Ouachita, Arkansas, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|Ouachita River at Remmel Dam above Jones Mill, AR|
|usgs-07359002||2300 - 9500 cfs||II||00h42m||270 cfs (too low)|
|No whitewater play, or extremely limited play in just a few shallow spots. Gauge (1550 sq.mi.drainage) is below dam upstream which regulates flow. A few tribs intervene, but gauge should fairly accurately reflect flows in this reach.|
Great playspot from 2/3 to full generation (2400-4000 cfs). Great for beginners and experts
alike. Many places for novices and intermediate skilled paddlers to work on basics of rolls,
ferries, eddies, surfing, etc. Some nice places for freestyle tricks as well (squirts,
cartwheels, wavewheels, loops, spins, etc.)
The main playspots from river right to river left (at normal full generation flow) are:
Tiger's Jaw (aka Lion's Den) - Located on the far river right to the right side of the rock island. Small hole good for surfing, spining cartwheeling, looping. Watch the rock in far river right side of the hole and the rock 25 feet below the hole. A fast roll is advised before playing this spot. This is the hole in the above photo. Need full generation flow for optimum, lower flows offer a sticky sidesurf hole with some blast potential. High flows make it flushy.
Island - Small rock island for resting and viewing. Nice eddy to work on flatwater skills and rolls.
Spin Hole - Located just to the left of the rock island. Small hole great for spinning and side surfing. Great for learning these skills. This area offers several places to work on skills for attainments, eddies and ferries. At higher flows potential cartwheels on river right side of hole. Attainment moves available around here.
Front Surf Wave - A small but fast wave. Good for working on surfing skills. Lower levels (2/3 generation) still offer a surf wave plus a small spin hole
Suck Hole - Small sticky pourover in the middle of the river. Great for blasts and blastwheels. An attainment move is possible to the river right of the hole. 2/3 flow is not as dynamic, but small spin hole develops above.
Main Eddy - First large eddy out from the left bank. Large eddy to set up to access the river left features, recover from swims, just hang out. A nice resting rock is located at the top of the eddy. Good squirtboating is available on the eddyline.
Cartwheel Hole - Small hole good for spins, cartwheels and loops at optimum flows. Higher end flows form more of a frothy wave with a small sweet spot.
Surf Wave - Just to the left of the Cartwheel Hole, this small wave is nice to park on. Spins and vertical moves are possible in the frothier parts.
Left Eddy - Large eddy on left bank next to trail for access to the surf wave as well as swimming and boating instruction.
Near the I-30 bridge. Take the Malvern exit on I-30(East on Hwy 270). Turn right on River Creek Road, between McDonalds and Wendys. Follow the road as it curves right (between Wal-mart and strip mall) and crosses a small creek. Turn left onto South River Creek Road and follow to the stop sign at the end. Turn right and follow this road upstream and under the I-30 bridge until you see the parking area near the restrooms & pavillion.
Improvements to the River Park: A new boat ramp and parking area are provided downstream from the
upper ledge on river left next to the restrooms and pavillion. Paved walking trail from boat ramp
to the ledge next to the bank. A longer paved trail goes upstream offering several
overlooks of the river.
There is another rapid located below the I-30 bridge at the Tanner Street bridge site. It can be accessed by traveling (South)West on I-30 and take the first exit after the crossing the Ouachita River Bridge (you can see the Rockport Ledge upstream to the right). Turn left and cross over I-30 and take a left at the next intersection. Park at the end of the road at the concrete baricades where the old Tanner Street Bridge was. A short trail leads to the river.
This rapid is more diffcult to play due to the lack of good access eddies and irregular river features due to dynamite blasting and debris from old collapsed bridges and other structures. Plans are underway to make whitewater access and play better. This is an excellent place for Swiftwater Training Courses, which take place regularly at the site.
Aerial Photo Map
Releases generally start around noon or earlier on summer days, check the entergy website on how to get notified of the generation schedule. Entergy Hydro Page
From Memorial day weekend through Labor day weekend, Entergy plans to release a minimum of 3600 CFS (full generation flow) from Remmel Dam from about noon (12:00pm) until about 3:00 PM. Local rains and/or a high demand for energy could increase the duration. Water should arrive at the Rockport ledge about 2:30 PM each Saturday and Sunday afternoon, when released on this schedule. Typical releases are 6-10 hours in normal years.
There are a few hotels and several restaurants in the Malvern area, most of which are on HWY 270. Nearest camping is 15-20 minutes away at Lake Catherine State Park.
The City of Malvern and Hot Springs County have formed the Ouachita River Park Commission to
pursue the further creation of the Park along the river. An access ramp, riverside trail,
restrooms, change rooms and pavillion have already been constructed. Additional park improvements
are proposed for the future, including a whitewater enhancement project at the Tanner Bridge
Design whitewater and streambank improvements for the site from the Upper Rockport Ledge to the new bridge site. This includes recommendations for in-channel improvements to enhance boating and fish habitat, as well as access and bank improvements. The plans call for:
* Improvements that are structurally and hydraulically sound, aesthetically pleasing, and natural in appearance;
* structures that are designed to withstand major flooding as well as help reduce any bank erosion problems;
* enjoyable whitewater features for boaters of all ability levels; * enhanced habitat for fish; and
* an area that can be enjoyed by bank users and boaters.
* Improvements which meet goals set forth by the Ouachita River Park Commission.
* Develop whitewater features that will provide freestyle boating opportunities at minimum release flows (~300 cfs) up to normal release flows (4000+ cfs), with the 4000 cfs flow providing an advanced freestyle wave/hole feature.
* Provide features for advanced swiftwater rescue training courses.
The conceptual plans and 404 permit for whitewater improvements have been approved and final design of the enhancements is currently underway.