Save the garfish | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Save the garfish

Posted By on Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 7:32 AM

Mark Spitzer, a UCA professor who's an authority on the unlovely but important alligator gar fish, wants our help in publicizing a plan that could imperil the gar. The Conway Corporation plans to build a sewage treatment plant on Tupelo Bayou that he says could harm the largest gar population in Arkansas. He's asking for support in the public comment period on the plant. See his letter on the jump.

Spitzer comments: "I can assure you that this matter is important to your readers. Especially fishermen, considering that more large predators in the system = larger gamefish."


Residents of Arkansas should know that Conway Corporation intends to build a sewage treatment plant on Tupelo Bayou by the Arkansas River, which could be detrimental to the largest known population of alligator gar in Arkansas. This fascinating creature (300 million years old, capable of reaching lengths of ten feet) is threatened throughout its range and its status is listed as imperiled, vulnerable, and substantially declining in the state. State and Federal agencies across the South are currently coordinating on management plans to preserve and propagate this species, which is advantageous to ecosystem stability. It is not known how important this particular spawning ground is to our local gene pool of alligator gar, but an environmental impact study is definitely in order considering the delicate reproduction of this fish, which requires a convergence of ideal water temperature and sustained floodwater levels for spawns to take. US Fish and Wildlife, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and UCA biologists have been studying this local population for years and agree that an assessment is needed. It may be that this area is not vital to sustaining this population, and it may be possible for Conway Corporation to develop an environmentally friendly treatment plant. Another complication, however, is that sewage plants purify wastewater with estrogen, which has a history of turning male fish into female fish. This can directly affect population growth.

Conway Corporation is currently collecting comments from the community for the next ten days regarding this project. I’d like to encourage everyone with an interest in conserving this important natural resource to write to CEO Richard Arnold / Conway Corporation / P.O. Box 99 / Conway, AR 72033 as soon as possible and request that this matter be seriously studied before any construction begins.

Prof. Mark Spitzer

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation