Arkansas Wildlife Federation

Arkansas Rivers

Posted by | Sep. 7, 2011 | Arkansas Out-of-Doors

Getting to know Arkansas Rivers

Arkansas has over 9,000 miles of streams, and a good deal of this mileage is perfect for floating—be it by canoe, johnboat, or raft. The variety of enjoyable experiences provided by this assortment of rivers is remarkably wide-ranging from matchless trout fishing trips, to rugged whitewater runs, to peaceful passages ideal for first-timers. Below you will find links to 17 of the best waterways in the state.

Arkansas Rivers Map – Arkansas Lake Map
This map shows the major streams and rivers of Arkansas and some of the larger lakes. Arkansas is within the Mississippi River Watershed. Most drainage leaves the state through the Mississippi, Arkansas, Ouachita, White, Redand St. Francis Rivers. Most of these lakes and streams can be clearly seen on the Arkansas Satellite Image.

Background Information – Map sources, Tips, Degree of Difficulty (defined), and Additional Information.

Ten Important Reminders

1. Wear those life jackets.
2. Take along a spare paddle.
3. Pay attention to local weather forecasts.
4. Dress appropriately for the season.
5. Don’t travel alone.
6. Avoid camping in areas subject to sudden rises.
7. Know your ability and don’t exceed it.
8. Refrain from drinking creek or river water no matter how clean it appears.
9. Carry out whatever you carry in.
10. Should you capsize, try to stay with your boat and swim it to shore, making certain that you’re on the upstream side of the craft to avoid getting pinned between it and rocks or willows.

Degree of Difficulty

The narratives also occasionally refer to class ratings for the streams, based on an international scale of six levels of difficulty:

  • Class I: Easy –
    Moving water with few riffles and small waves. Few or no obstructions. Correct course is easy to determine.
  • Class II: Medium –
    Fairly frequent, but unobstructed rapids. Course generally easy to recognize. Some maneuvering is required.
  • Class III: Difficult –
    Numerous rapids with high and irregular waves. Narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering. Course not always easily recognizable.
  • Class IV: Very Difficult –
    Long rapids characterized by high and irregular waves with boulders directly in swift current. Course often difficult to recognize requiring some scouting from bank.
  • Class V: Exceedingly Difficult –
    Continuous rocky rapids with high and irregular broken water which cannot be avoided. Extremely fast flow, abrupt bends, and strong cross currents. Difficult rescue conditions. Frequent inspections from bank necessary.
  • Class Vl: Limit of Navigability – Class V difficulties increased to the upper limits of skill and equipment. Extremely dangerous. Only for teams of experts.

Additional Information

Many of the streams mentioned in this collection flow through or near Arkansas’s two national forests—the Ouachita National Forest and the Ozark St. Francis National Forest. Both offer superb hiking, camping, and hunting opportunities in addition to their river recreation possibilities. For more information contact:

Ouachita National Forest
Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

Arkansas Wildlife

Posted by | | Arkansas Out-of-Doors

Wildlife is acclaimed frequently for its beauty and sometimes for its rarity, while other wildlife is sought for the thrill of the hunt and sport.

Regardless of the reason, wildlife enthusiasts at the AWF share a mutual interest in conserving the wildlife of Arkansas, for the benefit of future generations.

Arkansas contains a diverse array of wildlife and plants. A list of many of the species of plants and animals in the different areas of Arkansas, along with vast information about them can be found at E-nature.  You may not have known but Arkansas contains many threatened and endangered species. For a summary of the endangered species act and its history go here.

For resources relating to sportsman in Arkansas including   places to hunt and license info look under the previous section for hunting and fishing in Arkansas.  Montana hunting and fishing journal contains vast information including pictures on nearly all game species in America.


Posted by | | Arkansas Out-of-Doors

Arkansas contains an array of wilderness areas ideal for outdoor hiking activities.  Whether you desire to go for a nature walk, or spend multiple days in the backcountry, there is something for everyone in Arkansas parks.  These wilderness areas provide great opportunities to catch glimpses of the states abundant wildlife.  Browse the sites of Arkansas Wildlife refuges, National parks, State parks, and Forests, to get feel for the many hiking opportunities that await you in Arkansas.

Bird Watching

Posted by | | Arkansas Out-of-Doors

Birding is something that is appreciated by people from all walks of life.

Birds are a very diverse group of creatures with over 10,000 species known to exist in the world.  Many birds are known to have strange and captivating mating behaviors and are found in all sizes, shapes, and colors, imaginable.  The largest bird alive today is the ostrich which can reach up to 8 feet tall.  The bird with the largest wingspan is Great Albatross with wingspan of 12 feet. However the largest flying birds that ever lived are known as teratorns.  They were large birds of prey related to storks and Condors with some having wing spans of over 26 feet!

There are many opportunities to go bird watching in the State of Arkansas. For good birding sites in Pulaski County go here.   

The wildlife refuges in Arkansas provide a good chance to see some of the states birds as well. This link will tell you the abundance of each bird seen by season at each wildlife refuge in the state of Arkansas. To learn about rare species recently spotted in the state, phone the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas hotline at (501) 753-5853.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Ivory billed woodpecker
Colorized digital image of ivory-billed woodpecker at nest.
© George M. Sutton/Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker was rediscovered in Arkansas in Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in 2005 after it had been ruled extinct for over 60 years!  Now the woodpecker is back on the endangered species list and will receive all the protections that go along with being an endangered species.  The U.S Fish and Wildlife service wrote a short piece on the rediscovery of the bird in April of 2005.  The Cornell lab of ornithology maintains an Ivory-bill resource site with a lot of media including video, pictures, and recordings of the Ivory-bill Woodpecker, past and present. There has been over 600 credible sightings of the Ivory-bill Woodpeck as recently acknowledged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the United States Justice Department.

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the U.S. and the second largest in the world. Currently the Ivory-bill Woodpecker is in danger once again because of a massive irrigation project called the Grand Prairie Areas demonstration Project, which is aimed at removing large amounts of water from the White river.  The White river flows into the Cache River refuge, and feeds the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers nesting trees along with the rest of its delicate habitat.

Recent developments have temporarily halted the Grand Prairie project due to efforts in the courts on the part of NWF and AWF.  A judge ruled in July of 2006 that the Army corps had not conducted adequate habitat impact assessments to the Ivory-bill Woodpeckers habitat, and ordered them to determine whether water withdrawals will affect the Ivory-bills habitat. Additionally, there has been other sighting noted of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in east Louisiana and east Texas. The wetlands of eastern Arkansas, eastern Louisiana and Texas were originally the primary habitat for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and efforts are underway by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service in coordination with several major universities to rediscover the Ivory billed woodpecker and protect its habitat.  

Hunting and Fishing

Posted by | | Arkansas Out-of-Doors, Trail Tales

Get Outdoors!

Go to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission web site for information on hunting and fishing activities.

The state of Arkansas has vast natural resources and innumerable things to do outside. Here are few of the many opportunities:  


Waterfowl are a very popular game species in Arkansas.  Duck hunting has become one of Arkansas most treasured hobbies with over 100,000 duck hunters living in the state alone.  Also, the State of Arkansas boasts the largest concentration of wintering mallards in North America.

One of the recent AWF accomplishments includes the acclaimed report titled “Improving the Quality of Duck Hunting in Arkansas”.  This report is a response and an analysis to the poor duck hunting season in 2002-2003, and resulted out of a desire to better manage duck hunting in the state.  A summary of the recommendations in this report can be found here.

Hunting and Fishing Opportunities

Hunters and anglers can obtain their Arkansas state hunting and fishing permits and licenses here; also a wealth of other hunting and fishing related information from the state exists there as well.  In addition there are many parks and wildlife areas to go hunting and fishing at in the state. 

To view hunting and fishing opportunities at U.S Fish and Wildlife refuges in Arkansas go here.  The Arkansas game and fish commission maintains many Wildlife Management Areas, (WMA) with many hunting and fishing opportunities .  The Ozark St. Francis National Forests have other outdoor opportunities as well.  Other hunting and fishing opportunities exist in the Buffalo National River, Lake Ouachita , and DeGrey Lake Resort State Park . Finally this link can help you locate other hunting and fishing areas in the state or Arkansas.

Additional Note for Hunters and Fishers
Global warming is an issue that all sportsmen should be concerned with because of the potential catastrophic consequences it poses to wildlife habitat and their beloved game species. To learn more about what global warming means for hunters and fisherman go to the global warming section of this site.

Achievement Awards

Posted by | | About AWF

Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards

The Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement awards are designed to honor individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone beyond the call of duty to promote the conservation of our natural resources. Each year, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation invites the Governor of Arkansas to speak at the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet and present the conservation  awards.

Banquet Flyer 2013

The following conservation awards may be given annually:

  1. Harold Alexander Conservationist of the Year Award
  2. Rex Hancock Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Award
  3. Carol Griffee Conservation Communicator of the Year Award
  4. John L. Gray Forestry Conservationist of the Year Award
  5. Water Conservationist of the Year Award
  6. Conservationist Organization of the Year Award
  7. Corporate Conservationist of the Year Award
  8. President’s Award
  9. Educator Conservationist of the Year Award
  10. Student Conservationist of the Year Award
  11. * Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Award
  12. * Boating Education Instructor of the Year Award
  13. * AGFC Officer of the Year

* – denotes nominations & awards determined by AGFC and not the AWF judging committee

Speakers Bureau

The Arkansas Wildlife Federation offers conservation education programs to civic clubs, churches, hunting and fishing clubs, Boy Scouts clubs, youth organizations, college clubs, local businesses and city agencies. Typically, these presentations are made by AWF board members and officers and staff. The Speakers Bureau is established to provide timely presentations and information on key environmental issues such as:

  • “Practicing Good Environmental Stewardship in Your Home, Office and Community”
  • “Understanding the Impact of Global Warming on our environment”
  • “Tree Huggers and Environmentalists are not the Enemy”
  • “Hunters and Anglers are Frontline Conservationists”
  • “Encouraging Your Company and Employees to be good stewards of the Environment”
  • “Teaching our Children How to Protect the Environment”
  • “Understanding Wildlife Habitat Needs”

Call or email the AWF office at 501-224-9200.

Global Warming

Arkansas Impacts

Wildlife Impacts


Legislation and Global Warming

Arkansas Groups Involved in Global Warming

Resources You Can Use

Sportsmen’s Poll

The Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warmig approved final revisions to its report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state’s contributions to climate change.

The commission’s report recommends that Arkansas adopt goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels by 20 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2035.

By John Lyon

AWF Camo Coalition

Sportsmen Camo Coalition

AWF is the largest and oldest wildlife conservation organization in Arkansas with over 4000+ members located throughout every county in Arkansas, as well as members from out-of-state that want to help conserve and protect our natural resources.  AWF has had a long history of more than 75 years of service in promoting the interests, needs, and programs that benefit hunters, anglers and nature lovers throughout the state. AWF invites hunter and angler clubs and camps throughout Arkansas to become a member of the “Sportsmen Camo Coalition” within the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Each Sportsmen Camo Coalition club will pay a $50 membership dues and have at least 10 members to join. Also, if you are in an area without a hunting or fishing club and wish to join the sportsmen camo coalition, you can join as an at-large member which is still only $5 annual membership dues.

Through the Sportsmen Camo Coalition, each member will receive the bi-monthly newspaper  Arkansas Out-of-Doors which keeps members informed of key issues and programs impacting Arkansas wildlife and wildlife habitats. Additionally, each Camo Coalition Club and its members will receive special mailings and email alerts from AWF on legislative issues at the state and national levels that impact hunting and fishing practices.

AWF encourages local Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs to send in articles for the Arkansas Out-Of-Doors and to keep AWF informed of issues and needs of hunters and anglers throughout the state.  These Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs become the eyes and ears of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in promoting, protecting, and enhancing wildlife and wildlife habitats, and the natural resources of Arkansas for present and future generations.

There will be an annual meeting of the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs usually held each August during the AWF annual meeting that offers workshops, seminars, and sporting exhibits of interest to hunters, anglers and other outdoor sportsmen. AWF invites hunting and fishing clubs or camps to join the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Club of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in helping keep Arkansas as “The Natural State.”

Mother Nature

Giving Mother Nature a Helping Hand

A Conservation Competition Program Involving middle and high schools in Arkansas

Purpose: This important conservation competition program is designed to encourage and involve school children in elementary, middle and high schools to participate in developing conservation projects to improve and enhance the environment.  The Arkansas Wildlife Federation with the assistance of the National Wildlife Federation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Natural Resources, local colleges, universities, and local school officials throughout Arkansas will provide materials and guidelines to assist schools to select, prepare and submit their conservation projects. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation will seek corporate partners to assist the schools in providing seed funds to develop their projects and the cost for conducting this competition. Corporate partners will be invited to participate on the judging panels and be a part of the awards recognition program at the county, regional and state level as sponsors of this event. Awards and cash prizes will be given to 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place winners in all three school levels – middle and high schools. Also, schools who are not winners in these three awards categories will receive Honorable Mention recognition for their efforts to develop meaningful conservation projects for their community or county. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation and its partners strongly believe this conservation competition program will encourage students to consider academic studies and careers in environmental sciences. These conservation projects encourage students to become seriously involved in conservation and environmental projects that enhance our environment and “Give Mother Nature a Helping Hand.”

There are no upcoming events.