doubt there will be some fiddling to be done with the telephone service/water levels as we went through below Bull Shoals but the bottom line is more water, better DO and fatter healthier fish. Since the minimum flow levels on both rivers have been rarely seen (normal flows were higher or lower) y’all get the pleasure of relearning the river, finding new feeding zones, and areas to wade.

Certainly the AGFC was excited with this commentary on their Facebook page yesterday

At just after 8:30 a.m. this morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the siphon at the Norfork Dam. Both the Bull Shoals and Norfork dams now have minimum flow capabilities. Why are minimum flows important to Arkansas’s world-class… trout waters? When water flows are non-existent, multiple problems arise, like food production such as aquatic insects, small boat navigation and water temperatures. When there is no generation or flood release, the water flow goes to almost nothing. What the trout fishery needed was an adequate minimum flow for temperature control, food production and angler access.
Its going to be interesting, and potentially amazing, to be along for the ride as the rivers, and the trout, respond to the extra flow.

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