Yes, it is spring in spite of the calendar not agreeing. And yes, it is fishing time.
Just to add to the angling incentive, here comes the news of a new state record largemouth bass, 16 pounds, 5 ounces. It was caught in Lake Dunn, a name that is sure to bring forth the question, “Where”?
Lake Dunn is an 87-acre water in Village Creek State Park between Wynne and Forrest City. It is a sister to Lake Austell, and both lakes were built in the late 1970s. According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Austell was stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass, a type that often grows bigger than our native northern strain of largemouths, but Dunn has never been stocked with Florida bass.
Lake Conway has both types of largemouth bass.
In this feeling of get out and do something, writer Jill Rohrbach with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism passes along some upcoming events at Mount Magazine State Park.
This is an Arkansas gem. If you haven’t visited the lodge at the park, you haven’t experienced a relatively new wonder of what used to be called The Wonder State.
Rohrbach’s Mount Magazine suggestions:
“On March 12 take a guided trek to various waterfalls. A park interpreter leads the way on this Waterfall Drive program that does involve some hiking. Sturdy shoes are recommended.
“On March 16 the park offers a Waterfall Expedition to experience one of Mount Magazine’s largest waterfalls. This trek is short but very rugged. Bring your camera for photography tips. Meet a park interpreter at the last parking area on Cameron Bluff Overlook Drive where the North Rim Trail crosses.
“Warmer temperatures signal the emergence of early spring butterflies such as mourning cloaks, falcate orangetips, and zebra swallowtails. The park offers a free Spring Butterflies program on March 15. Join Lori Spencer, author of “Arkansas Butterflies and Moths” and a new children’s book, “The Diana Fritillary, Arkansas’s State Butterfly,” in the visitor center classroom to get your butterfly fix.
“You can also explore the fascinating world of Mount Magazine State Park’s showcase butterfly during the Diana Fritillaries program on March 17 and 24. It is also presented by Lori Spencer. Meet in the visitor center classroom. Books are available for purchase in the gift shop. After the program, have your books signed by the author and principal photographer.
“Space is limited. For details on either free program, visit www.mountmagazinestatepark.com/ or call 479-963-8502.”
And if camping appeals to you, put this website in your resource file: http://www.recreation.gov/.
This leads you to the National Recreation Reservation Service through which reservations can be made at a number of campgrounds in Arkansas and across the nation. A toll-free phone call can do the same, 1-877-444-6777.
In Arkansas, Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes have 14 campgrounds with reservable campsites. You can reserve sites from May 15 through Sept. 15 during the 2012 camping season. All other times of the year the campsites are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
State parks in Arkansas are excellent camping destinations. So some research at home at http//:arkansasstateparks.com. Pick a park, make a toll-free phone call and reserve a campsite. Check out some other options, too, like Rent-A-Camp, Rent-an-RV, Rent.a-Yurt, Rent-A-Tepee. These rental features are just at a few parks, but they are fun possibilities.
Think about it. “Kids, let’s go spend the weekend in a teepee at Petit Jean.”