Business Rebounding on Beaver Lake

Published 07/23 2014 05:47AM

Updated 07/23 2014 07:23AM

ROGERS, Ark. -- In Benton County, Arkansas, the campgrounds and swimming areas at Beaver Lake are full.

After several setbacks last year, the Army Corps of Engineers is welcoming the boost.

This time last year, Horseshoe Bend Marina could barely keep the lights on, let alone turn a profit due to the government shut down.

But this year, they're making record-breaking profits.

From fuel and food sales to a waiting list 200 people long for boats to get parked in the marina, owner Kevin Callaghan says at this rate, he could retire early.
"This year we're having a spectacular year. Corps of engineers is doing a fantastic job on the parks this year and we're just setting all kinds of records and it's been fantastic."

Callaghan says the great summer weather has also been a huge driver of sales.

And the water quality at Beaver Lake is improving.

The Army Corp of Engineers sends water samples to the Arkansas Health Department four times a year.
"The designated swim areas we, we identify as our safe areas to swim, and obviously we want to make sure that the water's safe there for people to swim," Michael Hurley, Chief Park Ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers said.

In years past, some samples have come back positive for E. Coli.

"We immediately close the swim beach, we let the state know and then we'll re-sample, and then in order to get it reopened we have to get two consecutive negative samples for E. Coli," Hurley said.

Well Park Rangers have a good idea what could cause higher levels of E. Coli in the water.

This year, Beaver Lake has had some of its cleanest water.

"I like to contribute a lot of that to what we're doing with the geese," he said.

They've started spraying the grass around the beach areas with a substance the geese don't like.

"We also use a laser at night to kind of shine around the lake and it's basically an annoyance to them."

Hurley said the Canada geese have been on the rise in the area for years, but with more people coming to the parks and feeding the animals, it's made them stick around.

But the new tactics are working, and the water is now cleaner thanks to the Rangers efforts.

(KNWA, Fayetteville)

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