Statement from AGFC Trout Biologist Christy Graham
I would like to take a moment to thank those of you that participated in the workshop last Thursday night. The workshop was one of the several ways that we will solicit public input prior to revising the Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwater Management Plans.
Approximately 103 people attended the meeting and they were split into 13 roundtable working groups. In addition to participants, AGFC Commissioners Ken Reeves and Bobby Martin, AGFC Deputy Director Chris Colclasure, Fisheries Chief Chris Racey, Fisheries Asst. Chief Ben Batten, and many other AGFC staff were also in attendance. I really appreciate that our administration was well represented and had the opportunity to hear the input that was provided by the workshop participants.
At the workshop, each group was tasked with providing us with a “Likes” and “Dislikes” page for each tailwater. Although anglers always have some concerns (i.e., dislikes), it was equally important to us to get information about what people like and would like to see stay the same.
After providing all input, each group chose their top two likes and dislikes for each tailwater and our facilitator reviewed them with the entire room. Although many groups shared some of the same “likes” and “dislikes”, the point of that exercise was to give every person in the room an idea of the common themes in angler input.
The last exercise of the evening was providing each participant with the opportunity to “vote” for their top three “likes” or “dislikes” for each tailwater. As not everyone at a table may have agreed with/voted for the top two likes and dislikes at their table, this exercise gave them the opportunity to express their top individual interests.
Within the next couple of weeks, I will send out a summary of the workshop, including all of the likes and dislikes from each group and a tally of the votes for the top issues for each tailwater. The summary will include all of the comments provided by each group (not only those that were identified as top issues) and input I received from folks via phone or email.
For those of you who were unable to attend this workshop, or if you attended but feel like there is an important issue that wasn’t brought up at the workshop, please feel free to email me with your concerns. I hope to see you all at the next workshop, which will be held on August 24th from 6:00-8:30 pm at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center.
Thank you, Christy Graham
Trout Biologist Supervisor