Arkansas Messabout
by Phil Lea

It is officially on GO! My wife and I have decided to host a messabout on Lake Dardanelle, near our home in Russelville Arkansas. The date is Saturday, August 27, 2005. This is the weekend before Labor Day weekend. We already have two boats scheduled to attend -- my June bug and my daughter's Mill Creek 13.

My June Bug

We will rent the pavilion for the preceding Friday afternoon through the following Sunday morning until noon, so the weekend will have shelter and a center for activities in case of rain, storm or much sun. And there is plenty of shade in the hardwood stands along the shore with lots of great views of the lake.

Mary's Mill Creek 13

Dardanelle State Park is on Lake Dardanelle, an 34,000 acre impoundment of the Arkansas river lying between the Ouachita Mountains on the south and the Ozark Mountains on the north.

The state park here is very nice with visitor center/museum and camping facilities for tents to RVs, boat ramps, shower, and marina. Access highways are very good from scenic Highway 7 (north/south route) or Interstate 40 (east/west).

Visitor Center

From the Visitor's Center looking south to Mount Nebo.

Mount Nebo and the Straits to Dardanelle. Rock bluffs are at the straits.

There is a fine sandy beach that is 50 paces from the pavilion. Boats may pull up on the beach at any time and overnight on the beach. It is on a first come first served basis, however, I have not seen a boat pulled up to the beach in 15 years! There are beautiful high rock bluffs at many areas at this end of the lake.

The beach from the pavilion. Our pavilion has a very large grill, so we will have a great feast.

There is a breakwater-protected ramp to ensure you can load up no matter the wind.

Here is the tongue-in-cheek weather forecast for August 27, 2005:

High in the high 80s to high 90s. Low in the mid 60s to low 70s. 20 to 40% chance of scattered thundershowers. Generally winds light and variable but picking up in the afternoon (~1 to 3 PM) to 4 to 8 mph. Lake temperature 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Surface elevation 337.75' above sea level (doesn't vary more than 2 ft)

Arkansas River flow rate 10,000 to 20,000 cubic feet per second

Sunrise 6:43 AM. Sunset 7:44 PM.

UV index moderate to high.

I believe we get bit more wind than Rend Lake (but it's no Oklahoma).

If you are a bass fisherman, bring your pole. The lake has a good reputation for bass and catfish.

Phil Lea
111 Evergreen Estates Dr.
Russellville, AR 72802