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NWA outdoors: Hobbs hosts nature event; Audubon sets field trip

by From Staff Reports | January 31, 2023 at 4:57 a.m.
Hikers cross a creek. (Contributed photo by Getty Images)

Experts talk winter wildlife

The monthly "Living Healthy in Nature" series hosted by Hobbs State Park-Conservation Center and the Schmeiding Center for Senior Health and Education will be 10 a.m. Thursday at the Hobbs State Park visitor center, one-quarter mile east of Arkansas 12 and War Eagle Road.

The topic is winter animal survival strategies and winter safety tips. The program is free and registration is not required.

See bald eagles at Swepco Lake

Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will host a field trip at 9 a.m. Saturday to see bald eagles and other birds at Swepco Lake. Meet at the Eagle Watch Nature Trail parking area along Arkansas 12 one mile west of Gentry.

There is a one-half mile walk from the parking area to a pavilion designed for quality viewing, plus an older pavilion. Total walking distance is one mile. There is potential to see bald eagles, sparrows and various hawk species.

Warm water from the nearby Flint Creek Power Plant is discharged into the lake which keeps the water temperature around 70 degrees even in winter. The warm water is presumably the reason for high numbers of eagles.

Anyone interested in birds is welcome. Audubon membership is not required. Contact trip leader Taylor Long, for details or call 479-530-9084.

Stein fisheries biologist of year

Jon Stein, Northwest Arkansas district fisheries supervisor with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, is the recipient of the Mike Freeze Fisheries Biologist of the Year award. Stein received the award at this month's meeting of the Game and Fish panel of commissioners.

Stein and biologist Eric Gates manage the fishery at Beaver Lake and other lakes and streams in the region. Stein and his family live in the Garfield area.

Elmdale habitat gets boost

New fish habitat has been placed in Lake Elmdale, which is accessible for anglers fishing from shore. Trees that were damaging the parking lot were cut and submerged in the lake.

The cedar and oak trees are some 50 yards east of the parking area. They should provide good crappie fishing this spring, said Jon Stein, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission area fisheries supervisor.

Think summer for camps

Registration is open for Peel Compton Foundation spring and summer camps for youths at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, Quiver Archery Range and Osage Park in Bentonville.

Camps are available for youths ages 8 through 16 and range from $175 to $250 for the week. Visit for details and registration.

Race tests cycling mettle

Registration is open for the second annual Noon2Moon endurance mountain bike race May 6 at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve in Bentonville.

Riders can sign up for 6- or 12-hour team or solo races that take place at the preserve. The one-hour race starts at 8 a.m. and the six-hour race begins at noon.

Visit for information and registration.

Conference hosts outdoor educators

The Wilderness Education Association is hosting the 34th International Conference on Outdoor Leadership in Bentonville on Feb. 8-11, 2023.

The event is open to outdoor enthusiasts and outdoors professionals nationwide, in addition to association members and people interested in certification by the association.

Visit to learn more about the conference.

Scholarships aid women in fisheries

Applications are being accepted until April 15 for the 2023 Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship for Females in Fisheries. The two scholarships will honor female graduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in fishery management and conservation.

Information on the scholarship requirements and judging criteria can be found at or by contacting Bassmaster National Conservation Director Gene Gilliland at for details.

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