Compromise catch and release plan on North Fork River agreed to by AG&FC
By: Richard Hester, KTLO.com
A compromise plan that would create a two mile long catch-and-release trout area on the North Fork River was approved by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today. The adopted plan doubles the current catch and release area below Norfork Dam but leaves it short of the 2.6 mile zone originally proposed. The two-mile zone will begin at the bottom of Long Hole and extend to the Bill Ackerman River Ridge Walking Access.
The compromise plan was adopted by a 4-2 vote. It was first proposed in August by Commissioner Ron Pierce of Mountain Home. Commissioners Ron Duncan and George Dunklin Jr. opposed it today.
Pierce suggested the two-mile zone after disagreements developed between fishermen and businesses in the area over the original proposal. A number of dock owners and business operators expressed concerns that the original 2.6 mile zone proposal could have a severe economic impact on them by reducing fishing opportunities and damaging the fishing industry. The Norfork and Salesville city councils passed resolutions against the 2.6 mile zone and business owners in those communities and Calico Rock signed petitions against it.