Trout are not native to Arkansas. Arkansas's trout fisheries are the result of cold-water discharge downstream from many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams. Before these dams, the White River was full of smallmouth bass and other warmwater fish. The coldwater discharge wiped out the smallmouth fisheries.
The federal government mitigated the damage through the annual stocking of trout, which can handle much colder water temperatures. Brown trout can reproduce successfully in Arkansas, but rainbow trout populations require annual stockings. Arkansas trout streams produce many rainbows in excess of 10 pounds and many brown trout topping 30 pounds.
Trout fishing in Arkansas follows slightly different regulations than fishing for warmwater species. Click the link above to view and download a current Arkansas Trout Regulation Guidebook.
Learn which Arkansas lakes and rivers are the best for trout fishing. Each lists history, management plans and water level information.
See how to identify trout species in Arkansas waters and learn fishing techniques.
Arkansas hosts both state and federally operated fish hatcheries. Learn about trout management and stocking programs.
AGFC stocks lakes and rivers to supplement the natural trout population.