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NWA outdoor briefs

by Flip Putthoff | February 23, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Event tests outdoor skills

Registration is open for the Brewha Bushwhack outdoor skills team event to be hosted by Pack Rat Outdoor Center on April 10.

Teams of three or four people visit check points around the Mulberry River and earn points by building a fire, paddling a canoe, tying knots, rappelling, identifying plants and animal tracks and more.

Entry fee is $99 per person. Profits benefit the Mulberry River Society. Register at packratoc.com. Call the store at 479-521-6340 for more information.

Swepco crappie on rise

Anglers used to catch crappie at Swepco Lake near Gentry many years ago, but crappie have not been observed in sampling with electrofishing and netting research from 2009 to 2018, said Jon Stein, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regional fisheries supervisor.

Game and fish began stocking black crappie in 2018 to reestablish the population, Stein said.

The fisheries staff sampled Swepco Lake with trap nets to look at the new crappie population from October 2020 through January 2021. Staff collected over 100 crappie in the sampling effort and observed fish from each time they were stocked. This is an improvement from netting only six crappie in 2019.

Team trail sets schedule

Northwest Arkansas Team Trail will hold four regular season bass tournaments and a two-day championship at Beaver Lake.

Regular season tournaments are scheduled for March 20, April 24, May 11 and Sept. 11. The championship is set for Oct. 2-3. All tournaments are out of Prairie Creek park.

Registration forms are available at Hook, Line and Sinker in Rogers and Bella Vista, Bradford Marine and ATV in Springdale and Southtown Sporting Goods in Fayetteville. Visit www.fishnwatt.com for details.

Kyle's access road closed

Buffalo National River has closed the road to Kyle's Landing access, located between Ponca and Jasper, during construction work.

Crews are resurfacing the gravel road. The road is expected to be open by Monday, said Cassie Branstetter at Buffalo National River headquarters in Harrison.

Racers go for gravel

Registration for the Big Sugar NWA gravel bike set for Oct. 23 will be April 1-10.

Cyclists can choose the 100-mile or 50-mile race over gravel roads in the region. Entry fee is $140 for the 100 mile and $80 for the 50 mile. Register at bigsugargravel.com.

Park opens bikepacking sites

Bikepacking campsites at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area east of Rogers may be reserved by bikepackers and hikers. Cost is $14 per night plus tax. Six campsites are located along the Karst Loop of the Monument trails near Beaver Lake.

An online reservation system will be in place soon. For now sites may be reserved by calling the visitor center at 479-789-5000.

Fires benefit Buffalo

Buffalo National River and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fire operations specialists will conduct prescribed fires on approximately 6,000 acres in Newton and Searcy counties this spring.

These burns will be conducted only when specific weather and on-the ground conditions are present. To assure visitor safety, some trails and roads may be closed temporarily during the burns.

The identified areas to be burned this spring are on Buffalo National River managed lands and on Arkansas Game and Fish Commission managed land. The burn units vary in size from 200 to 3,000 acres. The largest units are located near Mount Hersey and Carver along the Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area.

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