Southeastern Fishes Council
Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes

1999 Report of Region 5 - Northwest

The White River Navigation Project was reauthorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 and proposes to construct and maintain a 200 foot wide by nine foot deep navigation channel from the mouth upstream to Batesville, AR (approximately 255 river miles). A notice of intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was published by the Corps of Engineers in the Federal Register (Volume 64, No. 5, p. 1181) on January 8, 1999. Corps Waterways Experiment Station personnel spent several weeks in the field in late 1998 gathering data to assess the possible impacts of the navigation project on littoral and demersal fishes, including paddlefish and sturgeon. A preliminary report regarding this field work is expected in the near future. In October 1998, a group of regional biologists was hosted by the Arkansas office of The Nature Conservancy at a working session to review the proposed navigation project, outline concerns, and formulate research needed to adequately address the impacts of the proposed navigation project.