Water levels within the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge pool will be manipulated to 64 MSL, dropping it one foot lower than the normal level of 65 MSL beginning in July, subject to natural flood events.
Management practices by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, such as the use of drawdowns in wetland habitats, promote the germination of native plants and provide benefits to migrating and resident shorebirds and waterfowl.
The drawdown, conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to expose up to 4,000 acres of mudflats and scrub/shrub habitat within the Felsenthal NWR boundary, creating variably shallow conditions in some frequented areas.
Users should use caution when traversing the waterways and stay vigilant as water levels may fluctuate.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reserved all rights on flood control and navigation for Felsenthal Pool as part of the Ouachita River water is always moving through the system. Refuge users can expect varied water levels and are encouraged to check river gauge readings for timely updates on-line.
In October of 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft proposal emphasizing Felsenthal NWR management practices for the next 15 years including the artificial flooding of the green tree reservoir located within the refuge.
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