Trout permit prices are going up.
Arkansas’s resident trout permit will rise from $5 to $10. The additional money will be used on trout management and hatcheries in the state.
Arkansas Game and Fish commissioners will hear the first reading of a similar price increase on nonresident trout permits at today’s Game and Fish town hall meeting in Springdale.
The increase is the first for resident anglers in 32 years and will be the first for nonresident anglers in the last 16 years if passed by the commission.
In that time, costs of operation for hatchery work, trout management and increased access for anglers have increased.
Trout anglers require a special permit in addition to their regular fishing license.
“The rainbow trout most anglers catch in Arkansas don’t reproduce well here, so they have to be stocked through hatcheries,” said Melissa Jones, manager of the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Trout Hatchery in Mammoth Spring.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery and the Norfork National Fish Hatchery for Arkansas anglers, and Game and Fish supplements that with fish from our facility here in Mammoth Spring.”
Jones said all Game and Fish hatcheries are in need of renovations, but the Spring River hatchery is the only state hatchery for the cold-water species. Aging infrastructure and recent flood damage have caused the hatchery to run at about 50 percent of capability.
The increased funding also will help the trout management program improve habitat and access for anglers on the White, Norfork and Little Red rivers as well as many of the smaller seasonal trout fisheries around the state.