Arkansas` congressional delegation is fighting to keep the channels of commerce open on the Ouachita River, but official traffic statistics show business isn`t exactly booming. U-S Representative Mike Ross testified in front of the House Budget Committee this week to protest President Bush`s plan to cut all funding for the Army Corps of Engineers navigation project on the Ouachita and Black River system. The system runs from Lake Hamilton in central Arkansas to the Red River in central Louisiana. Traditionally, the federal budget has set aside ten million dollars for the Corps to maintain a channel and four lock and dam facilities along the 336-mile Ouachita-Black system. But under pressure from the Bush administration to make cuts, the Corps recommended eliminating Eight million dollars previously set aside for navigation maintenance for the Ouachita-Black. That leaves just under Two million dollars for recreational uses in the 2005 budget. An angry Camden Mayor Chris Claymaker blamed Office of Management and Budget for threatening the future of the river that flows through his town of 13,000 people. Ross tried to appeal to the House Budget Committee about the river`s unmeasured utility. He said Cross Oil in Smackover would lose 125 jobs and Six million dollars in annual revenues if river navigation isn`t maintained. He said Georgia Pacific in Crossett and International Paper in Bastrop, La., also rely on the Ouachita`s navigation channel.