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Lake Conway, located three miles south of the town of Conway in the Central Region of Arkansas, is the largest recreational lake ever constructed by a state wildlife agency and the first lake constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Its average depth is six feet, with a maximum depth of 18 feet. Known as an excellent fishing lake, 6,700-acre Lake Conway is approximately eight miles long with 52 miles of shoreline for fishing and boating.
Created by damming Palarm Creek, Lake Conway was opened and dedicated in 1951. In 1968 a nursery pond was built on the east side of the lake. The nursery pond allows for stocking of crappie, largemouth bass and catfish directly into Lake Conway. Fingerling fish from hatcheries are fed in the nursery pond until they reach a size that is too big for most predator fish. Before the nursery pond, crappie were almost non-existent in Lake Conway. Large populations of bass, catfish, bream, chain pickerel, crappie, bluegill, and redear make Lake Conway one of the state's most popular fishing spots. The lake is also stocked with a hybrid bream, a bluegill/green sunfish cross. Partially submerged stumps, log piles, and cypress trees provide cover for the sport fish.
Getting out on Lake Conway is easy with several public boat ramps located around the lake. Boat rentals are available at commercial docks on the lake and lakeside bait shops provide fishing supplies, and picnic grounds. There is no camping on the lake.
For hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, and entertainment, the town of Conway, located about 30 miles north of Little Rock, is just north of Lake Conway. Three colleges have active art programs for the general public including music, art exhibits, and theater. An annual concert is presented by the Conway Symphony Orchestra. Conway is also home to a festival called Toad Suck Daze. Held downtown during the first weekend in May, the family oriented festival is free to the public and attendance is often over 150,000. The festival gets its name from the Toad Suck Lock and Dam located on the Arkansas River.
For the outdoor enthusiast, there are numerous lakes and parks in and near Lake Conway for fishing, camping, swimming, picnicking, canoeing and other outdoor fun: Wooly Hollow State Park, located north of Conway, is a 399-acre park with boat and canoe rentals, swimming and picnic areas, and campsites with RV hookups. Lake Beaverfork, located in Conway, provides fishing as well as swimming and boating activities. Toad Suck Park, located on the Arkansas River, just a few miles from Conway, is a beautiful park with pavilions for picnics as well as camping sites. Pickles Gap Village, on the outskirts of Conway, features a variety of gift, souvenir, antique and craft shops and a restaurant. Primitive campsites are available at Camp Robinson Wildlife Demonstration Area which covers almost 30,000 acres and offers a shooting range, archery range, trap and skeet facilities, a dog field trial and training area, and hunting for small game and deer. Hiking, bird watching and trail riding can also be enjoyed.
If planning a vacation to the Central Region of Arkansas, be sure to pay a visit to beautiful Lake Conway, known statewide for its excellent year round fishing. The area offers something for everyone and provide endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
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