Little Red River (Arkansas)

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The Little Red River is a 102-mile-long (164 km) [1] river in White, Van Buren, Searcy, Stone and Cleburne counties of north-central Arkansas.

White County, Arkansas County in the United States

White County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,076. The county seat is Searcy. White County is Arkansas's 31st county, formed on October 23, 1835, from portions of Independence, Jackson, and Pulaski counties and named for Hugh Lawson White, a Whig candidate for President of the United States. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county, though a few private establishments can serve alcohol.

Van Buren County, Arkansas County in the United States

Van Buren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,295. The county seat is Clinton. The county was formed on November 11, 1833, and named for Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, who was Vice President at the time of the county's formation. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Searcy County, Arkansas County in the United States

Searcy County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,195. The county seat is Marshall. The county was formed December 13, 1838, from a portion of Marion County and named for Richard Searcy, the first clerk and judge in the Arkansas Territory. The city of Searcy, Arkansas, some seventy miles away, shares the name despite having never been part of Searcy County. The county is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

Contents

History

During the American Civil War, the Battle of Whitney's Lane took place near Searcy on the banks of the Little Red River.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Battle of Whitneys Lane battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Whitney's Lane was a small, but psychologically important, land battle of the American Civil War fought on May 19, 1862, in north-central Arkansas.

Searcy, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Searcy is the largest city and county seat of White County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 23,768. It is the principal city of the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of White County. The city takes its name from Richard Searcy, a judge for the Superior Court of the Arkansas Territory. A college town, Searcy is the home of Harding University and ASU-Searcy.

Location

The upper tributaries of the Little Red River are known as the South Fork, the Middle Fork, and the Devils Fork. Prior to the impoundment of Greers Ferry Lake the three tributaries converged just east of Sugar Loaf Mountain. [2]

Greers Ferry Lake

Greers Ferry Lake is the reservoir formed by Greers Ferry Dam, a United States Army Corps of Engineers dam in Northern Arkansas. It is located about 60 miles (100 km) north of Little Rock.

The South Fork begins in the Ozark National Forest near Scotland in Van Buren County and flows into Greers Ferry Lake near Clinton.

Scotland, Arkansas Unincorporated community in Arkansas, United States

Scotland is an unincorporated community in southwestern Van Buren County, Arkansas, United States, near the head of the South Fork of the Little Red River. In April 2010, a tornado struck this community which resulted in extreme damage.

Clinton, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Clinton is the county seat of Van Buren County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,602 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous city in the county. The city was named for DeWitt Clinton, the New York governor who built the Erie Canal; he had also been a U.S. Senator from New York.

The Middle Fork begins only a few miles from the South Fork near Tilly in Van Buren County but flows northward into Searcy County. In Searcy County the river turns east and flows into Stone County where it turns south and flows to meet Greers Ferry Lake in Cleburne County.

Tilly, Arkansas Unincorporated community in Arkansas, United States

Tilly is an unincorporated community in Smyrna Township, Pope County, Arkansas, United States near the head of the Middle Fork of the Little Red River.

Stone County, Arkansas County in the United States

Stone County is located in the Ozark Mountains in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for rugged, rocky area terrain of the Ozarks. Created as Arkansas's 74th county on April 21, 1873, Stone County has two incorporated cities: Mountain View, the county seat and most populous city, and Fifty-Six. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns.

Cleburne County, Arkansas County in the United States

Cleburne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,970. The county seat and most populous city is Heber Springs. The county was formed on February 20, 1883 as the last of Arkansas's 75 counties to be formed. It is named for Confederate General Patrick Cleburne. Cleburne is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

The Devils Fork begins in northeastern Cleburne County, and flows southwest to meet Greers Ferry Lake near Ida.

Ida, Arkansas Unincorporated community in Arkansas, United States

Ida is an unincorporated community in Cleburne County, Arkansas, United States. Ida is located on Arkansas Highway 25, 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Heber Springs. Ida has a post office with ZIP code 72546., Ida also hosts a hair-salon and convenience store

The three forks converge into the north section of Greers Ferry Lake, which is connected to the south section of the lake by The Narrows, the site of the former Little Red River. The Little Red River begins to flow again at the Greers Ferry Dam at Heber Springs.

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  
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Mouth: Confluence with the White River in White County, Arkansas 35°10′54″N91°26′12″W / 35.18175°N 91.43680°W / 35.18175; -91.43680 (Little Red River, mouth) Coordinates: 35°10′54″N91°26′12″W / 35.18175°N 91.43680°W / 35.18175; -91.43680 (Little Red River, mouth) [3]
Source: At the Greers Ferry Dam in Cleburne County 35°31′15″N91°59′38″W / 35.52091°N 91.99376°W / 35.52091; -91.99376 (Little Red River, source) [3]

Below the dam

The single channel runs from Greers Ferry Dam to its mouth at the White River near Georgetown. The area around the mouth of the river is within the Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area south of Augusta in White County. [4]

The water level of the lower sections varies greatly because of releases of cold water from the dam at Greers Ferry during power generation. These water releases can be challenging for boaters. The lower section has a varied geography with areas of gravelly rapids, boulder-strewn areas, and slow, deep pools.

The stretch just below the Greers Ferry Dam on the river is well known for its excellent trout fishing. The US Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a trout hatchery just below the dam and releases large numbers of mature trout regularly. The Little Red River was the home of the world-record brown trout (40 pounds 4 ounces (18.3 kg)) from 1992 until 2009.[ citation needed ]

Because cold water flows from beneath the dam, many native warm-water fish are no longer plentiful. "We had 40 miles of river that was basically worthless," said Tom Lowery of Judsonia, referring to the section of river downstream from Pangburn. "It was pretty to look at, but there was no fishing." [5] While trout thrive near the dam, the cold water drove out many native species. Largemouth bass, crappie, and bream populations may never return to normal.[ citation needed ]

However, recent attempts have been made to reintroduce sport fish, such as walleye and smallmouth bass, to the section of the Little Red River near Searcy. Tom Bly (District Fisheries Biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) noted that the walleye and smallmouth bass were chosen for their coveted taste and renowned fighting abilities, respectively.[ citation needed ]

Tom Lowery and Bly also mentioned the lack of public access to the river between Pangburn and Searcy and that the recent influx of oil and gas companies to the area may influence this: “We know they are going to drill and they are going to need water, which is a renewable resource,” Bly said. “They want to work with us to make it environmentally and resource friendly. They may be able to help find areas for public access. They seem willing to work on that. It’s a win-win situation." [5]

Carl Garner, in his job as manager of the Little Red River and Greers Ferry Lake, sought participation from the local citizenry to collect trash scattered about the waterways. However, he was without sufficient funding for a staffed cleanup. Eventually, his efforts resulted in the Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day promoted by Keep America Beautiful.

See also

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Arkansas Highway 92 is a mostly north–south state highway of 60.7 miles (97.7 km) in north-central Arkansas.

Arkansas Highway 336 is the name of multiple state highways in the Greers Ferry Lake area.

References

  1. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite , accessed March 9, 2011
  2. Mountain View, Arkansas, 1:125000 Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1894 (1949 revision)
  3. 1 2 "Little Red River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  4. Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area
  5. 1 2 Hambrick, Pat, "Fishing May Return to Lower Little Red River." The Daily Citizen (Searcy). Online edition. 26 June 2007. accessed 27 June 2007.