Aerial view of Lake Conway.

Visitor Submitted Questions (and answers!) Updated 7/13/23

We take your questions about the Lake Conway renovation and work with AGFC and/or other relevant agencies to get answers. We will continue to update this post.

Link to general FAQ from Arkansas Game and Fish: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RzHsFdCO0hKtEvyJLTmU5GgmYEtEVXO3/vie

Docks, Boathouses, Adjoining Property Issues

Do residents with docks still have to pay permit fees when lake is “empty?”

No. Permits will still be required, but the fee will be waived while the lake is under renovation.

Can dock or boat house permits be completed online?

Please reach out to Nick Feltz, District 10 Fisheries Supervisor 501-604-0492 (Nicholas.Feltz@agfc.ar.gov), about specific permitting questions. For Land Use Policy regulations and permits, click this web link  https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/regulations/land-use-policy/.

Do you have recommendations for how to care for a floating boathouse during the 5 year period when there is no water in the lake? I’m worried about the bending of the structure, siding, roof, and around the windows. I know that AGFC has recently added a floating dock near the bridge on Highway 89 and would like to know if they are doing anything to support the structure during the drawdown.      

AGFC is moving the floating fishing dock from the Hwy 89 Access to another public access to avoid damage from stumps below the structure during the renovation. Many floating dock manufacturers recommend putting support structures in during lake drawdowns or, at the very least, ensuring the debris is removed under them so they can lay as flat as possible on smooth ground.

We just bought a house on Lake Conway. It has an old boat house on it that we want to repair/update. Are we required to have a permit?

Permits have always been required to own a pier or boathouse on the AGFC buffer strip adjacent to private property, including during the renovation. However, no fee will be assessed during the renovation. Please reach out to Nick Feltz, District 10 Fisheries Supervisor 501-604-0492 (Nicholas.Feltz@agfc.ar.gov), about specific permitting questions. For Land Use Policy regulations and permits, click this web link  https://www.agfc.com/en/resources/regulations/land-use-policy/.

What permitted structures are allowed for example old seawall improvements removal and cleanup of old boat slips and adding dock and property owner add fish beds?

Adjacent landowners, please contact Nick Feltz, District 10 Fisheries Supervisor 501-604-0492 (Nicholas.Feltz@agfc.ar.gov), to get information on specific permit application questions.

How can homeowners around the lake help in this endeavor?

AGFC and its partners will create community volunteer days for a number of different improvement projects throughout this process. As these are scheduled we will promote the opportunities through our website, social media and Lake Conway text groups.

Why have the property owners around the lake not heard of this or have opportunity for input?

Public meetings were held in Mayflower and Conway to provide an opportunity for the public to hear our plans for Lake Conway and ask questions related to the project. There will be more public events thoughout the process.

On my property there’s potential flooding from the rainy season. Will this be fixed? Also, I have a swampy area known as the green zone, that is a nuisance, as far as flooding, snakes. Also, I figured my property value will go down because of this project. Will I be compensated for this?

The capacity of Palarm Creek and the level of the Arkansas River are the limiting factors for the rate at which water can be released from the lake. Very large precipitation events will still flood similar areas as in the past.

I moved here to live on the lake, so now it’s getting drained, will my rental payment go down?

Lake Conway is over 75 years old with aged infrastructure and heavy silting. To ensure Lake Conway is a place that people want to recreate and live for many years to come, it is important that we take this step in renovating the lake. AGFC does not regulate or have any authority over rental agreements between a lessee and lessor.

During this time, will the remaining homes around the lake which were not previously added to the new sewer system be required to connect and stop the remaining sewage contamination that the lake is still encountering?

AGFC does not have regulatory authority over point source pollution, including sewage. We will be working with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality to monitor these and similar issues during the drawdown.

I am a property owner off Gold Creek. The question is. When the drawdown is complete, can I make repairs/ construction on my dock? Also, can they do any digging around my dock to improve the bottom contour around it?

AGFC will allow adjacent landowners to excavate accumulated sediment in the lake bed adjacent to their property to improve boating access and angling. An approved permit is required to do this work. Only reasonable requests will be approved.

All my neighbors, me included, are trying to figure out what to do with our boats for 5 years. Any suggestions??? Can’t just leave them hanging in the boathouse for the duration of the draw down. I’m 76, too old to be putting it on a trailer and dragging it around from lake to lake. Just wondering, have you heard what other people are doing?

AGFC is encouraging boat owners to remove their boats by September 1 to ensure adjacent landowners are able to get their boats off of the lake, as the rate of drawdown will vary based on weather conditions. It is up to the boat owner what to do with the boat once it is removed from the lake. If you do not plan on using the boat on another lake during the renovation period and you would like to keep the boat, it is best to store the boat on the trailer and undercover.

Wildlife, Fishing, Recreation

What will happen to fish and other wildlife that rely on the lake to survive during this time while the lake is empty?

Most of the fish not caught and removed from the lake will drain into Palarm Creek and into the Arkansas River. Fish and wildlife are very good at adapting to their environment, and we expect any wildlife which has historically used Lake Conway will find sufficient habitat.

Will it still have lily pads? I know they became a problem and what about the alligators?

Some lily pads will remain.

Will bow hunters be allowed to hunt the dry lakebed during bow season with access from Bell Slough?

We are actively working to determine hunting regulations in this area.

How will the alligator situation be handled?

Just as we expect many of the fish to follow the natural flow of water into Palarm Creek and the Arkansas River, we expect alligators to do the same. We will not be capturing any alligators and prefer to let them follow their natural instincts. Alligators should not be fed. If you do see strange behavior, please contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

I want to know about touring the dry lakebed.

Access to Lake Conway will be allowed during the renovation by foot only, but unauthorized motorized vehicles are not allowed. Access to the lake will be at your own risk.

Will game and fish make the lake deeper with equipment also or just letting it dry up? Also, will there be any work options with game and fish to help work on the lake?

Where applicable, very limited excavation may occur, but the sediment consolidation resulting from an extended drawdown will add up to 40% of water volume to the lake.

With Lake Conway being shut down, I would hope that there would be discussion of opening other opportunities to allow residents of Faulkner County to fish for free while Lake Conway is closed. Has there been discussions about removing the price to launch on Beaverfork Lake to allow fishermen displaced from losing Conway to fish on a local lake for free?

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is not in control of Beaverfork Lake. Please contact the city of Conway, specifically the city council to consider your recommendation to rescind boat launching fees on Beaverfork Lake.

How will the drawdown affect this area and are there plans to also improve the AGFC Grassy Lake Water Trail?

The Grassy Lake Water Trail is not within Lake Conway. This trail will be maintained following normal maintenance schedules.

Lake Conway After the Project

After the lake is filled again, would it be possible to obtain a high enough water quality in Lake Conway to allow recreational swimming? (e.coli, runoff)

This is currently unknown

Will there be an opportunity to add in a swimming area accessible by boat once the lake is rehabilitated?

Swimming is technically allowed in Lake Conway. However, we do not encourage swimming as a primary recreational activity in Lake Conway. Primary activities in Lake Conway are fishing and hunting. Beaverfork Lake is a local swimming destination.

Will Lake Conway be a swimming lake after the renovation, or will it stay just a fishing lake? If it is a swimming lake, will other recreational activities be allowed since it’s such a large area? Are y’all planning on removing the stumps that are hazardous to boats so “boat trails” are no longer needed?

Swimming is technically allowed in Lake Conway. However, we do not encourage swimming as a primary recreational activity in Lake Conway. Primary activities in Lake Conway are fishing and hunting. The removal of stumps from large areas of the lake would be counterproductive to the goal of creating a great fishery. Beaverfork Lake is a local swimming destination.

Off of Shady Point Dr there was supposed to get an access point to Lake Conway, can this still happen?

There are no plans to create an access off Shady Point Drive.

Where will the new launch ramps be located?

There are no current plans to add additional boat launches to Lake Conway, but that is subject to change. The plan is to repair and upgrade existing access points across the lake.

Hello, I am a general contractor and would be interested in any work that would be hired out or subbed from the general contractor. Where could I find information on that?

The bid process will open later this year and be advertised through appropriate channels.

What measures have been taken to stop the farms in Palarm Creeks upstream from chemical runoff or causing the soil from the fields entering the lake and raising the bottom again?

AGFC does not have regulatory authority over point source pollution, including sewage. We will be working with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality to monitor these and similar issues during the drawdown.

What measures are being taken to ensure the old septic tanks and the new subdivision reclamation stations are being maintained and not pumping wastewater to the lake?

AGFC does not have regulatory authority over point source pollution, including sewage. We will be working with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality to monitor these and similar issues during the drawdown.

Will game and fish make the lake deeper with equipment also or just letting it dry up? Also, will there be any work options with game and fish to help work on the lake?

Very limited excavation may occur, but most of the increased depth will come from sediment compaction which is possible through an extended drawdown period.

I am wondering if this will also open up an opportunity to create a park like area similar to that of Beaverfork. Additionally, I am wondering if there with be any trails added to loop around the lake.

Plans have been discussed by the City of Conway to create an urban nature area on the north end of the lake which includes additional trails and access to the lake. The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, the Conway Development Commission, and the city of Conway recently partnered to fund a study to design this urban nature area.

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8 thoughts on “Visitor Submitted Questions (and answers!) Updated 7/13/23”

  1. Good question. Right now at 263.10 the water has encroached on my property at a level normally only seen at almost 264. After refilling and levels at 263 will the shoreline return to where it was?.(prior to silting)I live on the shallow end of the lake so depth changes go in and out versus deeper areas up and down.

  2. Tom and Margaret Parris

    So are you telling us property owners with past flooding issues (we are new owners) that the lake level will rise even more than the norm? And explain or at least offer some possible suggestions as to what we are to do to remediate the possibility of even more frequent flooding with projected higher lake levels. And did the AGFC give any thought to property owners and even more flooding possibilities?

  3. I hear this is a 5 year plan.
    Does this mean 5 years from start of drawdown to refill and restock?
    I would like to see an estimated time line of the work and how you arrive at this. I know weather will affect it but please inform us on how does this work?

  4. eter Kaufman
    You won’t be allowed to treasure hunt and keep anything. All property of AGFC.
    Reply16h
    Pete Beck
    Peter Kaufman only if it’s natural.
    Reply15h
    Robert Lock
    Top contributor
    Peter Kaufman they literally said they were not going to stop anyone from going on the lake bed and looking for stuff.
    Reply14h
    Peter Kaufman
    Robert Lock maybe they changed , but in previous drawdowns they were stopping people from picking up and removing anything from the lake bed. I know they said you could walk on dried lake bed at your own risk, but I heard nothing about permitting the taking items from lake.
    Reply13h
    D.j. Charles
    Author
    Top contributor
    Peter Kaufman they said finders keepers, can you find where they said that?
    Reply7hEdited
    Jason Clearman
    We can go shopping for lures after it dries up
    Reply14h
    Jim Cia
    Last drawdown several people were prosecuted for picking up arrowheads. I happened to be in court when their trial was held. Don’t remember how much they were fined but it was significant.
    Reply14h
    Melvin Lee
    Jim Cia I remember that too. They said people were to leave them where they found them so everyone would have them to enjoy for years to come. (under water???)
    Reply12h
    Onna Stivers
    Melvin Lee how stupid is that !!!

  5. I was curious if any consideration has been given to creating islands by pushing up dirt from the area. That would create areas of habitat out in the lake for birds and animals and create deeper holes around the islands which should improve fishing options. A dozen island about 5 acres in size would add a new dimension to the lake.

  6. There are numerous large cypress logs around my dock area. Is it permissible to cut them up and burn them where they are?

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Related Updates

How to help clean up Lake Conway

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host the second of three shoreline cleanups at Lake Conway from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 16-18. According to Nick Feltz, regional fisheries supervisor at the AGFC’s Mayflower office, dumpsters will actually be available for disposal of lakebed trash May 16-19, but the AGFC will only hold organized cleanups

Aerial view of Lake Conway.

Visitor Submitted Questions (and answers!) Updated 7/13/23

We take your questions about the Lake Conway renovation and work with AGFC and/or other relevant agencies to get answers. We will continue to update this post. Link to general FAQ from Arkansas Game and Fish: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RzHsFdCO0hKtEvyJLTmU5GgmYEtEVXO3/vie Docks, Boathouses, Adjoining Property Issues Do residents with docks still have to pay permit fees when lake is