Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Arkansas River aquatic systems, biotic trophic pyramid


The Arkansas River originates in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colorado, and extends through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, where it flows into the Mississippi River. The Arkansas River is approximately 1,450 miles in length and drains a total area of 160,500 square miles. The river and its tributaries have been developed for navigation, flood control, and hydro-electric power, as well as recreational purposes under the River and Harbor Act of July 24, 1946. The development of the Arkansas River for recreational use will be completed in the near future. The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was completed from its confluence with the Mississippi River to Little Rock in 1969 and subsequently to Fort Smith by 1970. Lock and dam construction, channel realignment and other activities have resulted in many changes in the river’s natural characteristics.

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