Trout headed to state lakes, ponds

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is stocking Family and Community Fishing Locations with rainbow trout. (Special to The Commercial/Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)

Game and Fish 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 across Arkansas.

Each November, 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. Maurice Jackson, Game and Fish Family and Community Fishing Program coordinator, said the timing is right to stock trout this month.

"The cold weather gives us the opportunity to bring these fish to some of our anglers who can't venture up to Arkansas' tailwater trout streams," Jackson said. "We've added these stockings to our program for more than a decade and many of our anglers get excited to start trout fishing."

Jackson said specially tagged trout will be released in program ponds later in December to offer even more incentives for anglers to get out and enjoy a day of fishing during winter.

Anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in lakes and ponds stocked with trout. 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

Visit­lyfishing to learn more about the Family and Community Fishing Program and to find a pond participating in the winter trout stocking schedule.