MAMMOTH SPRING — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a special public meeting at the Mammoth Spring School Complex from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 16 to gather public input on a trout management plan specific to Spring River. The Complex is at 410 Goldsmith Ave. in Mammoth Spring.
Although the Spring River is a popular trout-fishing destination and is home to the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River Hatchery, this is the first formal trout management plan ever developed for the fishery including public input.
“We are asking anglers and the general public to come out and join us in this effort,” said Christy Graham, trout management supervisor for the AGFC. “We want to hear from stakeholders about things they like and don’t like about trout management on the river. Whether it’s habitat management activities, stocking schedules, access or increased education on the fishery they want to speak about, we want to hear from them.”
Graham says the location and makeup of the Spring River make it a real treasure to many Arkansas anglers. The White and Little Red rivers may receive much of the accolades in Arkansas’s trout fishing world, but the Spring is an extremely important and popular fishery as well.
“The combination of trout fishing and floating in the cool water make it a destination for many anglers in northeast Arkansas, and it attracts many out-of-state anglers as well,” Graham said. “We want to make sure this gem remains at the top of the list when it comes to angling destinations in Arkansas, and the public can help make that happen.”
Graham says the planning process will call for another public meeting in January, but anyone with an interest in the river’s management regarding trout should make plans to attend both meetings and be a part of the entire process.
Unlike most of Arkansas’s other trout fisheries, which were created by cold-water discharges from large manmade reservoirs, the Spring River’s trout water along the Missouri/Arkansas state line is created naturally from Mammoth Spring. The spring releases roughly 9 million gallons of water per hour, all of which is between 58 and 62 degrees. The output forms a 10-acre lake, then feeds the river and supports a trout fishery for roughly 12 miles downstream. The river receives monthly stockings of rainbow trout as well as an annual stocking of brown trout for anglers to pursue.
Progress of the management plan will be posted on www.agfc.com throughout the process. For more information, contact Graham at 877-425-7577.