The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) recently hosted a field trip to Big Creek Natural Area for visitors and commissioners. Participants watched as Jason Throneberry, aquatic species biologist, demonstrated water quality sampling techniques and discussed how to identify aquatic life that lives in Big Creek.
Located in the eastern portion of Cleburne County, Big Creek Natural Area is approximately 2,000 acres of land, including 5 miles of Big Creek, a major tributary of the Little Red River. The good water quality supports diverse populations of fish and other aquatic life, some of which are considered rare.
Owned and managed by the ANHC, Big Creek NA is designated by ADEQ as both an Extraordinary Resource Water and an Ecologically Sensitive Waterbody. Over the past 5 years, ANHC has evaluated the water quality within the watershed, and surveyed and collected fish and small invertebrates to supplement water quality data. ANHC staff and ADEQ staff routinely collect water quality and aquatic samples from the area to ensure that this special place stays ecologically intact, and the public has a place to enjoy the natural heritage in this beautiful part of Arkansas for decades to come.