LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program will conclude its final trout stockings for the 2019-20 winter stocking season this week at ponds throughout Arkansas. This is the last chance to hook into a specially tagged prize-winning rainbow trout before the water warms too much to support these cold-water fish.
Each year, the AGFC stocks rainbow trout from the Jim Hinkle Spring River Hatchery in ponds throughout Arkansas while the water temperature is low enough to support them. The program is part of the AGFC’s continued mission to recruit the next generation of anglers, no matter where they live in The Natural State.
“Thousands of people live in urban areas where they don’t have easy access to a large fishing location,” said Maurice Jackson, FCFP coordinator for the AGFC. “We stock locations near them with channel catfish during the warmer months and trout when it’s cold to offer fishing opportunities they may never get to enjoy otherwise. Once they’re hooked, we hope they begin to branch out and learn more about all the great fishing opportunities we have in Arkansas.”
In addition to the enjoyment of catching and eating the stocked fish, anglers have the opportunity to catch specially tagged trout throughout winter to receive special prizes. This year, everyone who catches a tagged trout and returned the tag to the AGFC has been entered in special drawings to win guided trout-fishing trips on the famous Little Red River with Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service.
“We have our next drawing coming up at 2 p.m. on Feb. 14, which will be streamed on the AGFC’s Facebook Page,” Jackson said. “We’ll have another drawing in March to wrap up the season. There are still prize-winning tags out there, and anyone who mails their tag to us by Feb. 29 is eligible to win.”
The AGFC will begin stocking channel catfish in FCFP locations once water temperatures have warmed.
“Our FCFP anglers should be knee-deep in catfish opportunities by April,” Jackson said.
Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing to find a Family and Community Fishing Program location near you.