FAYETTEVILLE — The Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the nation’s grassroots army for trout and fisheries restoration and conservation, has named Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream Habitat Supervisor Tim Burnley as this year’s recipient of the annual Ray Smith Conservation Award.
Burnley, who has worked for the AGFC for 25 years, coordinates the many construction projects on Arkansas’s streams to increase habitat quality for fish, angler access and overall water quality. The most recent example of this work is the recent renovation of the tailwater below Beaver Dam in Rogers, which was a key factor in Trout Unlimited Chapter 514 in Fayetteville earning the honor to host TU’s national annual conference in 2019 and promoting the fishery on a national level. A tour of the tailwater and presentation by Burnley during work to stabilize the tailwater’s shoreline was a high point in the conference program. This was the first time the annual conference was held in Arkansas or any state with tailwater fisheries as its primary trout-fishing destinations.
Burnley said he is humbled by the recognition and credits an entire team of individuals for the amazing work done at Beaver Tailwater and elsewhere in the state.
“This award is a result of a lot of hard work by the entire Trout Habitat Program team and highlights the tremendous partnership that has been fostered for years with the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Trout Unlimited,” Burnley said. “It is an honor to be recognized by such an organization.”
The Ray Smith Conservation Award is earned by someone who has demonstrated outstanding dedication, volunteerism and stewardship of the cold-water streams in Arkansas by promoting the National TU mission to Conserve, Protect, Reconnect and Restore cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.