Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 6/24/2016

These pages are updated on Friday

Beaver Beaver Tail water Bull Shoals Greer's Ferry Kings River
  Millwood Norfork Norfork Tail water White River

 

White River

Updated 6/24/2016

Report by: BERRY BROTHERS GUIDE SERVICE  Fly Fishing For Trout            ABIGAIL’S BROWN Article
 

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for a total of three quarters of an  inch here in Cotter), warm temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories).The lake level at Bull Shoals rose a foot to rest at seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is thirty three and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose one tenth of a foot to rest at seven tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and fourteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose five tenths of a foot to rest at five tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool and eight and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had little generation this week with wadable water every day. Norfork Lake remained steady at two and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet and twenty six and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had no wadable water. 

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are currently at or below seasonable power pool and we should encounter lower levels of generation, on our tailwaters, with limited wadable water. 

On the White, the bite has been erratic. One day is great and the next is slow. During higher levels of generation the river is “dirty” with large amounts of aquatic vegetation suspended in it. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a pink San Juan worm with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).  

Our sulphur hatch provides some of our best dry fly fishing of the year. I have observed a few caddis on the White and have had reports hatches on the Norfork. This is a big mayfly, about a fourteen. Before the hatch I fish pheasant tails. When I see top water activity but no insects, I fish with a partridge and orange. When I see trout taking adults from the top, I switch over to a sulphur parachute. 

The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.  

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly. 

The Norfork has cleared somewhat and has fished better lately. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite fly has been the green butt. 

Dry Run Creek will be very busy this holiday weekend. It is cleared some and fished well. There is another phase of the project to repair the Norfork National Fish Hatchery now going on. Access to the creek is not impaired. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. 

The Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and fishing is better. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).  

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

 COTTER TROUT FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 

BY JOHN BERRY 

When I drove past the ramp at Cotter’s Big Spring Park this morning I noticed a big change from my last visit. This ramp is a few blocks away from my house in the old section of Cotter and I always like to track the river levels by driving by the Cotter Ramp. I was pleased to see that the river level was much lower than my last visit. I had been carefully monitoring the lake levels and generation for all of the lakes in the White River system and I had noted that all are now at or close to power pool with the exception of Beaver, which is dropping quickly. Beaver is always the last to be drawn down to power pool.  

Now that our tailwaters are back in their banks and the river levels are more comfortably navigated we will see significant changes as the water levels drop. The additional flows through the open flood gates and sluice gates have had a profound effect on our rivers. 

One of the first things that you will notice is that many warm water species have been introduced to the cold water environments of our tailwaters. This past weekend Henry Seay, the assistant manager here at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, was fishing at Quarry Park on the Norfork River and caught five bream which is a warm water species. I have had customers come into the shop that have caught walleye recently, in the same stretch of river. 

After the flood of 2008, I saw a striper that was stuck twenty feet up in a tree at McClellan’s, on the Norfork. Later that same day I was wade fishing in the Ace in the Hole water and saw a four foot Gar. I must say that, it was a bit disconcerting, seeing something that big, with that many sharp teeth, lazily swimming near me. It looked just like a Barracuda. It turned out to be more worried about me and left. That same year there were loads of Stripers and other species caught beneath Norfork Dam. There was similar warm water species caught below Bull Shoals Dam. 

Of greater importance are all of the changes to the river itself. With that much additional water coming through the flood gates we have to expect significant change and as the water recedes we will begin to see them. There will be downed trees where none previously existed. Trees that have been reliable markers for years will be gone washed down the river. Delicate banks will have been seriously eroded. Gravel bars will appear where none existed before and there will be new holes scoured in the river bottom. 

The trick is to take your time as you navigate the river for the first few times until you figure out all of the changes. This is particularly important, if you run a prop, like I do. When wading take extra care because there may be a new hole or two where you can float a hat. 

Our rivers are constantly changing and this high water has brought about quite a bit of it. In many respects it will be like learning a new river. Slow down and enjoy it!

As you can see there is something for everyone. I hope to see you there. 

ASK JOHN 

Wanda Windknots asks: are there any hatches happening on the Norfork?

Wanda, there are the usual midges, some caddis and the occasional small mayfly. 

John Berry

 

berrybrothers@infodash.com

www.berrybrothersguides.com

(870) 435-2169

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home. 

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

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Greer's Ferry
Updated: 6/22/2016
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 0.21 feet high Temperature: low 70s

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

Our lake biologists opened the rearing pond on the lake Monday and turning the thread fin shad lose in the lake that they had turned lose in it to spawn which should populate the middle part of the lake with shad real well.   

The black bass fishing is going good with a few fish shallow and a few still in between and headed out deep as the water warms more ,some schooling is still going on on various parts of the lake with the black bass and even some following underneath the hybrids for an easy meal, try texas rigged worms-rigs and football heads for the deeper fish ,spinner baits and small crank baits for the shallow fish and a shaky head for the fish in between.   

The crappie are in the pole timber good and over brush piles suspended 15-25 feet deep and can be caught on minnows and jigs or a combination of both.   

The catfish are eating well all over the lake on a variety of baits and methods.   

The walleye are in 15-28 feet of water , try dragging crawlers and or crank baits for the best results.   

The bream are eating well on small crank baits, in-line spinners, crickets and crawlers in 1-20 feet of water.   

The hybrid and White bass are eating well on and off during the day with early morning and late evening being the best ,some good action is going on through the middle of the right day though.

 Tommy Cauley

Fishing Guide  

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Beaver Lake

Elevation at Normal Pool: 1121.4

Outflow: 1119 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 

Report By:

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Beaver Tail water

 

 

No Report

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Kings River

 

No Report

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BULL SHOALS

updated 6/24/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 657.0 

Outflow: 653

 Level:  Temperature:50s

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Fishing Report by: Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock      "Braggin Board"

No Report

SO, COME FISHING WHENEVER YOU CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.

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Millwood

Updated: 6/20/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 13.00 feet high Temperature:  72 early to 81

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

""""""<º)))><{""""" Fishing & Species Report """""}><(((º>""""""

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 20 June, the lake level continues fluctuating, and is approximately 13 inches above normal conservation pool.  Current exists in Little River w/gate discharge around 14,400 CFS on Monday.  Water temps slightly rose, over the past week.  Navigation considered cautious this week.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 72ºF early to 81ºF later in the day, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day.  Several boat ramps and parks campgrounds have re-opened from recent high water flooding and the Millwood State Park has reopened boat ramps, the marina, and one circle drive of campsites, and are back in operations now. 

Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 260.3 ft-msl, and slowly falling with river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 ft-msl.  As of Monday the tailwater level was also falling, at 244.41 ft-msl.   

Clarity and visibility has worsened over the past week, in most areas on main lake from recent rains and thunderstorms.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 3-6 inches.  Little River's visibility is heavy stain depending on location and ranges from 5-8 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is improving ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office.  To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free Millwood Project information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corp of Engineers project is open, at 877-444-6777.  Call the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800.  Call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for an officer, biologist, or to report AGFC regulation violation at 800-482-9262.  

The Details: 

Largemouth Bass:  The Bass are more in a feeding mood since the recent increase in temperatures over the past week.  Warmer days, sun, and more stable weather patterns have the bass in a feeding mood. 

During the early morning, buzz baits, frogs, Bass Assassin Shads and Pop-R's continue getting a fairly good reaction bite at the surface.  Later morning after the top water bite is done, and throughout the afternoon, chatterbaits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits are working.  Best color of War Eagle spinnerbaits over the past week or so, has been Spot Remover, Fire Tiger, and white/chartreuse.  Over the past week, the chatterbaits in black and blue, the spinnerbaits in Spot Remover and Fire Tiger, and big 10" worms in black grape, black, or blue fleck, and plum have been working well for Largemouths.    

Bass Assassin Shads in Black, chartreuse pepper, and rainbow trout colors colors are catching healthy Largemouths in newly sprouting lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees in the cleanest water you can find away from current in Little River.   

Rat-L-Traps in Chartreuse shiner, gold, and chrome/blue colors all continue working on sunny days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber, around cypress trees/knees.  Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel bends in the deeper sections of creek channels around 8-12 feet of depth away from river current.  Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working as well over the past week with improving water clarity, best colors have been the Ghost, Millwood Magic, or Gold Shad color patterns on cloudy days seem to draw best reaction.   

Oversized magnum 4" megabass tubes and gizits with loud, internal clacking rattles, are working around stumps on flats, and in creek channels in the off colored or stained water.  Best colors over the past few days have been black neon, black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, and bluegill.  Using small, unpegged weight that knocks against the internal rattle of the tube will draw good reactions in the off-colored, stained water.  If you can locate clearer water in back of the oxbows, smoke/black/red flake or purple smoke colors seems to be the color that is working better. 

White Bass:  Schools of Whites continue roaming Little River, and the creek mouths dumping into the river, between Horseshoe Lake and Cemetery Slough.  Whites were surface schooling on shad over the past several weeks, late in the morning hours, in Horseshoe.  Sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past week, feeding in lily pads on shad.  These Bass were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos, and Johnson chrome or gold spoons, from 2-5 feet deep or surface plugs like the Cordell Crazy Shad and Clear Baby Torpedos.   

Crappie:  disappeared with all the muddy water and current!  

Cats:  Cats continue biting consistently the past week in Little River, more especially with the increase in discharge and river current on trot lines using blood bait, cottonseed mill cake, Chicken gizzards, and hot dogs, set 7-12 feet deep.

  

                                            }><(((º>   Lake Level & River Conditions Report    <º)))><{ 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 72ºF early to 81ºF range, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day.  Navigation is considered cautious with current this week.  USACE is working to replace missing river buoys along Little River. 

Lake level currently is 260.3 ft-msl, with discharge at the dam and river current, which is approx 13 inches above normal conservation pool.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 ft-msl.  Gate discharge rate around 14,400 CFS. The tailwater level is 244.41 ft-msl and falling. 

Clarity and visibility has improved over the past week, from all the recent water level fluctuations, more especially the oxbows.  Main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 3-6 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-8 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office.  To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corps of Engrs project is open, at 877-444-6777 or the Millwood State Park campground at 870-898-2800.  Millwood State Park recently reopened the boat ramps, marina, and a ring of campsites a few weeks ago and are back in operation. 

Wear your Life Jacket and kill switch!!  If you are suddenly or unexpectedly thrown from your boat, it could be your only chance of survival.  Use caution navigating Little River in low light conditions, SLOW DOWN, and pass friendly to other boaters!  As always, careful watch for any random floaters and debris in Little River's current, and wearing your PFD and kill switch is a requirement! 

Visit with us on our website, YouTube, and on Facebook, for the most current Millwood Lake fishing and water conditions report, updated weekly.  See some great catch and release photos, sponsor links, tons of great information and resources on the lake available to you, along with excellent related direct links to Arkansas' State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Black Bass Program, The US Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas.com and tons more great fishing stuff....

Come see what all the excitement's about! 

Mike 

Thanks for your interest in Millwood Lake Guide Service ~ Arkansas' Best Bass Fishing!

Mike Siefert

Owner/Operator

www.MillwoodGuideService.com

""GOFISH""""<º)))><{{"""  

22+ years in the professional guide business on Millwood Lake, since 1990!

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Norfork

Updated 6/24/2016

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 55 to 58

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Report by: Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait 

Fishing Norfork Lake has been great this March.

Don't miss out on the 2nd annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby being sponsored by the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce. It is easy to enter, just stay and register for the Derby at a participating Norfork Lake lodging facility. You could win up to $1,500. Catch the longest fish in 3 different species (striped bass, black bass and crappie) and become a winner for 2014. The Derby runs through June 15, 2014. For more information go to www.NorforkFishingDerby.com or call 870-492-5113. Spring is the best time to catch many big fish on Norfork Lake. And remember to bring a Big Net!

For information on the Jordan Campground, please call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.  The Jordan Campground is open from April 1st to October 1st.

 No Report

Updated: 6/24/2016

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Overall, Norfork Lake fishing is good to excellent. Top water action for stripers, hybrids, whites and largemouth bass is occurring at sunrise and sunset. Now, top water action is not always occurring in the same location every morning, but typically will be somewhere in the general area. If you find a large concentration of bait on the service there is a very good chance a school of fish will erupt on that bait at some time. Some days you will see a large area start to boil with fish going crazy, but other times you might just see some swirls on the service. Cast some sort of top water bait at the swirl or boiling water and hang on. Top water many also occur at any depth of water, close or far away from the shoreline. 

Striped and hybrid bass fishing has been great the last week, including this morning. I landed 5 hybrids and 3 stripers on both a Zara Spook and live thread fin shad. There were fish coming up along a bluff line down from a main lake point. You can find the fish up tight on the banks early in the morning and as the sun comes up, they move out from the shore a little and have been 5 to 20 feet down, no matter what water depth. I have been trying to leave my dock at 5AM to get into some night time action with a stick bait or I pitch a thread fin shad to the shore line with no weight. Both baits have been working picking up stripers, hybrids and walleye in the dark. I have been long lining live bait with a 1/16 ounce or a 1/8 ounce split shot and slowly moving about with my trolling motor. This has been effective in both shallow and deep water. Good artificial baits to use are a blade type bait or a swim bait, just get either of them to the proper depth of the fish. Saturday morning Brian, a guest of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, landed a monster 35 pound striped bass. He was fishing with a small 3-4 inch thread fin shad and had the battle of his life. This fish will be a wall fixture. I have been fishing mid to the upper portions of the lake, but I have many reports that striped bass fishing is also good in the southern portion of the lake. 

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is also very good. Many of the fish have completed their spawn and now are on the post spawn feed, Early and late in the day you can get this species with a top water bait or swim bait. They tend to go down deeper as the sun comes up. Switch to a jig & pig or some sort of plastic bait and work it along the bottom from 5 feet to 17 feet of water. Most of the bass I am marking, no matter what time of day, are in less than 20 feet of water. 

Pan fishing is also picking up. A couple of our guests caught a boat load of big blue gills in the middle of the day off of bluff line cuts. If you can find a good ledge that is around 30 feet down they will be hanging out. Wax worms were their bait of choice. No need to sit indoors in the middle of day, blue gills are a great eating fish. Crappie are moving into brush in 20 - 30 feet of water. They typically will be on the tops of the brush or between the brush and the shoreline. 

Catfish are starting to move into the shore line. Trotlines are picking up a few good fish. I caught a nice 6 pound channel this morning on live shad in 20 feet of water. 

The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with the past couple days of rain. The current level is 553.57. The surface water temperature has also risen to 67 degrees as of this morning. Parts of the main lake is clear, but many areas are stained due to the rains. The creeks and coves are also stained. Great fishing color to the water.

 

Updated: 6/24/2016

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The bite has slowed on Norfork Lake; the shad have completed their spawn and moved off the banks. There is still a topwater bite but over the last few days it seems the stripers are surfacing more infrequently on the points. I fished the lower end of the lake off the points within site of the dam. It was a very active week for action. I had a least 50 strikes on my baits. It was fun to watch but most time the fish were not taking the bait just slapping at it until they killed it. We did catch fish each day but not the numbers we should have. With the 3 ½ inches of rain we’ve had the last few days I expect some of the stripers to run back up the creek. The stripers have not spawned yet so some of males are ripe while others are still firm. It should happen anytime. I have had reports that some good size walleye are being caught at night. One friend caught three nice walleye and lost a 5 lb one at the boat. He was throwing a black and gold Rapala. He twitch it a few times then reel a couple of turns and do all over again. He also threw a small crankbait reeling reel slow. He was fishing the Big Creek area.  

Some days it’s very rewarding to take clients out and see their faces when they catch a bunch of stripers. Then you get the day nothing works. The weather is a big factor in the spring, a storm can change a whole pattern you been fishing in one night. One day you’re a hero and the next a zero. That’s the life of a guide. I took Shawn, Greg, & John Saturday morning after an all night rain storm. We did not have a bite for the first 45 minutes then the fish became active. It was still slow but consistent, then in 1 hour we caught 6 stripers and finish with 9 fish in the last 1 ½ hours. Everybody was very happy. Saturday afternoon we had a major storm with hail and then 2 storms rolled in during that night and everything changed. I took my clients to the same spots and over 4 ½ hours we only had 4 bites. The fish were there but were totally shutdown. Needless to say my clients were not happy. They knew what I did the day before and wondering why we could not catch any, it was a long day.  

The stripers along with the other large predator species have moved into their spring feed patterns with the air and water temperatures about normal. Make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the Spring Striper Tactics article!

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 6/24/2016

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 553.6 and the water temp is in the mid to upper 60’s. The stripers, hybrids and whites are coming up at first light and staying up for an hour to a hour and a half. I was out this morning and had two hybrids(6-7lbs) and a striper (10-12lbs) in fifteen minutes on a Zara spook. Then I left the area and went looking for more fish. After the top water bite stops throw a swim bait and you may get a few more. You can throw the swim bait to the top water fish and get bit as well. They are coming up just before sunset too. The night bite is still going on and the key to fishing at night for stripers is to reel your stick bait SLOW. If you see some on your depth finder drop a jigging spoon. Bass are still up shallow and will hit a spook, swim bait, jig and soft jerk bait.

For more information on Lake Norfork go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com  or  www.FishNorfork.com 

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