AGFC to increase stocking size after flood damage

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Spring River Hatchery in the midst of the flood: image from AGFC

 

 

The AGFC will increase rainbow trout stocking sizes, but production will be cut, after last month’s flood damaged the State Fish Hatchery at Mammoth Springs.

The Spring River hatchery will reduce its production by 25% but the AGFC will lift the average fish size to 12″. Fish are stocked Statewide from the hatchery.

AGFC trout biologist Christy Graham told the AGFC’s Arkansas Outdoors newsletter that the reduced stocking wouldn’t affect trout fishing.

“We’ve recently completed angler surveys on three of the major trout fisheries in Arkansas,” Graham said. “Our results indicate that angler catch rates are high and that harvest rates are low, so a reduction in stocking should not be noticeable. Trout fishing across the state will remain excellent.”
The Trout Management Program also has recommended that the hatchery take this opportunity to provide anglers with bigger fish.
“With the reduced numbers at the hatchery, they will now have the space to raise fish to 12 inches before they are stocked,” Graham said. “Anglers have indicated in multiple surveys that they prefer quality over quantity, so we see this as an opportunity to make the best out of a bad situation.”

 

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