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Skip the shopping and online sales this holiday season and celebrate the bounty of the outdoors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s annual trout stocking program at Family and Community Fishing Program locations around the state. AGFC hatchery trucks have been hard at work in the last week delivering loads of rainbow trout to program ponds.
The trout are all raised to catchable size at the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Spring, and are delivered to community ponds in Arkansas once the water temperature has cooled enough to accommodate these cold-water fish. This normally occurs during the third week in November. According to Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program coordinator.
“The cooler water lets us bring trout to some of our anglers who don’t get to visit the White River, Little Red River or any other of our famous trout tailwater fisheries,” Jackson said. “And most of these ponds will still have a healthy supply of channel catfish from our spring and late summer stocking efforts.”
Anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in FCFP locations, and if trout are kept, a trout stamp also is required. The limit for trout in these ponds is three fish per angler per day. Licenses are available at sporting goods stores or online at www.agfc.com/license.
Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing to learn more about the Family and Community Fishing Program and to find a pond near you participating in the winter trout stocking schedule.
If you can’t celebrate “Troutsgiving” with the AGFC, the FCFP hopes you’ll join in the fun of its 2023 Trout Day family fishing event from 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 2 at Pleasantview Park Pond in Russellville. In addition to some fantastic fishing for stocked rainbow trout, the AGFC will hold fish cleaning and cooking demonstrations to show anglers how to get the most out of their catch. Prizes and live music will be rolling for the 3-hour event, and lunch will even be provided for the first 300 anglers who register at www.register-ed.com/events/view/205390. The event is sponsored by the AGFC, the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, CADDIS Fly Fishing Club and the Russellville Recreation and Parks Department.