DeGray Lake was once known for thick beds of aquatic vegetation, which included non-native species such as hydrilla and Brazilian elodea that grew to as deep as 20 feet in some places and caused issues with boating and other recreation.
In 2008 and 2009, extremely low water throughout winter exposed the root systems of this vegetation, killing much of it. Spring rain in each of those years then flooded the system quickly, placing what vegetation remained under many feet of muddy water with very little sunlight penetration, snuffing it out.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff have put hundreds of hours into trying to get aquatic grasses back into DeGray to improve available habitat for bass, crappie and other sport fish. Their latest attempt includes some innovative floating enclosures to give plants a jump-start.