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Shoreline Management

Boat Dock on Lake Dardanelle

Shoreline Management Specifics

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The purpose of the Lake Dardanelle Shoreline Management Plan is to establish policies and furnish guidelines for the protection and preservation of the environment of Lake Dardanelle and to achieve a balance between permitted private use and resource protection for the general public use.

Shoreline Use Permits (General)
Ownership of private land near the lake or adjoining government property does not convey any exclusive rights for use of the lake or adjoining public lands. Lake Dardanelle’s shoreline is open to use by the general public. Shoreline Use Permits are issued for Private Floating Facilities (boat docks) and Vegetation Modification (Mowing/Underbrushing for Fire Protection and Access Paths). A Shoreline Use Permit (SUP) application must be submitted to the Russellville Project Office prior to any alteration of government land or modification of vegetation on the shoreline. A Site Approval must be performed and approved along with approved plans before any construction of private floating facilities (boat docks) may be performed. After Shoreline Use Permits (SUP) are issued, they are enforced in accordance with provisions of Section 327.19, Chapter III, Title 36, CFR. Non-compliance with the terms of the permit and the regulations will be grounds for revocation of the permit, and removal of the dock may be required.

A fee will be charged for shoreline use permits to help defray expenses associated with issuance and administration of the permits. The fee is $30 for a boat dock permit and $10 for a vegetative management permit. Both of these permits are valid for five years. All permits are nontransferable and non-refundable.

Who May Apply For A Permit: Individuals who own property adjacent to public lands, have right-of-access across property adjacent to public lands or access by public road that are zoned as “limited development” may apply for a Shoreline Use Permit/License. The requester must also own a boat with valid state registration. New owners of existing facilities may apply for a permit by contacting the Russellville Project Office. All Shoreline Use Permits are non-transferable. Permits become null/void when any qualifying condition under which they were issued is no longer true, i.e. change of ownership.

How To Apply: Submit a Shoreline Use Permit (SUP) Request Form to the Russellville Project Office. These forms are available on the Downloads Menu to the top right of the page. You may also contact the Russellville Project Office at 479-968-5008 and request a form be sent to you. Once we receive the request we will contact you to set up an on-site meeting with a Ranger to evaluate your request and complete the site approval process.

Site Approval Process: The following are some guidelines that must be met before a dock can be permitted. The full details on requirements for permitting a boat dock are located in our Shoreline Management Plan.
1. The number of docks permitted in any given area is limited by a minimum spacing of 100 feet between docks.
2. Dock applicants must have legal (deeded) access to the shoreline within 200’ of the proposed facility. Ownership of land adjacent to public property is not required.
3. The dock must serve as the home port moorage for the applicant's boat(s), and the owner of each boat in a dock must also own an interest in the dock.
4. A household may have a maximum of two slips and will not be permitted ownership in more than one dock.
5. Docks may not extend out from the shore more than one-third of the cove width at seasonal conservation pool level.
6. The applicant/family household may only have one of the following:
(1) A permit for a private floating facility (boat dock),
(2) Ownership of not more than two slips in a community dock,
(3) A permit for a mooring buoy,
(4) A Real Estate license for a tramway,
(5) A Real Estate outgrant for an existing embayment (we no long issue easements for an embayment).

Approval of Site: Once the site has been approved for placement of a boat dock, plans that meet or exceed our minimum design standards must be submitted within 60 days of approval to the Russellville Project Office. A copy of our Minimum Construction and Maintenance Requirements are available in the Download Menu. The boat dock plans must be stamped and signed by a Registered Professional Engineer.

Plan Approval: Once the plans have been approved by the Russellville Project Office, you have 1 year to complete dock construction. Once the dock has been completed you must contact the Russellville Project Office to set up a Final Inspection. When the dock passes the final inspection a Shoreline Use Permit will be issued and sent to you for collection of the $30.00 fee and signature. If you are not a permanent resident of the area, you must designate a local party who will be responsible for surveillance over the dock on a 24-hour basis.

Additional Information:
1. Personal watercraft (PWC’s) or jet skis are classified as vessels under State law, and will be considered a vessel that can be moored in a boat dock. PWC may be moored between the dock structure and the shoreline without counting against the slip total for the permittee. PWC lifts and ride-on moorage devices may be attached to the leeward (adjacent to the shoreline) side of the dock.
2. The installation of accommodations and facilities conducive to human habitation is prohibited.
3. Houseboats/vessels with marine sanitation devices (MSD) must be moored at commercial marinas. (MSD’s have been required for vessels with installed toilets since 1980).
4. The storage (over 24 hours) of equipment, improvements, or other personal property on docks is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to sinks, refrigerators, patio furniture and chairs, or other similar items.
5. If an electric right-of-way easement is requested, electrical certification is also required. A registered electrical engineer, certified master electrician or electrical contractor must certify the electric service conforms to the National Electric Code.
6. Additional guidance can be found in the Downloads Menu under Shoreline Use Conditions.

Vegetative modification permits are issued for constructing footpaths, clearing small brush (2” in diameter at chest height), and mowing. A permit must be obtained from the Russellville Project Office before ANY modifications of vegetation take place. If you are applying for a NEW permit please complete the “Shoreline Use Permit (SUP) Request Form and return it to the Russellville Project Office. A Ranger will contact you to set up an on-site meeting to evaluate the area and lay out the limits of the permit. Shoreline zoning of the area dictates what type of vegetative modifications are allowed, please note, in Public Recreation Areas (Buffer Zones) no vegetation modifications are permitted. Vegetation Modifications are subject to the following restrictions:
1. Trimming of trees or brush is prohibited,
2. No flowering trees or shrubs such as dogwood, redbud and serviceberry may be removed regardless of size,
3. Trees larger than two inches at DBH (4.5 feet from ground level) may not be removed,
4. Only hand-operated tools may be used. The use of equipment such as bulldozers or tractors is prohibited,
5. Burning on public lands is not allowed,
6. Placement of permanent or mortared structures on public lands is not allowed under a Shoreline Use Permit,
7. No personal property is allowed to be stored on public lands,
8. Driving on public lands is not allowed, and
9. The use of any type of chemicals on public lands is not allowed, unless authorized by written permission by the Russellville Project Office,
10. The permittee may only cut dead or diseased trees PREVIOUSLY inspected and marked by Russellville Project Office personnel. Permission will only be given for cutting trees that pose a hazard to personal property, or which are near areas of pedestrian traffic. A fallen tree shall remain on project lands for wildlife purposes unless approved for removal by the Russellville Project Office.
11. Additional guidance can be found in the Downloads Menu under Shoreline Use Conditions.

Mowing and removal of brush may only be permitted in an area adjacent to a habitable structure. The limits of mowing will depend on the proximity of the privately owned dwelling adjacent to the government boundary. The maximum distance of mowing will not exceed 200 feet from the habitable structure. A ranger will determine the distance of permitted mowing at the time of the site inspection. A ranger must inspect areas proposed for mowing before any modification is done.

Pedestrian access paths six feet or less in width may be constructed to the shoreline. The path must follow a meandering route to prevent erosion and to avoid the need for removal of trees and vegetation. Natural materials, such as creek gravel or wood chips, which blend in with the environment, may be used on the footpath. The permit does not convey the right to construct any structures (steps, bridges, etc.) in connection with the path.

The term “Real Estate Instruments” refer to leases, licenses or other legal grants issued for commercial or individual activities, which are not covered under Shoreline Use Permits. These activities involve construction of structures, including, but not limited to, boat launch ramps, parking areas, roads, bank stabilization, water lines and power lines. A written request must be submitted to the Russellville Project Office Operation Project Manager, who will review the request and forward a recommendation to the Little Rock District Office. Each request for a license will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Assistance in preparing applications for real estate instruments is available at the Project Office.
Most of the 315 mile boundary line on Lake Dardanelle has been surveyed and monumented. Survey monuments placed at ground level define the boundary line. The survey monuments are brass caps 3 ½ inches in diameter stamped to show the monument number, the year surveyed, and the agency, Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers, US Army. A 5-foot white, steel T-Post (witness post) is set about 6” to 12” from the survey monument on public property, as an aid to location. Normally the project boundary is a straight line between consecutive survey monuments. The elevations and distances between these survey monuments vary. As an additional aid to locate the line, some trees along the boundary line are marked with a 4-inch wide white band. These trees, however, are usually off the line on public property and only indicate that the line is nearby. Information is available at the Project Office to assist you in locating the boundary line. A boundary line representation is shown in the Shoreline Zoning Map along with links to our Boundary Plats.
Flowage easements were acquired above the boundary line up to specific contour elevations in some areas. Flowage easement gives the government the perpetual right to flood privately owned land, if necessary, for operation of the project and to prohibit any structures for human habitation. Construction of other types of structures, including cuts and fills, on flowage easement is limited to those meeting Corps of Engineers approval. You can find a link to our Segments Maps showing Flowage Easements in our Downloads Menu.
The shoreline zoning remains in effect regarding the placement of Private Floating Facilities (Boat Docks) on Lake Dardanelle per U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rules and Regulations, Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327.1(c), The term “project” or “water resources development project” refers to the water areas of any water resources development project administered by the Chief of Engineers, without regard to ownership of underlying land. The Lake Dardanelle Shoreline Management Plan states that “Lake Dardanelle is impounded by Dardanelle Dam which is located at Arkansas River navigation mile 205.5 in Pope and Yell Counties in Arkansas. Lake Dardanelle extends 51 miles westerly through Pope, Yell, Johnson, Logan, and Franklin Counties to the Ozark Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam.”
Policy statements are in place for the pools on McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.