Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Water quality


Lake Chicot is an oxbow lake that was created more than 600 years ago by the meandering of the Mississippi River. It is located in Chicot county in southeastern Arkansas adjacent to the present Mississippi River. As the largest natural lake in Arkansas it earned an early reputation for its good fishing and recreational value. Development of a levee system forced the enlargement of the lakes watershed to its present 350 square miles. Initially this alteration affected only the volume flow through the lake, drastically reducing the water residence time. Because the watershed was located in one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world, the land, predominantly comprised of clay and fine silts, quickly became more intensively farmed. The use of agricultural chemicals increased, large amounts of sediments were produced and the lake began to become severely impacted by this activity.

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