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White River (Arkansas): Wikis


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White River
The White River at Des Arc, Arkansas
Country United States
States Arkansas, Missouri
 - left James River, Nork Fork River, Black River
 - right Buffalo River, Little Red River, Bayou des Arc
Cities Newport, Batesville, Fayetteville
Source Boston Mountains
 - location Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, Madison County, Arkansas
 - elevation 2,260 ft (689 m) [1]
 - coordinates 35°50′20″N 93°36′16″W / 35.83889°N 93.60444°W / 35.83889; -93.60444 [2]
Mouth Mississippi River
 - location Desha County, Arkansas
 - elevation 188 ft (57 m) [3]
 - coordinates 33°57′5″N 91°4′53″W / 33.95139°N 91.08139°W / 33.95139; -91.08139 [2]
Length 722 mi (1,162 km)
Basin 27,765 sq mi (71,911 km2) [4]
Discharge for Devalls Bluff
 - average 26,180 cu ft/s (741 m3/s) [5]
 - max 154,000 cu ft/s (4,361 m3/s)
 - min 3,230 cu ft/s (91 m3/s)
Map of the White River watershed

The White River is a 722 mile (1,162 km) long river that flows through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Missouri.



The source of the White River is in the Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas, in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest southeast of Fayetteville. The river flows northwards from its source in northwest Arkansas, loops up through southwest Missouri near Branson, travels back into Arkansas, and then heads generally southeast to its mouth at the Mississippi River.

On entering the Mississippi River Delta region near Batesville, Arkansas, the river becomes navigable to shallow-draft vessels, and its speed decreases considerably. The final 10 miles of the river serves as the last segment of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System; this part of the channel is deeper than the rest of the river.

Despite being much shorter than the Arkansas River, it carries nearly as much water—normally over 8,200 cubic feet per second, and as much as 40,000 ft³/s during flooding.

White River near Flippin, AR

River modifications

A controversial plan to deepen the navigation channel of the river (above the McClellan-Kerr segment) is under consideration though it is opposed by many Arkansans. The lower portion of the river contains a multitude of wildlife species including bear, turkey, songbirds, and over 160 species of fish. Many residents of Arkansas believe that deepening the navigation channel will adversely affect the wildlife which is a major source of tourism in the area. However, many farmers along parts of the White support the proposal for economic reasons.

Lake Taneycomo was created in 1913 when the Empire District Electric Company built a dam just south of Forsyth, Missouri.[6] Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Table Rock Lake are man-made lakes or reservoirs created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the authority of the Flood Control Act of 1938. A total of eight dams impound the upper White River, six in Arkansas and two in Missouri. The White River National Wildlife Refuge lies along the lower part of the river.


The tributaries of the White River include Cache River, Bayou des Arc, Little Red River, Black River, North Fork River, Buffalo River, James River, and Roaring River. Some cities that lie on the White River are Newport, Arkansas, Augusta, Arkansas, and Batesville, Arkansas.

See also


  1. ^ Google Earth elevation for GNIS source coordinates.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: White River, USGS GNIS.
  3. ^ Google Earth elevation for GNIS mouth coordinates.
  4. ^ Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the White River Minimum Flow Reallocation Study, AR | Federal Register Environmental Documents | USEPA
  5. ^ USGS Water Data Reports for the United States, 2005.
  6. ^ Pfister, Fred (2006). Insider's Guide: Branson and the Ozark Mountains. ISBN 0-7627-4042-6.  


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