Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Arkansas, Arkansas River, water quality


A preliminary ecological survey of Dardanelle Reservoir during the construction phase of Arkansas Power and Light Company's nuclear generating facility was conducted from January 1970 through June 1974. The reservoir is characterized by relatively shallow depths and a high flow-thru rate. A number of features were associated with these characteristics. The reservoir carried a great deal of suspended material and exhibited high turbidities throughout most of the year. Typical thermal stratification and oxygen depletion were only rarely observed. Many of the physico-chemical parameters exhibited relatively high values in comparison to other Arkansas lakes and reservoirs, but due to absence of prolonged periods of stratification and stagnation, they did not undergo the extreme fluctuations sometimes observed in other reservoirs. Plankton and benthic samples were collected at least nine times per year from ten stations. These stations were selected to include both shallow and deep locations and to include points both within and outside the projected area of thermal influence when the plant became operational. There were a great variety of forms in the phytoplankton with the diatoms making up a considerable portion. The level of turbidity appeared to dampen somewhat the extreme fluctuations sometimes found in "bloom" periods. In the zooplankton the rotifers Brachionus, Keratella, and Polyarthra predominated followed by the microcrustaceans Cyclops and Bosmina. Both the plankton and the benthic fauna showed great seasonal variation. The benthic fauna consisted primarily of Chironomidae, Oligochaeta, and Hexagenia with the Chironomidae predominating in the shallower depths and the Oligochaeta exhibiting increased abundance and importance in the deeper stations.

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