Current River (middle)


Annual Prospects Report

This section of the Current River extends 70 miles from Akers Ferry to Van Buren in Shannon and Carter counties. Offering some of the most spectacular scenery, clear water, and great smallmouth bass fishing, this is one of the most popular stretches of river in the Ozarks. A smallmouth bass sample was completed in September of 2018 within this section of the river and the size structure of fish was really good and we captured 35 smallmouth bass per hour of sampling, slightly down from 44 per hour in 2015. In 2011 and 2013, a smallmouth bass tagging study was implemented in this section of the Current River. Legal sized (greater-than-or-equal-to 12 inches) fish were tagged near the dorsal fin. Anglers are asked to call the phone number on the tag to report their catch results. Once the tag is returned, a reward will be given to the angler in appreciation for their cooperation. The fish does not need to be harvested, simply clip the wire and release the fish. A report of the results was completed in 2015; overall harvest rate of smallmouth bass was 26 percent and 57 percent of the angler reward tags were returned within one year indicating a high amount of fishing pressure on smallmouth bass. The best places to target smallmouth bass are along rocky sections of the bank and in deep pools with plenty of structure such as rootwads or boulders. In 2017, a seven-inch minimum length limit regulation was put in place for shadow bass (goggle-eye) on the entire Current River. Goggle-eye fishing should be similar to the last few years with a third of the population sampled being over seven inches long. Goggle-eye tend to congregate around rootwads in moderate to slow moving water and can also be caught in eddies below swift moving riffles. Chain pickerel are common in the sections of river between Akers and Two Rivers, and can be found among the thick vegetation in slow moving pools and backwaters. Sucker populations were sampled near Powder Mill in 2017. Estimates of Northern hog suckers and redhorse or "yellow" suckers were lower than 2013 estimates but within the historical range (1,300 suckers per river mile in this section). The best way to access sport fish habitat on this stretch of river is by floating a kayak, canoe or johnboat; some deeper runs and pools may make wade fishing difficult on this section. The National Park Service has camping and access sites at Pulltite, Round Springs, Two Rivers, Powder Mill, and the US Forest Service access at Watercress in Van Buren. For an Ozark Scenic Riverways map of these and other access sites contact the National Park Service in Van Buren at 573-323-4236.

Current River (middle)





Best Bets

From annual prospecting surveys