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story.lead_photo.caption Rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's community lakes for winter fishing. (Courtesy photo/Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff is busy stocking rainbow trout at urban waterways across the state for winter trout fishing.

The Family and Community Fishing Program annually brings rainbow trout raised at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Springs for delivery into community ponds in Arkansas once the water temperatures cool enough to accommodate these cold-water fish.

The first stocking of trout across the state has been completed, said Maurice Jackson, program coordinator. Trout are stocked periodically through February to ensure good fishing.

Regional waterways that were stocked include Lake Atalanta in Rogers, Murphy Park pond in Springdale, Lake Springdale, Lake Bentonville and Van Buren Municipal Pond.

Torraine Lake, Wells Lake and Carol Ann Cross Pond, all in Fort Smith, received trout.

"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 tailwater trout streams," Jackson said. "We've added these stockings to our program for more than a decade. Lots of our anglers are excited when the trout arrive."

As the catfish bite begins to slow from cooler water temperatures, trout fishing picks up, giving anglers the opportunity to keep catching all winter long.

Jackson said 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.

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