Lake Catherine

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit (updated 5-20-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that flash flooding occurred late Saturday evening along the Ouachita River watershed with as much as 5 inches of rainfall recorded. Lake Ouachita is now over 2 feet into flood pool and all area dams are running very heavy generation and open flood gates to eliminate the excess waters. Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are now stabilized, but this heavy flow schedule with continue until Lake Ouachita is brought back down below flood levels. This process will take weeks or longer with more rain on the way this weekend. Lake Catherine had been at normal summertime pool for several weeks with quality fishing time available for bank and boat fishermen alike. Most of the year had been lost to fishing due to the flooding in January and February, which interfered with the crappie and walleye spawning times. Conditions are once again dangerous with extremely fast flows and muddy water the norm. Boaters and wading anglers are urged to remain off the Carpenter Dam tailrace until water levels stabilize. Again, this process will take weeks with more recreation time lost due to the unsafe conditions.

The AGFC's Andrew Hulsey Hatchery in Hot Springs recently stocked walleye into a couple of west-central area lakes. Earlier this year, hatchery staff collected adult walleye with an electrofishing boat below Carpenter Dam (upper Lake Catherine). After collection, the walleye were spawned soon after being brought back to the hatchery. Fertilized eggs took about eight ddays to hatch into fry, and then the fry were then stocked into prepared ponds and were allowed to grow to fingerling size by the mid-May stocking time. Lake Ouachita received 75,000 fingerlings, while Lake Catherine received 20,942 fingerlings. Lake Dardanelle

(updated 5-20-2020) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said that since midweek last week they had heavy rain move through the area followed by several mild days of sunshine. For this week, the initial forecast calls for sunshine followed by rain late Memorial Day weekend. Rains and high river flow has kept the water clarity muddy. Surface temperature is 69 degrees. The Corps of Engineers reported river flow at Ozark Lock and Dam near 161,000 cfs. Release at Ozark had risen above 100,000 cfs over the past weekend and has remained high due to recent rainfall. River flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam is reported near 160,000 cfs. Release at Dardanelle had also risen above 100,000 cfs over the past weekend and has also remained high. As for fishing, Jason says he has not received many angler reports. “I am hearing that crappie fishing is tough this season as many anglers are finding smaller crappie. The catfishing seems to be good. May is typically a prime month for using live bait to fish for catfish. Be safe while on the river during high flows. Take advantage of the nice weather or time to put a line the water!” Lake Dardanelle State Park continues to comply with state and federal recommendations for social distancing to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Reservations for the use of our tournament fishing facility have been canceled through May 31. Tournament participants are advised to contact their tournament event directors for details specific to their tournament.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 5-20-2020) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred X-press all-aluminum, all-welded fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton at full pool and visibility up to 8 feet. “The weather just can’t make up its mind what it wants to do this year, and so it’s feast or famine on our lakes. On sunny days the water temp approaches 70 degrees in most areas and fish are beginning to show signs of summertime patterns for bass. Bluffs and chunk rock points are good target areas for the drop-shot and Ned rig. Green pumpkin and June bug are the go-to colors depending on the water clarity that day. Some fish are in the shallow on flats in depths as little as 8 inches of water. Chatterbaits, Texas-rigged worms and lizards have been doing really well! Fish are bigger in the shallows but there will be long periods of time without bites. After cold fronts all we can say is, fishing is a GRIND. Short strikes or no strikes can be very frustrating. Plan your fishing around the weather fronts and fishing will be much more fun!”

No crappie report, and with the weather it’s likely not great anyway. Bream are good everywhere but especially in 10 feet of water near lake points. Catfish are very good on cut bait and cheese in creek channels and main lake flats where they drop off to deeper water. “Good luck and Go Greeson!”

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 580.10 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 5-20-2020) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that the black bass bite is good. Topwater baits and jighead worms are producing good stringers. Walleye are good. Jerkbaits and spinners tipped with a crawler are working best now. Stripers are still good. These fish are being caught on topwater C-10 Redfins and live bait on the central part of the lake. Bream are excellent with crickets or PowerBait in 5-15 feet of water. Crappie are very good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are very good and are being caught with trotlines and jigs. Cut bait and live bait are working best. Water temperature is ranging 70-75 degrees. There is heavy stain throughout. Lake level Wednesday is 580.15 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822 for more information.

Visit Trader Bills Ourdoors Here

Visit Mountain Harbor Marina & Spa at Lake Ouachita Here

Visit Poorman's Guide Service Here

Diamond Head Resort & Marina on Lake Catherine Here

Visit Catch em All Guide Service Here

Visit Striped Bass Adventures

Visit Family Fishing Trips Guide Service @ Lake Hamilton and more


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