Bull Shoals Master Plan Video

Bull Shoals Master Plan Interactive Map

Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision

January 2016

Final: Bull Shoals Master Plan January 2016

Final: Bull Shoals Lake Environmental Assessment

Appendix A: Public Comments
Part 1: Scoping Report
Part 2: Draft Release Comment Analysis Report

Appendix B: Local, State & Federal Agency Coordination Letters 
Part 1: Agency Scoping Letters
Part 2: Agency Draft Release Letters

Appendix C: Alternative Maps

Map: Draft comments received by zip code

Post Card: Bull Shoals Lake Revised Master Plan and the Final Environmental Assessment 

Open House Schedule:

Monday, Jan. 25 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lutie School, 5802 U.S. Highway 160 Theodosia, Mo.

Wednesday, Jan. 27 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Forsyth Public School Cafeteria, 178 Panther Road, Forsyth, Mo.

Thursday, Jan. 28 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Arkansas State Sheid Center, 1600 S. College Street, Mountain Home, Ark.

December 2015

News Release: 
Corps to unveil revised Bull Shoals Master Plan
News Release: Corps lifts Bull Shoals Lake shoreline moratorium

July 2015

Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision Draft Fact Sheet

Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision Draft

Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision Draft Environmental Assessment 

Bull Shoals Master Plan Comment Card 

Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision Draft Release Informational Poster boards

Description of Land Classifications

Potential Development

Comparison of Land Classification by Alternative

Alternative 1 Maps

Alternative 2 Maps

Alternative 3 Maps

Alternative 4 Maps 

Open House Schedule:

Tuesday, Aug. 4 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Flippin Middle School Cafeteria, 308 North 1st Street, Flippin, Ark.

Wednesday, Aug. 5 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Forsyth Public School Cafeteria, 178 Panther Road, Forsyth, Mo.

Thursday, Aug. 6 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lutie School, 5802 U.S. Highway 160 Theodosia, Mo.

Friday, Aug. 7 - from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Arkansas State Sheid Center, 1600 S. College Street, Mountain Home, Ark.

Saturday, Aug. 8 - from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the North Arkansas Community College, 303 N. Main, Harrison, Ark.

February 2015

February 2015 Focus Group Information

Map 1

Map 2

Map 3

Map 4

Map 5

Map 6

Map 7 

December 2014

December 2014 Scoping Report

August 2014

August 2014 Meeting Locations and Schedule

August 2014 Scoping Workshop Information Boards

August 2014 Scoping Workshop Comment Card

Bull Shoals Master Plan 1975

Bull Shoals Master Plan Supplements 

Bull Shoals Fact Sheet

General InformationThe Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, is revising the Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan.  The master plan guides the management of the government lands around the lake.  The master plan affects future management of natural resources and recreational opportunities to ensure the sustainability of Bull Shoals Lake.

The master plan revision will set the stage for a later update of the operational management plan and shoreline management plan, which is how the vision of the master plan is implemented.  This is your opportunity to let the Corps know how you would like the lake to be managed for the future.

The planning process will include an analysis of potential effects on the natural and social environment, including fish and wildlife, recreation opportunities, economics, land use, cultural and historical resources, aesthetics, and public health and safety.


 About Bull Shoals LakeThe Bull Shoals Lake project on the White River is located within Southern Missouri (Taney and Ozark counties) and Northern Arkansas (Boone, Marion, and Baxter counties) and was authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938.  The lake is about 104,640 acres of land and water with 957 miles of boundary line.

The original Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan was approved in 1951.  The master plan was revised in 1961 and 1965 and was approved in 1966.  The master plan was last revised in 1974 and incorporated nine supplements from the 1966 update.  There are currently 31 supplements to the 1975master plan, which will be incorporated into the revised document upon completion of this master plan revision.

Bull Shoals Lake was authorized for five missions:  Flood control, generation of hydroelectric power, recreational opportunities, fish and wildlife, and storage to provide water supply (Municipal & Industrial water supply).  Bull Shoals also provides water for “minimum flows” as directed by law (Section 132 of the Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Resources Development Act, P.L. 109-103).


What is a Master Plan?A master plan is the guidance document that describes how the resources of the lake will be managed in the future and provides the vision for how the lake should look in the future.  The master plan does not address the details of how and where shoreline use permits may be issued, however, it does set the stage for implementation of the shoreline management program.  After the master plan is revised, the operational management plan and shoreline management plan would be revised to be consistent with the goals identified in the master plan.

Development of the revised master plan may include consideration of:

  •  Regional and ecosystem needs
  •  Project resource capabilities and suitability for various purposes
  •  Public interests and desires

 The Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan Revision main objectives are:

  •  Conserve the resources of the lake within the current policies and guidelines of the Corps of Engineers
  •  Accommodate current and projected use patterns with maximum efficiency
  •  Identify and protect cultural and natural resources
  •  Attract maximum participation by the general public and local government


 Why Revise the Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan?The current Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan was developed more than 30 years ago and is outdated.  The master plan revision will classify public lands around the lake based on environmental and socioeconomic considerations, public input, and an evaluation of past, present, and future trends.

Lands may be classified into one of these categories:

Project Operations: lands required for the dam, spillway, offices, and other areas used solely for the operation of the reservoir.

High Density Recreation: lands acquired and designated for use as parks or other areas for intensive recreational activities by the visiting public. New private floating facilities would not be allowed in these areas.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas: lands designated for areas where scientific, ecological, cultural, or aesthetic features have been identified. These areas are managed to protect environmental resources.

Multiple Resource Management Lands: This classification allows for the designation of a predominant use with the understanding that other compatible uses may also occur on these lands, these additional uses may include:

             -Low Density Recreation: lands classified for use for activities such as hiking trails, primitive camping, limited lake access points, and other similar activities by the visiting public. Private floating facilities may be permitted in these areas in accordance with the shoreline management plan.

             -Wildlife Management: lands allocated as habitat for fish and wildlife, and are generally open for hunting and fishing.

             -Future/Inactive Recreation Areas: Lands intended for recreation, but which were never developed or have been closed.

             -Vegetative Management: Lands designated for stewardship of forest, prairie, and other native vegetative cover.

Water Surface: For those projects that administer a surface water zoning program, this will be included in the master plan revision process.

             -Restricted: Water areas restricted for project operations, safety, and security purposes.

             -Designated No-Wake: To protect environmentally sensitive shoreline areas, recreational water access areas from disturbance, and for public safety.

             -Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary: Annual or seasonal restrictions on areas to protect fish and wildlife species during periods of migrations, resting, feeding, nesting, and/or spawning.

             -Open Recreation: Those waters available for year round or seasonal water-based recreational use.These land classifications are established in the master plan and will guide the future updates to the operational management plan and shoreline management plan, which implements the master plan.


White River Minimum FlowsMinimum flow is the release of water into the tailwater on the downstream side of the dams when water is not being released for hydropower generation or flood control. Corps officials said it will benefit trout and non-game species in the tailwater by increasing the wetted perimeter.

The value of trout fishing in Arkansas, mostly below Corps dams, exceeds $130 million, with about half the anglers coming from outside the state. Outfitters and business owners have pitched the benefits of minimum flows since the hydropower plants at these two dams first came on line in the 1940s and 50s and began releasing cold water from deep within the lakes.

Because power generation is intermittent, the demand for electricity rises and wanes during the course of any given day. This leaves periods of time when no cold water is being released. The streams shrink to disconnected pools of water that begin to warm in the summer sun. This can threaten trout survival. Also, the shrunken ‘wetted perimeter’ decreases available habitat.

Minimum flows will ensure a slow but steady stream of cold water. A constant minimum flow also raises the river level and inundates shoreline areas that are dry in low-water periods. This will make more food available for trout. It also increases the amount of overall trout habitat, and makes more cover and structure available for trout.

To provide the water necessary for minimum flow, the Corps raised the level of Bull Shoals Lake 5 feet. It also modified some equipment in the hydropower plant. Minimum flow on the North Fork of the White River required raising the level of Lake Norfork 1.75 feet and installing a siphon through the dam. The siphon pulls water from various depths of the lake and releases it into the tailwater.

The tradeoff caused by the storage reallocations is a small reduction in the ability to capture storm water and reduce downstream flooding. Bull Shoals will lose slightly more than 1 percent of its flood storage capacity, and Norfork Lake will lose less than a percent of its capacity.

On Jan. 19, 2012, Little Rock District and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission signed a Project Partnership Agreement that outlined responsibilities for each agency to implement at Bull Shoals. The two agencies signed a similar agreement in 2010 for Norfork.

Ultimately, minimum flows should decrease trout mortality in hot weather and improve the overall health of the trout fishery by reducing the physical stress that accompanies warm water and low levels of dissolved oxygen.