The White River (WR) is located in the states of both Arkansas and Missouri. At 722 miles long, the river begins in the northwest of Arkansas, specifically in the Boston Mountains, and then flows into southern Missouri. At its end, however, the WR returns to Arkansas before flowing into the Mississippi River. Its official location is in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest in Madison County, Arkansas.
River Course of the White River
The WR has a very interesting course between the states of Arkansas and Mississippi. Although it is shorter than the Arkansas River by many miles, it is a very strong and powerful body of water, carrying nearly 20,000 cubic feet of water per second on average. At its highest speed during floods, the White River can carry water at a speed of more than 100,000 cubic feet per second.
The start of the White River is in the Boston Mountain in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, located in the southeast direction of the city of Fayetteville. Fayetteville is the third largest city in Arkansas. From there, the White River flows in a northern direction, looping through the southwest region of Missouri. There, in the city of Branson, the White River merges into Lake Taneycomo which is held back by the Powersite Dam. From there, the White River flows back to Arkansas in a southeast direction before eventually merging into the mouth of the Mississippi River near Batesville, Arkansas. For the last 10 miles of the White River, it is part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
The White River flows at an elevation of 2,260 feet at its start in the Boston Mountains. On average, the White River flows at a speed of 26,180 cu ft/s. At its minimum, it flows at a speed of 3,230 cu ft/s and at its maximum, it flows at a speed of 154,000 cu ft/s. Its basin is at 27,765 sq mi and it measures at 722 feet long. At its mouth on the Mississippi River in Desha County, Arkansas, the White River is at an elevation of 188 feet.
There are many tributaries located along the pathway of the White River. A tributary is a when a smaller river or stream flows into a larger body of water such as a larger river, like the Mississippi River, or a lake. Among the tributaries of the White River are the Cache River, Bayou des Arc, Little Red River, Black River, North Fork River, Crooked Creek, Buffalo River, Kings River, James River and Roaring River.
A popular reason many come to the White River is for fishing. The White River is known for its popular trout along the upper region of the river near Beaver Lake. The trout population is very abundant throughout the White River with many species including rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Another popular fish that many come to the White River for is the white bass. The most popular fishing spots along the White River are at Bull Shoals Lake and the North Fork River.