Garland County, Arkansas, headwaters, watershed
A limnological investigation of Ricks Pond and the Gulpha Creek drainage of Garland County, Arkansas was conducted between 1 June 1978, and 21 August 1978. Water samples taken from ten stations on three different dates indicated that the stream and pond systems were typical in water quality characteristics of other small, high gradient streams and impoundments in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. In Ricks Pond, thermal stratification occurred along with the development of an oxygen deficient zone below a depth of one meter. Other water quality parameters indicated that Ricks Pond is a moderately productive ecosystem, with the productivity limited by the nitrogen species. The fecal coliform bacterial counts were very low, indicating no direct input of excessive amounts of fecal matter into the system during the present study. However, a Hot Springs city sewer line runs through the pond, and two manholes emerge from the pond's surface. The possibility exists that this sewer line could discharge raw sewage into Ricks Pond during periods of high water. A biological investigation was also conducted in the study area, and lists of the phytoplankton, periphyton, higher aquatic vegetation, zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fishes are presented. Twenty-seven species of fishes were collected from the Gulpha Creek drainage, and no rare or endangered forms were found. Ricks Pond is best-suited for the establishment of a put- and-take fishery for channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. The following recommendations were made for the establishment of such a fishery: (1) Renovation of the pond by draining and deepening it; (2) Removal of the sewer line from the pond; (3) Stocking of catchable size channel catfish at the rate of approximately 300-400 pounds per acre; (4) Periodic monitoring of the water quality.
Buchanan, Tom M.; Houston, James; Nix, Joe F.; Meyer, Richard L.; and Schmitz, Eugene H.. 1978. A Limnological Study of Ricks Pond and the Gulpha Creek Drainage in Garland County, Arkansas. Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, AR. PUB062. 120