Category Archives: Beaver Lake

New Master Naturalists learn about water quality in the Ozarks

by: Angela Danovi

Beaver LakeSmart Project Coordinator

If you happened to be at Horsebarn Trail Park in Rogers last Saturday afternoon, you probably saw a bunch of adults seemingly stomping around in the water looking for bugs or small groups standing beside the creek having a serious discussion about trees in the riparian zone or the rocks alongside the streambank.  This was the 2017 Benton County Master Naturalists in Training completing the field training portion of their class on streams and water of the Ozarks.

The Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists have become great partners with the water quality and environmental service community.  Their volunteers support stream cleanups, provide environmental education at public events, maintain trails, remove invasive species from state parks and public lands, and provide more than half of the volunteer support for the StreamSmart and Beaver LakeSmart volunteer water quality monitoring programs.  But, before you see the master naturalists out volunteering in the field or leading an environmental education program, they spend several Saturdays in the spring learning about all aspects of the environment in the Ozarks.

Nicole Hardiman of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership leads the Benton County master naturalist in training class on properties of water and watersheds of the Ozarks. Photo Credit: Stephanie Burchfield

The day began early Saturday morning at 8am when the coffee crew arrived to the Center for Nonprofits to set up 3 pots coffees and prepare for a day of training.  Around 8:45 the NITs or “naturalists in training” trickled in with their notebooks and field guides in hand, ready for another Saturday of learning and engaging in hands-on training.  Local experts lead training each week on specific topics. Nicole Hardiman and Stephanie Burchfield of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership led classroom sessions on water science, watersheds, and streams.  I finished the morning talking about the Beaver Lake Watershed and water science concepts connected with Beaver Lake.  This helped to provide some foundational knowledge to the “NITs” for an afternoon in the studying a nearby stream.

The afternoon stream training session is always one of the most well reviewed portions of the master naturalists training class.  It is also a unique chance for master naturalists to learn about and complete a stream monitoring training similar to Stream Smart.  During the stream training, the NITs broke into groups with a leader to complete a habitat assessment, learning about how stream conditions such as substrate of stream beds, sedimentation, and bank conditions can affect aquatic life.  The stream at horsebarn trail provided NITs a chance to look at 4 different conditions of stream habitat.  So, each group had different scores on their assessment as the stream, bank, and riparian zone conditions changed from upstream of the park, through the park, and just downstream of the park. Afterwards, Nicole Hardiman led several groups in testing dissolved oxygen, pH, and stream temperature, reinforcing how stream conditions can affect physical and chemical conditions of the stream.

Angela Danovi discusses the findings of the stream habitat assessment with the Benton County Master Naturalists in Training. Photo Credit: Nicole Hardiman

The afternoon finished with a favorite activity, a macroinvertebrate survey.  NITs broke into teams hauling kick nets and trays out into the stream as they did the stream bug shuffle to capture the macroinvertebrates living at the bottom of the stream.  For many master naturalists, this was their first time they ever saw or considered there were smaller aquatic bugs that lived in streams.  There were many surprised NITs who found mayflies, huge crayfish, and caddisflies living in the substrate of the Horsebarn trail creek.  Seeing the live critters wriggling about while identifying them as pollution sensitive, somewhat sensitive, or pollution tolerant, connected together the complete assessment of high quality stream chemistry conditions combined with a healthy habitat supporting the aquatic wildlife and ecosystem that two hours earlier they had not realized existed.

Benton County Master Naturalists in Training kicking for macroinvertebrates in the stream at Horsebarn trail park. Photo Credit: Nicole Hardiman

Angela Danovi and Stephanie Burchfield discuss macroinvertebrates and stream water quality with Benton County master naturalists in training. Photo Credit: Pat Dexter

The day ended with the NITs excited about streams and wanting to volunteer and learn more!  I am looking forward to working with this group of eager learners in StreamSmart.  They will bring their knowledge, experience, and skills to helping us monitor our streams and protect our water quality in the Beaver Lake Watershed and the Ozarks.

To learn more about the Northwest Arkansas master naturalists please contact Anney Davis at wyntplayflute@yahoo.com.  To learn more about joining a stream or lake monitoring team please contact Angela Danovi at adanovi@ozarkswaterwatch.org or call 479-295-7717.

 

Take our Watershed Warrior Quiz

by: Angela Danovi, Beaver LakeSmart Coordinator

With spring just around the corner, we thought this would be a good time to brush up on recommended best management practices to protect water quality.  The quiz below will let you know if you are a true watershed warrior, someone who knows how to protect water quality inside the home, in the yard, and on the lake.  So, check out this 10-question quiz and find out if you make the cut for being a watershed warrior in the Beaver Lake Watershed.

 

Managing landscapes with prescribed fire

by: Angela Danovi, Project Coordinator for Beaver LakeSmart

Over the next several weeks you may notice smoke or fire at areas you visit around Beaver Lake, within the Beaver Lake Watershed, or across the state of Arkansas. This time of year fires occurring on public lands are likely part of a prescribed fire management plan. In January, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced planned burns for Horseshoe Bend, War Eagle, Starkey, and Blue Springs recreational areas around Beaver Lake. Planned burns were also announced for the wildlife management area around Greers Ferry Lake and land surrounding Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes. Additionally, national forest managers are currently conducting prescribed burns in areas across the Ouachita and the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.

Many people do not understand how or why fire is used to manage lands while others react to what they see as a destructive practice against plants and animals. Fire scars found in Arkansas tree rings reveal that fire historically swept through the region at least every five to eight years, prior to the 1930s.  During the 1930s, intensive fire suppression tactics were undertaken.  Now, more than 80 years of fire suppression, we have changed the ecosystem, making it more vulnerable to catastrophic natural disasters and diseases while reducing ecological diversity, niche spaces, and wildlife habitat. Adapting our forest and land management plans to allow for prescribed fire can help to re-establish a healthy ecosystem.

Prescribed fire is generally described as a strategically planned and carefully managed fire application used to accomplish specific conservation or land management objectives.   Prescribed fire objectives include lowering wildfire threats by reducing fuels such as dead trees and limbs, improving wildlife habitat, regenerating plants and trees, controlling vegetation such as non-native or invasive plants,and restoring ecosystems.

Benefits of Prescribed Burning, Fact Sheet, 2017

Each prescribed fire has a scientific plan prepared in advance that describes the objectives of the fire, fuels, planned size, map of the planned burn area, and the precise environmental conditions under which it will burn. Fire managers consider various environmental conditions before beginning a prescribed burn including air temperature, relative humidity, and winds. One tool some fire managers use is the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), a drought scale ranging from 0 – 800 specifically designed to assess wildfire risk. The higher the number on the KBDI scale, the greater the threat of wildfires in a specific area.  A high threat of wildfires means prescribed fires should not be started.

During the wildfires in Gatlinburg, TN in November, the KBDI scale was over 600.  This means environmental conditions in Gatlinburg at the time such as low humidity, low soil moisture, low rainfall, and high winds indicated a very high risk of wildfire. The wildfire that burned through Gatlinburg ignited and expanded after two teenagers threw a lit match on the ground.  The resulting wildfire caused catastrophic damage and loss of life.  Currently, Northwest Arkansas is in the lowest range on the KBDI scale, meaning we generally have a low threat for wildfires and favorable conditions for land managers to safely complete prescribed burns. However, a final decision about whether or not to burn an area is always made on the day of the fire, based on specific conditions at the location of the prescribed fire.

Prescribed fire is not limited to public lands and is allowed on private land.  However, prescribed fires should only be done by trained individuals under the right conditions to reduce any chance of a prescribed fire turning into a wildfire.  Remember, the difference between a prescribed fire and a wildfire is control.  Trained professionals have the knowledge and experience to manage a prescribed fire.  Before deciding to use prescribed fire as a management tool, we recommend landowners get a forest management plan, available for free by contacting the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Once you identify prescribed fire as practice for your land, you will want to seek help in preparing a prescribed fire plan, identifying individuals to assist you on the day you plan to burn, and contacting appropriate agencies.  You will find several links below that provide critical information about doing prescribed fires in Arkansas including a sample plan, agency contacts, and potential personnel who are trained in prescribed fires.  Also, our colleagues at the Beaver Watershed Alliance occasionally conduct workshops on prescribed fire. Regardless of whether you plan to use prescribed fire on your property or you simply want to learn more about the science of fire, you can help promote managing our watershed for healthy forests and healthy land.

Prescribed Fire Resources

Arkansas Prescribed Fire Network – The Arkansas Prescribed Fire Network is a cooperative project of the Arkansas Prescribed Fire Council. The purpose of the Network is to provide accurate information on the use and benefits of prescribed fire in Arkansas, provide a place where people can come to find information, post photos, learn about training and equipment locations, and find help getting their own prescribed fires accomplished safely and effectively.

This is a great resource for specific information for prescribed fire planning and contacts.

GoodFires – GoodFires.org and sister website VisitMyForest.org are part of a 13-state effort to strengthen appreciation for our precious natural lands, as well as to promote understanding of and support for the key role played by prescribed fire.

Why We Burn: Prescribed Burning as a Management Tool – Publication FSA-5009 by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service

Fire Prescriptions for Maintenance and Restoration of Native Plant Communities – Publication F-2878 by Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service

Fire: US Drought Portal within the National Integrated Drought Information Systems – Has several resources for tracking drought and fire risk

 

 

 

Permeable Paving Demonstrated at Lake Atalanta

by: Angela Danovi, Program Director of Beaver LakeSmart

Water quality protection, reduced runoff, and aesthetically pleasing public parking are just some of the benefits Ozarks Water Watch has helped to contribute in the current renovation at Lake Atalanta in Rogers.  Over the past several weeks, we have shared photos and information about the permeable paver project.  Today, we are going to share photos and information about how the pavers were installed and the benefits the pavers will provide to the community and to water quality in the Lake Atalanta and Beaver Lake Watershed.

What are Permeable Pavers?

Permeable is a term used to describe paving methods for roads, parking lots, and walkways. A permeable paving system allows water and air to move around the paving material. The permeable pavers that have been placed near the entrance to Lake Atalanta are an interlocking paver.  They look similar to a brick.  However, they have small notches on the side that allows them to interlock with one another while leaving space for rainwater to infiltrate into a layered media that is placed beneath the pavers.  Permeable pavers are different from pervious pavers because water cannot infiltrate through the paver but is instead directed to the edge of the paver where it infiltrates into the ground.  Learn more about the type of permeable pavers installed at Lake Atalanta here.

Bethany Alender from Beaver Watershed Alliance holds a pervious paver during a demonstration installation at Lake Atalanta

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Permeable paver with interlocking notches allows for the pavers to lock together while leaving space for water to pass between pavers and infiltrate into underlying media

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Pallets of Unilock interlocking permeable pavers at the construction site prior to installation.

How are permeable pavers installed?

A permeable paving system generally has three layers of clean gravel.  Each subsequent layer of gravel is smaller than the layer the beneath it.  The interlocking pavers sit on top of the layer of the smallest size gravel.  In some systems small rock is placed between the pavers to maintain space and allow water to infiltrate between the pavers.  For the system at Lake Atalanta, the notches on each paver lock the network of pavers together while leaving space for water to infiltrate between them.

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A base layer of clean and washed gravel is laid as part of the permeable paver system at Lake Atalanta

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The second layer of clean and washed gravel is laid as part of the permeable paver system at Lake Atalanta

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The second layer of the permeable paver system is compacted.

 

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Top layer of clean and washed chipped rock is spread over the permeable paver site.

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The top layer of chipped rock in the permeable paver system is spread and evenly layered.

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The pavers are placed by hand, interlocking each of the notches together and are gently tapped into place.

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Design plan for permeable pavers. The pavers are laid out in a herringbone pattern.

 

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The pavers are placed by hand, interlocking each of the notches together and are gently tapped into place.

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The four layers of the permeable paver system at Lake Atalanta

 

See the finished permeable pavers at Lake Atalanta:

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The permeable paver parking area at Lake Atalanta

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Installed permeable paver interlocked together with space for water infiltration

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Edge of the permeable paver system. The system will be enclosed with curbs on the outer edge and concrete on the inner edge.

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The completed permeable paver project at the entrance to Lake Atalanta

 

Benefits of Permeable Pavers to the Community:

  1. Permeable or pervious pavers allow water to infiltrate back into the ground.  This allows for rainwater to recharge local groundwater supplies, rather than quickly running into nearby creeks or streams.
  2. Permeable pavers reduce flashy runoff during rain storms.  Flash flooding is a result of rain falling on too much impervious surface in a concentrated area during a storm.  With permeable pavers, water can infiltrate into the ground, reducing runoff during rainstorms, reducing high streamflows during storms, and allowing water to slowly percolate, providing more water for streams throughout the year, rather than just during storms.
  3. When reflective, light-colored pavers are used, permeable pavers can be effective in reducing the urban heat island effect. Conventional asphalt absorbs most of the sunlight that strikes it because of its dark color.  That light is converted to heat and radiated back out, contributing to relatively higher temperatures in paved or urban areas.  This is known as a heat island.  By using light colored pavers, more light is reflected and less and is converted into heat, reducing the urban heat island effect.
  4. Due to their design, permeable pavers can provide a safer driving surface in hazardous winter driving conditions.  Unlike conventional asphalt and concrete, which provides a foundation for sheets of ice to develop in winter weather conditions, permeable pavers allow for ice to only form in small sections, providing less continuous surface area for sheet of ice to form, and allowing sunlight to penetrate the ice and melt it quicker.
  5. Permeable pavers protect local water resources.  By reducing runoff and increasing infiltration, permeable pavers also help to reduce pollution.  When a raindrop hits a surface, that raindrop will carry with it sediment and any pollution laying on the earth’s surface, where the raindrop strikes.  By allowing the raindrop to soak into the ground, rather than running to the stream, sediment and pollutants are captured in the ground and cleaner water will slowly release to the stream or percolate into the groundwater.
  6. Permeable pavers reduce thermal pollution in streams.  Thermal pollution is pollution resulting from abnormally hot water entering a waterway.  Hot water discharges to streams can come from many sources including industry.  One of the most common sources of thermal pollution is from asphalt parking lots.  By installing permeable pavers, water that would strike a hot parking lot and runoff, is allowed to soak into the ground, percolate through the soil, and cool to an appropriate temperature before entering a waterway.  By reducing thermal pollution, the habitat of aquatic species is protected.

Benefits of Permeable Pavers to the landowner:

  1. With increased infiltration and runoff reduction, permeable pavers can help reduce costs associated with erosion.  Permeable pavers may even be effective in reducing irrigation to nearby grass or plants.
  2. Permeable pavers are easily replaced.  if one becomes chipped or broken, the individual paver can be lifted out of place and replaced with a new one, extending the overall life and function of pervious paving project for relatively little cost.
  3. Permeable pavers provide an aesthetically pleasing design to any outdoor space.  Due to the versatility in design, they can be placed in any size or shaped area and provide a more pleasing design than concrete would allow.

Thank you to our project partners

The Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

 

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Spring Recreation Opportunities around Beaver Lake

12828395_10103696327417115_3851674850184903688_oOver the past several days our trees have burst into color, the wildflowers have emerged from the ground, and the birds have happily chirped, all announcing that spring has arrived.  This warmer weather invites us outdoors to enjoy the treasures of our Beaver Lake Watershed.  This month, I have compiled information about outdoor recreational spaces to encourage you get outside and enjoy our beautiful Beaver Lake Watershed.

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Marinas and Boat Rentals

Would you like to spend a day on Beaver Lake?  We are fortunate to have several marinas on our lake, many which offer boat rentals.  Below are links to our marinas along with their addresses and phone numbers.  Most of the marinas officially begin their season in May, but some may offer weekend opportunities this spring to enjoy Beaver Lake.  Call or visit our Beaver Lake Marinas to learn more about boating opportunities on Beaver Lake.

Hickory Creek Marina – 12737 Hickory Creek Rd., Lowell, AR 72745 – (479) 751-7366

Horshoe Bend Marina – 16168 East Highway 94, Rogers, AR 72758 (479) 925-1545

Lost Bridge Marina – 12861 Marina Rd Garfield, AR 72732 – (479) 359-3222

Prairie Creek Marina – 1 Prairie Creek Marina Drive, Rogers, AR 72756 (479) 925-1623

Ugly John’s Rocky Branch Marina – 8872 Rocky Branch Road, Rogers, AR 72756 – (479) 925-1300

Starkey Marina – 4022 Mundell Rd. Eureka Springs, AR 72631 – (479) 253-8194

War Eagle Marina – 23151 War Eagle Marina Road, Springdale, AR 72764 – (479) 751-2050

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State Parks

We are so fortunate to have some beautiful state parks in Arkansas.  In the Beaver Lake Watershed we have two state parks that offer wonderful opportunities to explore nature and the some of the streams that flow to Beaver Lake, Withrow Springs State Park and Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area.

Withrow Springs State Park

33424 Spur 23., Huntsville, AR 72740

(479) 559-2593

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Withrow Springs State Park is one of our often overlooked gems in the Beaver Lake Watershed, nestled right on the banks of the War Eagle.  As a visitor to Withrow Springs, you can safely access War Eagle for canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. If you find yourself without a canoe, you can rent one from the visitor center with lifejackets and paddles and they’ll even provide transportation for put-in and haul-back! You’re encouraged to call the park first to check on water levels, before heading out to spend a day on the mighty War Eagle! Floating and angling for catfish, bream, perch, and bass in this Class I, or easy level, stream offers relaxation at its best. The park also has lots of hiking opportunities, hikers can choose from the park’s one-mile War Eagle Trail, 3/4-mile Dogwood Nature Trail, and 1 1/4-mile Forest Trail.

Join us for War Eagle Appreciation Day at Withrow Springs State Park!

If you want to celebrate the War Eagle and join a group of floaters, plan to come out for the annual War Eagle Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 4, 2016.  There will be a float trip, exhibitors, free music, and free lunch.  The float trip begins at 9am and exhibits open at the Keith Ham Pavilion at 10am.  Free lunch will be served at noon.  For more information or to register for the float trip please contact Withrow Springs Assistant Superintendent, Adam Leslie at (479) 559-2593

Download the Withrow Springs State Park Brochure Here

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Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area

20201 East Highway 12, Rogers, AR 72756

(479) 789-5000

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Hobbs State Park is one of our most prized parks in Northwest Arkansas. Arkansas’s largest state park in land area, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area covers a 12,056-acre tract of diverse Ozark landscape along the southern shore of Beaver Lake, stretching from Beaver Lake to the north, to the War Eagle Creek to the south. State Highway 12 bisects the property. The park is managed jointly by Arkansas State Parks, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. It borders Beaver Lake provides many opportunities to enjoy the water and the land.

Kayaking at Hobbs State Park

Hobbs State Park Conservation Area offers one hour and half hour tours on recreational kayaks. Some are during the day, some are by full moon, and some are by sunset. They even offer the full day Intro to Kayaking Workshop that last five to six hours. The participants learn parts of the paddle, parts of the boat, lots of strokes, self-rescues, and all while paddling their kayak on Beaver Lake. Your guide will be an American Canoe Association certified instructor ─ and you cannot imagine how much fun it is!  For more information on Kayaking go to: FriendsofHobbs.com

Download the Hobbs State Park and Recreation Area Brochure here

Click here to see the list of upcoming events

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US Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Areas Around Beaver Lake

The US Army Corps of Engineers manages several day-use recreation areas and camping areas around Beaver Lake.  These spaces provide affordable access to the lake and shoreline along with amenities such as swimming areas, boat launches, restrooms, and showers to give you a comfortable and fun-filled experience at Beaver Lake.

Download a map of Beaver Lake and the available USACE Recreation Areas here

Below is a list of USACE recreation areas around Beaver Lake along with a linked map that will provide location information, phone numbers, and available amenities for each site.

Dam Site Lake Park – 348 Dam Site Lake Road, Eureka Springs AR 72631

Dam Site River Park – 181 Dam Site Road, Eureka Springs AR 72631

Hickory Creek Park – 12618 Hickory Creek Road, Lowell, AR 72745

Horseshoe Bend Park A – 16165 East Highway 94, Rogers, AR 72758

Horseshoe Bend Park B – 16165 East Highway 94, Rogers, AR 72758

Indian Creek Park – 13324 Indian Creek Road, Garfield, AR 72732

Lost Bridge North Park – 12485 Marina Road, Garfield AR 7273

Lost Bridge South Park – 12001 Buckhorn Circle, Garfield AR 72732

Prairie Creek Park – 9300 N. Park Road, Rogers, AR 72756

Rocky Branch Park – 20181 Park Road, Rogers, AR 72756

Starkey Park – 4022 Mundell Road, Eureka Springs AR 72631

War Eagle Park – 18450 War Eagle Road, Springdale AR 72764

 

Municipal Parks and Recreation Areas

In addition to the marinas and federal and state parks available within our watershed, municipal parks in Northwest Arkansas offer plenty of opportunity be outside and enjoy the beauty within and nearby the Beaver Lake Watershed

City of Bentonville Parks and Recreation

Fayetteville Parks and Recreation

City of Huntsville Parks

City of Rogers Parks

City of Springdale Parks 

West Fork Parks and Recreation

 

Regardless of where you go or what you do for recreation in the Beaver Lake Watershed, the important thing is to get out, explore the watershed, and develop an appreciation for the beauty and the natural areas that we have here in our watershed.  We hope you will learn something from the resources we have provided here and share them with your family and friends.  Have a great spring outdoors in the Beaver Lake Watershed and the Ozarks!

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New Volunteer Data is Here!

By: Angela Danovi, Beaver LakeSmart Program Director – Ozarks Water Watch

New data has been released for both the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program and StreamSmart!  The reports represent over 1500 hours of donated time to volunteer monitoring, valued at more than $25,000 in service!

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Click here to download the 2015 StreamSmart Data Report

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Eighteen sites within the Beaver Lake Watershed were part of our 2015 monitoring report.  Sites were grouped together in chapters by sub-watershed and were listed within each chapter from upstream to downstream.

  • Beaver Reservoir Watershed – 2 sites
  • Headwaters-White River-Lake Sequoyah Subwatershed – 2 sites
  • Middle Fork of the White River Subwatershed – 1 site
  • War Eagle Subwatershed – 9 sites
  • West Fork of the White River Subwatershed – 4 sites

Upstream and downstream comparisons were made for Holman Creek, War Eagle and West Fork. Holman creek is monitored upstream and downstream of the city of Huntsville. Sharp increases in conductivity, total dissolved solids, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus were found when comparing the upstream site (site 307) to the downstream site (site 308) on Holman Creek. ADEQ has identified wastewater treatment as one potential contributor towards lower water quality in Holman Creek.

Data from War Eagle shows an increase in nutrients from the most upstream site (site 107) to the second site (site 301) on the creek at Withrow Springs State Park. Interestingly, Holman Creek flows into War Eagle just upstream of Withrow Springs, which could have an effect on higher nutrient levels found at the Withrow Springs monitoring site. But nutrient levels on War Eagle decrease further downstream at the mill (site 305). The site is the mill is sampled downstream of the dam, which may be one reason for a decrease in nutrient concentration found in War Eagle.

The main stem of the West Fork is monitored just north of Winslow (site 102) and just south of Fayetteville (site 101). There is no consistent trend in nitrogen concentrations and only a slight increase in phosphorus concentrations from upstream to downstream. The site with the highest concentrations of nutrients in the West Fork watershed was at Spout Spring Branch (site 206). Spout Springs is one of the few urban sites being monitored through StreamSmart. The stream flows through a large section of Fayetteville and is vulnerable to decreased water quality from stormwater runoff and other urban water quality impacts.

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Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program

Click here to download the 2015 Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program Data report

BVLP Front Cover Report Final

2015 was the second year for volunteer monitoring on Beaver Lake. Six sites were monitored this year and listed in the report from upstream to downstream. There was a general trend of increasing secchi depth from the upper sites to the lower sites in the lake. This is an expected outcome because as the water slows down, particulate matter and sediment drops out of the water column and settles at the bottom of the lake, resulting in increased water clarity. Comparing 2014 and 2015 data at the same site reveals slightly lower average secchi readings, slightly higher chlorophyll and phosphorus concentrations, and slightly lower nitrogen concentrations. However, more years of data are required before we will be able to establish a water quality trend.

 

Join a volunteer monitoring team today!

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The success of these programs depends on a team of trained and reliable volunteers. 2016 lake monitoring will begin in late April and extend through the first week of September. Training will be provided in March.

StreamSmart training will be on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The training will be an in-class and field experience and will train volunteers on each component of volunteer monitoring with StreamSmart. If you are interested in volunteering with either the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program or StreamSmart contact Angela Danovi at 479-295-7717 or email adanovi@ozarkswaterwatch.org

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January Best Management Practices

sodaYou may have spent a lot of time in your home cooking and entertaining guests over the last few months.  Many people find the first months of the year to be the time they clean their home after holiday cooking is over and the kids return to school.  This month we are focusing on providing you with ideas for cleaning products and techniques that will help you with cleaning while also protecting water quality by using alternatives to traditional chemicals.

While what you do inside your home might not seem like it has an impact on water quality, it very much does, because the plumbing inside your home is a direct connection back to a municipal wastewater treatment plant, a small subdivision wasterwater treatment facility, or to your septic system, depending on how your wastewater is treated at your home.  All of these waste water treatment processes have a direct impact on water quality because treated wastewater is discharged back to a waterbody or into the ground within a watershed.  Therefore, it is helpful to water quality and even to the health of you and your family to use less harmful chemicals and to always be aware of what you are putting down the sink!

One of our favorite cleaners is baking soda! Baking soda is the ideal all-purpose cleaner for the kitchen.  It is non-toxic and food-safe.  It acts a cleaning agent because it is a mild alkali and can cause dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water for effective removal. When it is not fully dissolved, like when it is sprinkled on a damp sponge, Baking Soda is mildly abrasive and can lift dirt for easy removal as a gentle scouring powder. Since it’s gentle, Baking Soda is safe and effective as a cleaner for glass, chrome, steel, enamel and plastic.

Below, we have a few recipes from our Beaver LakeSmart Manual that you can copy, share, and try for yourself in your home!  Let us know how these work for you!   For more ideas on best management practices you can implement around your home, be sure to visit our Homeowner Education Program where you can get ideas from experts through our video series or download the Beaver LakeSmart Manual!

Also be sure to follow us on facebook where every Friday we release a new BMP!

Linoleum Floor Cleaner

 

Drain Cleaner for Clearing Clogs

 

Tub and Sink Cleaner

 

Oven Cleaner

 

Window and Mirror Cleaner

 

The following resources were used for this blog post:

Swain County Cooperative Extension in North Carolina – Baking Soda Magic: Part 1

Oconto County University of Wisconsin-Extension – Baking Soda — The Everyday Miracle ™ 

Article by: Angela Danovi – Program Director of Beaver LakeSmart

StreamSmart Quarterly Monitoring

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Courtney Thomas with Beaver Watershed Alliance collects a water sample on Brush Creek during StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring

One of our main objectives through Beaver LakeSmart is cultivating environmental stewardship while also collecting high quality data through volunteer monitoring of our lakes, creeks, streams, and rivers in the Beaver Lake Watershed. We currently have two volunteer monitoring programs, the Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program and StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring Program.

Volunteers for StreamSmart monitor their sites quarterly during the first week of the month in February, May, August, and November.  February is when we complete our winter monitoring of the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow into Beaver Lake.  During the first week of February, teams of volunteers will head out to their respective streams to collect water samples, take measurements, and make field observations.  Their water samples are delivered to the water quality lab at the Arkansas Water Resources Center at the University of Arkansas.  There, the samples are analyzed for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, pH, and conductivity.  All of the field and lab data is compiled and posted under each site’s page, found here.

We still have plenty of space for monitoring teams, especially in the central and southern part of the watershed.  So, if you have access to waterway within the Beaver Lake Watershed that you think would be a good candidate for the StreamSmart program or if you are interested in joining a team, you can read more about the program here or contact program director, Angela Danovi, at 479-295-7717.

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by: Angela Danovi – Program Director of Beaver LakeSmart

Welcome to Beaver LakeSmart!

LakeSmart-Logo-GIF-Small-250x243Welcome to Beaver LakeSmart.  We are so excited to launch this new website.  We want to invite you to look around our new website and learn about our program and many of the activities we’ve been doing and services we offer.  One of the biggest assets of our site is the electronically available Beaver LakeSmart self assessment guide for homeowners and residents!  You will find the entire guide at the homeowners education program.  Each chapter of the guide is listed to the left-hand side of the page of the homeowners education page.  Click on the topic you want to learn more about and you can download the specific chapter related to the topic and watch the videos on that topic that were produced by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

The website also features our StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring Program and our Beaver Lake Volunteer Monitoring Program.  Through these programs we monitor the water quality of Beaver Lake and the watershed. We will be posting our data online, so you can keep up with how the water is doing near you! If you would like to join our volunteer water quality teams, both monitoring programs are still in need of volunteers.  So, please send us a message to get more information!

We are really excited about our blog!  We often have many things we want to share with you from big events like the Annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake to some of the innovative water quality protection practices like the series of raingardens the city of West Fork has implemented.  This will also be the place where we will highlight big events, share fun stories from the watershed, and provide information on easily adaptable best management practices that you can do to help improve and protect the water quality of Beaver Lake.

When you’re not at our website, we invite you to follow us on our new social media apps at facebook, twitter, google+, or linkedin.  All of our blog updates will be posted to our social media.  You will want to make sure and follow us so you will never miss our latest post!

Once again welcome to Beaver LakeSmart and we hope you will let us know what you think of the site and come back to visit us soon!

Sincerely,

Angela Danovi

Beaver Lakesmart Program Coordinator

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