Sunday, May 26, 2019

Arkansas increases funding for trout fisheries

For the thousands of Louisiana fly anglers who enjoy the fantastic coldwater trout fisheries of our neighboring state to the north, there's good news and bad news.

First, the bad news. Recently signed into law, Act 886 of the Arkansas General Assembly increased the cost of the annual trout stamp from $5 to $10 for residents. In accordance, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week passed a price increase of $10 to $20 for non-residents. It was the first increase in the trout stamp in 16 years.

The good news is that the increase will be used for better trout management, to maintain and improve trout hatcheries, and increase trout stockings in some waters, such as the Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas.

Currently all AGFC hatcheries are in need of renovation, and the Spring River hatchery that provides stockings for the Little Missouri and other rivers is running at only 50 percent of historical production.  The increase will also help to fund improved fish habitat and increase angler access areas.