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The Family and Community Fisheries Program enhances and creates destinations in urban areas, so excellent fishing is available within a stone’s throw of all Arkansans. The Family and Community Fisheries Program is a team effort. We receive support from the Aquatic Resource Education Program and AGFC hatcheries to fulfill our mission. We often partner with city parks and recreation departments to enhance park facilities that are convenient to inner-city residents. Our efforts include sampling fish populations, aquatic habitat improvements, setting harvest restrictions and stocking thousands of pounds of fish each year.
We stock many community ponds with channel catfish in the warmer months and rainbow trout in winter. We hold kick-off events at select urban locations and beginner fishing clinics in select cities prior to our kick-off events. Hundreds of rods and reels are awarded annually to children that attend the fishing clinics, or are given away as door prizes at kick-off events.
Fishing Licenses and Permits
To fish in Arkansas, anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license. Anglers 16 and older also must have a trout permit if they wish to keep trout from Family and Community Fishing locations. For information on residency, age or disability requirements for special licenses, click the link below.
Rules and Regulations
Regulations (daily limits, age requirements and length limits) for Family and Community Fishing Program locations differ from other Arkansas lakes. Before heading out for a day of fishing, make sure you are aware of the regulations for each area you may fish. Take a look at the Fishing Guidebook and familiarize yourself with the regulations pertaining to fishing in Arkansas.
Family and Community Pond Stocking
Thousands of pounds of 14-18-inch channel catfish are stocked every two to four weeks at all Community Fishing Destinations from April through September. Big blue catfish in the 15-75 pound range are also occasionally stocked in the summer months in order to add some trophy catfishing opportunities. These giant blue catfish have been raiding the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission net pen operations at Lake Ouachita and Bull Shoals Lake, eating about $200 worth of fish food each day and putting holes in the nets. The big blue catfish are in limited supply and won’t be stocked regularly, but AGFC has stocked the following ponds in the past with the giant fish: Boyle Park, MacArthur Park, Kiwanis Park, Otter Creek Park, Ottenheimer Park, Hindman Park and War Memorial Park.
More than 65,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout are stocked each winter from November through March across the state in Family and Community Fishing Program destinations. While most trout average just under a pound, a few 2-5 pounders will be stocked each year in random locations throughout the stocking season. Most locations will be stocked on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. The rainbow trout daily limit is five.
Where to Fish
Have you ever wondered where to fish in central Arkansas? Here is all the information you need to have a successful outing.
Beginners Fishing Guide
The Aquatic Resources Education Program has produced an outstanding book on how to get started fishing. You'll find information on everything from bream to bass in this full-color book.