Crews were out at Lake Poinsett Friday morning, flying drones over six-hundred acres of land that is normally filled with water. That drone footage will be used to create a digital map that fishers can download and use to plan future trips.
“We’re renovating the lake, repairing some shoreline erosion, replacing our water control structure in the lake.,” says Brett Timmons, NEA fishery biologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “And then on top of that we’re going to be doing a large-scale habitat project.”
The projects are a part of a community wide effort to increase lake Poinsett’s value and visibility. Commissioners see the projects attracting more visitors both in and out of state.
“We’re trying to boost interest in people coming to northeast Arkansas, to fish, spend money, bring tourism from surrounding states,” added Timmons.
Timmons suggests that the lake will probably be flooded in 2021. It’s estimated to bring two to three million dollars of economic value right now. Arkansas Game and Fish looks for the restoration project to boost Lake Poinsett’s value by another two to three million dollars.
“Through fishing sales, license sales, through bait sales, through fuel sales. There can be several hundred thousand dollars of economic value.” Timmons says.
Several businesses are already helping to restore the lake’s fish population. FMH Conveyors donated enough palettes and scrap wood to help build two hundred new fish habitats.
Stan Whitaker is the continuous improvement manager at FMH Conveyors. Whitaker sees the project “creating another local recreational spot for people to come and enjoy nature.”
“It’s just yet another great spot for employees to enjoy in their day off,” Whitaker adds.
The Game and Fish Commission is seeking all the help it can from the public in making Lake Poinsett’s restoration possible.
More information about the project, and future fish habitats can be found on the Arkansas Game and Fish website.