We should not give up on the elderly, not even in the case of a lake.

Lake Hindsville in Northwest Arkansas has had chronic problems down through the years, but there are improvements appearing, according to fisheries biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Lake Hindsville is small at just 35 acres, normal level, and it is not well known outside its area. But it has a history along with providing fishing for decades for people in its vicinity.

The history? Lake Hindsville was the first lake completed by the Game and Fish Commission. That was in 1949. Note that word "completed."

Lake Conway was the first lake project authorized by the Game and Fish Commission. That took place late in 1946, and Lake Conway’s story is fairly well known. A group of Conway people sat around a campfire, and someone said, "We need to get a lake built in the Palarm Creek Bottoms."

With some effort, Dr James H. Flanagin and friends convinced the Game and Fish Commission to build the lake. A good deal of land was donated, but lawsuits over other land delayed the construction of the dam for the lake until October 1950. It was completed and the gates closed on July 4, 1951.

Lake Hindsville’s birth stems from early in 1949 when the Huntsville postmaster, also a state highway commissioner, came to Little Rock and was successful on selling the Game and Fish commissioners on creating a small lake for fishing in his county.

This fellow’s name was Orval Faubus. Later, during his long governorship, he was successful in establishing Withrow Springs State Park some distance east of Lake Hindsville.

With donated land and with a few month’s work, Lake Hindsville was completed late in 1949.

But it had a problem. It leaked.

That is serious for a lake. Repairs were tried several times, then a few years back a major overhaul of the lake allowed the dam to be renovated to stop, or at least, slow, the leakage.

Ron Moore is the district fisheries supervisor for the Game and Fish Commission. He said, "Lake Hindsville is still way down, but it should fill back up pretty soon. We are seeing a lot of small bass on the lake. Earlier this year, Jon Stein (fisheries biologist) and I electrofished the lake, and we counted something like 200 bass an hour."

That allowed the biologists to recommend a lifting of the catch-and-release rule that was in place on Lake Hindsville.

"The bass are small, but there are enough of them for people to keep some," Moore said.

There is a reduced limit of five per day for catfish on the lake.

Bluegill fishing can be good, Moore said.

"There is a lot of bank fishing on the lake. There is not a concrete ramp for launching boats, but fishermen can drive down to the lake and slide their boats in."

Lake Hindsville is about three miles west of the town of Hindsville and northwest of Huntsville, the Madison County seat, where food, lodging and supplies are available.

The lake is off U.S. 412. A sign on the highway indicates a small gravel road, and from there no other directions are present. At the first fork in the gravel road, go to the right over a hill, and the lake appears.

Banks are only moderately steep, so bank anglers can walk down and go to casting. Fishing is by rod and reel only, according to the lake rules.


Joe Mosby is the retired news editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas’ best known outdoor writer. His work is distributed by the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock. He can be reached by e-mail at jhmosby@cyberback.com.