MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. - The Army Corps of Engineers is urging all visitors to Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes to exercise extreme caution while water levels are high. Campers, swimmers, and boaters visiting park areas should use extreme caution and be aware that certain recreation areas may be closed to the public for their protection.
Boaters should be aware that with the higher water conditions objects normally out of the water are now submerged and difficult to see.
When boating near the shore and in coves, go slow and be extra cautious to avoid such underwater obstacles such as sign posts, picnic tables, trees, stumps and other obstructions that are normally on dry ground. Be sure to have an observer in your boat when possible, slow down, use your boat’s kill switch and always wear your life jacket.
Use extreme caution when boating at night, as obstructions such as floating debris are even more difficult to see at night.
Flooded roads have been closed, please use alternative access points until the lake levels recede and the Corps reopens these areas. Please do not go around the signed barricades. Heed signs and traffic cones around launch ramps.
Dock owners are urged to keep an eye on their docks and move them as needed.
Although sometimes an inconvenience, the Corps reminds everyone that the current high lake levels are normal because, among its other duties, Bull Shoals and Norfork are two of the six Corps lakes in the White River basin that helps reduce downstream flooding of homes, farms and businesses. The lakes are doing just what each was designed to do.
The benefit of high water during early summer is that it covers the shoreline vegetation and allows for a better fish spawn and a greater survival rate for the young fry. Fishing will benefit for a long time to come.
Campgrounds are being assessed and sites closed as lake levels rise. Some reservations may be cancelled. Campers will receive an email notice from the National Recreation Reservation Service with a full refund to their accounts. Please call the N.R.R.S. at 877-444-6777 between 10 a.m. and midnight, or log on to the internet at www.Recreation.gov to check your reservations.
Since many boat launch ramps and swim beaches are currently inundated by water day use fees have been suspended until lake levels recede.
Despite the higher water levels, Corps’ personnel remind visitors that all campgrounds and most day-use areas are open for business.
Daily lake information can be obtained at www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil or the Corps’ mobile App which can be found in mobile App stores by searching for USACE Little Rock.
For more information, contact the Mountain Home Project Office at 870-425-2700.