NWA outdoor briefs: Bass plans, Blanchard caverns reopen; Hone...

NWA outdoor briefs – Hike, shoot, see birds

August 24, 2022 Comments Off on River Valley birding field trip; Explore iconic caverns Outdoor Events

River Valley birding field trip; Explore iconic caverns

See birds in River Valley

Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will host a field trip on Saturday at Kibler bottoms and Frog Bayou Wildlife Management Area along the Arkansas River near Alma. Meet at 8 a.m. in the back parking lot of McDonald’s in Alma.

All are welcome. Audubon membership is not required to attend. There are no restrooms or other facilities after the trip departs from McDonald’s. The trip will end around noon, but people may leave whenever they like.

There is a good chance to see buff-breasted sandpipers, upland sandpipers, black-bellied whistling ducks and least terns. The trip is mostly slow driving with little walking while observing with binoculars.

Call Joe Neal at 479-521-1858 for details.

Explore iconic caverns

Ozark-St. Francis National Forest officials are pleased to announce the reopening of Blanchard Springs Caverns after a two-year closure. Tours are available Thursdays-Mondays and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Blanchard Springs Caverns, near Mountain View, is considered a premier guided “living” cave system open for public tour in the national forest system. Multiple factors contributed to the lengthy closure of the caverns, including ongoing facility repairs and safety mitigation measures related to the pandemic. Safety and the desire to provide a quality visitor experience remain the top priorities for the national forest and cavern staff.

Amy Burt, Ozark-St. Francis National Forest recreation staff officer, said tickets must be prepurchased through www.recreation.gov.

Learn cedar history

Buffalo National River Partners and the Newton County Public Library will host a free program, “Cedar Money: The Adventures of Cedar Cutting Along the Buffalo” from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the library on Stone Street in Jasper.

Visit www.newtoncountylibrary.org for a virtual option.

Eldridge tops Elite anglers

Ronnie Eldridge won the Beaver Lake Elite Series bass tournament held Aug. 13 out of Prairie Creek park. His five-fish tournament limit weighed 14.66 pounds. He also had big bass at 6.37 pounds.

Jeremy Bowman placed second with five bass at 14.27 pounds. Hunter Jordan was third with four bass at 11.89 pounds. He had second-place big bass at 6.09 pounds.

Fourth through 10th, all with five bass were: fourth, Clint Williams, 11.51; fifth, Jackson Smith, 11.11; sixth, Jason Sandidge, 10.78; seventh, Justin Hoffman, 10.08; eighth, Mason Nall, 10.07; ninth Ron Rossicoe, 9.76; 10th, Nick Frakes, 9.48.

Peyton and Cara Rose won the Guys and Gals bass tournament the night of Aug. 13 at Table Rock Lake. Their four-fish tournament limit weighed 9.89 pounds.

Tad and Michaela Beccard were second with four bass at 9.16 pounds. Jim and June Long were third with four bass at 8.86 pounds. Brandon and Tracy Ivy had big bass at 3.87 pounds.

Spruce up Lee Creek

The annual Lee Creek Cleanup hosted by Devil’s Den State Park will be 9 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 10. Volunteers should meet at the horse camp pavilion on Arkansas 220 on the west end of the park.

Cleanup area is from the park to the Arkansas 220 bridge. Lunch will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the horse camp pavilion. Prize drawings will be from noon to 1 p.m.

Contact Terry Anderson, park interpreter, at (479) 761-3823, terry.anderson@arkansas.gov for more information.

Go fishing in Centerton

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a fall family fishing derby from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 24 at Centerton Lake in Centerton.

Game and Fish will stock the lake with channel catfish. Fishing is open to all ages. Anglers should provide their own tackle, bait and container to take their fish home.

Wetlands highlight of trip

Osage Park in Bentonville will host free wetland expedition field trips for people of all ages from 10 a.m to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.

Trips will visit various stations in the park to learn about macro-invertebrates, beaver dams, erosion, water quality, invasive species management and more.

Wetland field trips for seventh-grade classrooms will cover the same topics. They will be offered from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 12-14. Visit peelcompton.org to register for the all-ages trips or to register a seventh-grade classroom.

Survey queries streamside landowners

Landowners in the Illinois River watershed are being asked to take part in a 10- to 15-minute voluntary online survey from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership in Cave Springs. The survey is part of research to gather opinions from landowners in the watershed about conservation easements.

Visit https://uark.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3mEpclabsCmzDPE

to take the survey. There is no cost and participants have the option of being entered into a drawing for one of 10 free $50 Amazon gift cards.

Contact Leif Kindberg, watershed partnership director, at director@irwp.org for more information.