Boating capacity enforced at Beaver Lake, Corps not accepting new applications

Local News

Ark. — Some people say the new boating capacity on Beaver Lake will hurt business, while others say it will preserve its natural beauty.

Sean Harper, project manager of Little Rock district’s US Army Corps of Engineers, says research began for the lake’s boating capacity in 2016.

“Looked at boaters on the Fourth of July, Memorial Day Holiday and then several other normal summer weekends,” said Harper. “They tried to establish a peak boating number out on the lake at any one time.”

According to Harper, the Corps completed a boat capacity study in 2018.

“That number for Beaver Lake, as far as maximum boats on the water at any one time, is 1,689,” said Harper.

Since the study was released, the Corps has received enough boat dock requests to reach capacity and isn’t accepting any new applications until further notice.

Steve Womack, the owner of Starkey Marina on Beaver Lake, says he supports the decision because it will help keep the lake’s current charm.

“Just the beauty of the lake,” said Womack. “I mean, I want to maintain that beauty without being covered with docks on every shoreline.”

Womack says time will tell how it will affect business, but he is confident in customers continuing to come.

“We’re going to wait and see,” said Womack. “But as I say, we’re busy enough. I can’t see us getting any busier and being able to handle it.”

The corps said it could take up to two years to get through the permit slips already applied for.

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