MAYFLOWER — Despite the challenges of social distancing and rough spring weather conditions, contractors and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff completed the first boat lane renovation planned for Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir last week.

The boat trail from Paradise Landing to the Gold Lake section on the west side of Lake Conway was cleared, with some portions of the trail moved to add clearance from nearby boat docks and boathouses.

“The contractors cut more than 900 stumps,” said Matt Horton, fisheries habitat biologist at the AGFC’s Mayflower office. “AGFC staff hauled all the stumps that floated up to the banks to help clear the lanes. The lane markers also were replaced with new PVC poles that should prove more visible to boaters.”

Horton warns that some additional stumps may still exist in the lanes, and contractors will be back next week to complete another pass.

“We used side-scan sonar and the contractor used Garmin Livescope to search the lanes for any additional stumps,” Horton said. “We have found a few more that need to be removed, so we strongly encourage anglers to use the lanes with caution.”

Staff will be flagging portions of the new trail and marking any remaining stumps to help boaters avoid these hazards. If a boater feels their boat bump into a stump, Horton asks for them to take down GPS coordinates or other detailed information of the location and send them to him at Matthew. Horton@agfc.ar.gov.

“We hope to continue this project throughout the lake in the future as our budget allows,” Horton said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the lane renovation and we’ve seen an increase in lake use this spring from all the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Most fisheries work takes many years to do right and see results, but this is something we’re already seeing a return on.”

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