Stores and shopping centers may try to coax everyone with low prices for Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, but the AGFC has an even better opportunity to enjoy some fast action, and it will only cost you the price of a fishing license and trout stamp. AGFC hatcheries and the Family and Community Fishing Program are gearing up for “Troutsgiving,” the agency’s annual kickoff to fall stockings of rainbow trout in program ponds.
Each year, rainbow trout raised at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Springs 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 timing is right on track to begin running trout next Wednesday, Nov. 16.
“The cold weather gives us the opportunity to bring these fish to some of our anglers who can’t venture up to Arkansas’s famous trout tailwaters,” Jackson said. “We’ve added these stockings to our program for more than a decade, and many of our anglers get excited to see the switch.”
Jackson says specially tagged trout also will be released in program ponds later in December to offer even more incentives for anglers to get out and enjoy a day by the pond during winter.
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 five 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. And, if you’re looking for ways to cook up a few of these fish for a nontraditional holiday supper, there are more than a few recipes to try in the digital version of the AGFC’s “A Celebration of Conservation – 100 AGFC Recipes Cookbook.”