Description - The Arkansas River is one of the Mississippi's largest tributaries. It flows 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, through the Royal Gorge, on through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas to its confluence with the Mississippi River. Four hundred and forty-five miles long with 17 locks and dams, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MCKARNS) is a reliable, year-round waterway into the Southwest. Essentially a series of navigation pools connected by locks, the waterway enables vessels to overcome a 420-foot difference in elevation from the Mississippi River to the head of navigation at Catoosa, Oklahoma. The waterway has five major publicly developed ports and numerous privately developed facilities.
- Completed in the 1970's, this 440 mile water way connects Tulsa, OK to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, providing economical transportation for the region's agricultural and industrial products. These pools reach 48 miles up the Arkansas River from Conway to Russellville.
Recreation - The pools offer excellent fishing, especially in the old river cutoffs and the tailwaters downstream of each dam. Anglers can fish for bass, crappie, catfish and bream from boats or the riverbanks.
Climate - Arkansas has a temperate climate with the coldest temperatures near freezing during December, January and February. Daytime highs for these months usually reach 55 degrees F. Spring and fall temperatures are very mild with lows dipping to 44 degrees F and highs reaching 70 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months of the year with average temperatures reaching 90 degrees F. June and September average temperatures usually reach into the mid-eighties. Spring and winter months are the wettest of the year.
Rockefeller Lake-Ormand Lock and Dam is located along the Arkansas River near Russellville between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains.