Storm Creek, a cool swimming water haven to many in the area, is known for its swimming, camping and hiking opportunities. It is also famous for its abundant wildlife readily seen in the national forest and includes whitetail deer, squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, wild turkey and a wide variety of other birds that have made their home in and on the lake, including alligators.
The 425-acre Storm Creek Lake was constructed atop Crowley's Ridge in east central Arkansas in 1938. It lies within the south end of the St. Francis National Forest, and two national scenic byways—the Great River Road and the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, pass nearby. It's a popular source for fishing and swimming but with the hotter temperatures climbing and the increased summer activity on the water, many are wondering if it safe to swim with alligators lurking.
Public Information Coordinator for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Keith Stephens reports that so far there have been no reports of any alligator attacks in or around Storm Creek. However, he stresses the importance of taking certain precautions while out on the water.
“Always remember that an alligator is a wild animal, don't feed it and keep a safe distance away from the marsh and swamp water where they normally reside,” commented Stephens in a phone interview with The Helena World.
Mary Maercklein with AGFC reported that there has been one alligator removed within the last month but not because of an attack.
“We've never had any alligator attack that I am aware of in the time that I have worked with AG&FC but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take precautions,” added Stephens.
Stephens states that if an alligator is spotted, lake goers should report it to AG&FC in order to continue maintaining the lakes safety.
For more information on AG&FC, visit www.afgc.org or contact their toll free number at 1-800-364-4263.