Trout Program | Regulations 

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2012 Trout Regulations

Trout anglers must abide by special regulations in addition to general fishing regulations. These added restrictions ensure healthy trout fisheries for everyone to enjoy.

  • A valid fishing license and trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas or to fish in certain waters. Anglers under 16 or holders of the $1,000 Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit do not need a trout permit.
  • Trout may not be driven, harassed or pursued with noise, objects, boats or by wading to concentrate them.
  • A guide may not give away his or her fish if it causes the recipient to exceed his or her daily limit.
  • Fish that are filleted or have head or tail removed may not be in possession while fishing from the shore, boat or transporting fish by boat on catch-and- release areas and length/slot limit waters.
  • Once an angler has kept a rainbow trout on a stringer, in a livewell or in a fish basket, that trout may not be subsequently released. The only exception is that one rainbow trout longer than 16 inches may be temporarily kept in a livewell for measuring, weighing and photographing before being released when fishing Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters (except in catch-and-release areas).
  • Trout may not be used as bait.
  • Chumming is not allowed in trout waters designated with special regulations such as catch-and- release areas, artificial lures only areas and areas where natural or scented baits are prohibited. Chumming is defined as dislodging or depositing any substance not attached to a hook which may attract fish. One common example of chumming is tossing canned corn into the water to stimulate feeding. Dislodging material from the streambed to attract trout, known as the “San Juan Shuffle,” is considered chumming.
  • Imported trout and trout eggs must have disease-free certification.


Beaver Lake Tailwater

White River

  • Beaver Tailwater: White River from 100 yards below Beaver Dam to boundary signs at Houseman Access. A trout permit is required. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole and must attend it at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish other than as specified for the paddlefish-snagging season.
  • Beaver Tailwater Slot Limit: From Beaver Dam to boundary signs at Houseman Access. Trout from 13 to 16 inches in length must be released immediately and may not be in possession in this area. Only one fish exceeding 16 inches long may be kept. Bait fishing allowed only with a single, barbless hooking point (barbed-shaft baitholder hooks allowed).
  • Beaver Tailwater Special Regulation Area: Artificial lures only area/no bait zone. Approximately 0.5 miles below Beaver Dam to approximately 100 yards upstream of Parker Bend Access as indicated by signs. Only artificial lures with a single, barbless hooking point shall be used. Natural or scented baits are not allowed. Chumming is not allowed.
  • Paddlefish Snagging Season: From Beaver Lake Dam, (from the Corps of Engineers “No Fishing Beyond This Point” sign downstream) to the first Corps boat ramp on the left descending bank: From April 15 to June 15, snagging game fish is legal. Snagging must be discontinued once two trout have been taken. Snagged fish may not be released.


Bull Shoals Lake Tailwater

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas or to fish in the White River from Bull Shoals Dam to the Highway 58 bridge at Guion. Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16. No fishing within 100 yards of Bull Shoals Dam. There is a daily limit of five trout. Only two brook trout, 14 inches or longer may be kept. Only one brown trout, 24 inches or longer may be kept. Only two cutthroat trout, 16 inches or longer may be kept.

White River

  • Bull Shoals Tailwater: From 100 yards below Bulls Shoals Dam to Highway 58 Bridge at Guion: A trout permit is required. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole and must attend it at all times. No other devices shall be used to catch fish.

Bull Shoals Catch-and-Release Areas

In the following areas, trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures or flies may be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). All hooking points must be barbless. Chumming is not allowed:

  • Bull Shoals Catch-and-Release Area: From 100 yards below Bull Shoals Dam to the upstream boundary of Bull Shoals White River State Park, as indicated by signs: Catch-and-release Feb. 1-Oct. 31. Closed to fishing Nov. 1-Jan. 31 downstream to the wing dike at the Bull Shoals White River State Park Trout Dock;
  • Bull Shoals Seasonal Brown Trout Catch-and-Release Area: From the wing dike at the Bull Shoals White River State Park trout dock to the downstream boundary of the park: Seasonal catch-and-release area for brown trout Nov. 1-Jan. 31. Brown trout must be released immediately. No fishing from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise;
  • Rim Shoals Catch-and-Release Area (near Cotter): From sign immediately above mouth of Jenkins Creek to the first electric power line downstream, as indicated by signs;
  • Monkey Island Catch-and-Release Area: From the upstream end of Monkey Island to Moccasin Creek, as indicated by signs.

Big Spring (In Cotter, at the AGFC access to the White River)
From its source to the confluence with the White River, unless otherwise specified. Catch-and-release area. Trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). Chumming is not allowed. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole, and must attend it at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish. Fishing is allowed from sunrise to sunset. Only youths under age 16, accompanied by an adult, and disabled anglers may fish Big Spring.

  • Adult disabled anglers must carry proof that they are 100 percent permanently and totally disabled and possess a valid AGFC sport fishing, lifetime fishing, or combination hunting and fishing license, and a valid trout permit.
  • No fishing in the “swimming hole” at the upstream end of Big Spring, as indicated by signs.
  • No motorized boats are allowed in Big Spring.
  • Fishing derbies must be permitted in writing by AGFC District 2 Fisheries Biologist, and can include fishing with natural or scented baits, and harvest of trout.

Mirror Lake (Blanchard Springs – Stone County)
Open to fishing with rod or pole only. Anglers may use no more than two fishing rods and must attend them at all times. Handicapped-accessible fishing pier is available.



Norfork Lake Tailwater

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas or to fish in the North Fork River below the dam. Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16. No fishing within 100 yards of Norfork Dam. There is a daily limit of five trout. Only two brook trout, 14 inches or longer may be kept. Only one brown trout, 24 inches or longer may be kept. Only two cutthroat trout, 16 inches or longer may be kept.

North Fork of the White River

  • Norfork Tailwater, from 100 yards below Norfork Dam to White River: Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole and must attend it at all times. No other devices shall be used to catch fish. Chains or other objects capable of destroying aquatic vegetation may not be dragged.
  • Norfork Catch-and-Release Area from downstream end of Long Hole to Bill Ackerman/River Ridge Walk-in Access, as indicated by signs: Trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures or flies may be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). All hooking points must be barbless. Chumming is not allowed.
  • Bill Ackerman/River Ridge Park Access: Handicapped-accessible fishing pier is available.

Dry Run Creek (Outflow from Norfork National Fish Hatchery)
Only youths under 16 and mobility impaired anglers may fish Dry Run Creek (Norfork National Fish Hatchery outflow).
Catch-and-release area. Trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures with a single, barbless hooking point shall be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). Chumming is not allowed. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole, and must attend it at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish. Fishing is allowed from sunrise to sunset. Mobility-impaired anglers may fish from only the pier and boardwalk. Mobility impaired card required for mobility impaired adult anglers.



Greers Ferry Lake Tailwater (Little Red River)

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas or to fish in the Little Red River, from Greers Ferry Dam to the Highway 305 bridge. Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16. No fishing within 100 yards of Greers Ferry Dam. A trout permit is required. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole and must attend it at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish. Only a single hooking point per pole may be used for bait fishing.

Little Red River

  • Greers Ferry Tailwater Slot Limit: From 100 yards below Greers Ferry Dam to the Hwy 305 Bridge. Trout from 16 to 24 inches must be released immediately and may not be in possession in this area. Only one trout exceeding 24 inches may be kept.
  • Greers Ferry Tailwater Special Regulation Areas: In the following areas, only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). Chumming is not allowed. The same slot limit harvest restrictions for Greers Ferry Tailwater apply in these areas unless otherwise noted.
    • JFK Special Regulation Area: 100 yards below Greers Ferry Dam downstream to approximately 0.5 miles downstream to the last Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery effluent outfall in John F. Kennedy Park, as indicated by signs.
    • Mossy Shoals Special Regulation Area: Upstream end of Dunham Shoals to downstream end of Mossy Shoals, as indicated by signs.
  • Cow Shoals Seasonal Catch-and-Release Area: Oct. 1-Dec. 31. Head of Cow Shoals to mouth of Canoe Creek, as indicated by signs. Only artificial lures with a single, barbless hooking point shall be used. Natural or scented baits are prohibited. All trout must be released immediately. Closed to night fishing (one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise).

Collins Creek
Only youths under 16 may fish on Collins Creek from its source to the wooden vehicle bridge in JFK Park. From the bridge to the Little Red River, fishing is restricted to youths under 16 or anglers over 16 accompanied by an actively fishing youth under 16.
Trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures with a single, barbless hooking point shall be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). Chumming is not allowed. Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole, and must attend it at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish. Fishing is allowed from sunrise to sunset.



Spring River

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas. Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16. No fishing within 100 yards of Spring River Dam. There is a daily limit of five trout. Only two brown trout, 16 inches or longer, may be kept. Only 2 cutthroat trout, 16 inches or longer, may be kept.

  • From 100 yards below Dam No.1 at Mammoth Spring State Park to the mouth of Myatt Creek: Anglers may use no more than two fishing rods and must attend them at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish.
  • Cold Springs Access: Handicapped-accessible fishing pier is available.


Ouachita River Tailwaters

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas. Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16.

Statewide trout regulations apply to the Ouachita River Tailwaters.



Lake Greeson Tailwater — Little Missouri River

A fishing license and a trout permit are required to keep trout from any water in Arkansas or to fish in the Little Missouri River from Narrows Dam to Muddy Fork Road (low-water bridge). Licenses or permits are not required for children under 16. No fishing within 100 yards of Lake Greeson Dam.

  • Narrows Tailwater, from 100 yards below Lake Greeson (Narrows Dam) to Muddy Fork Road (low-water bridge): Anglers may use no more than two fishing rods or poles and must attend them at all times. No other devices may be used to catch fish. There is a daily limit of five rainbow trout. Any brown trout caught in Narrows Tailwater must be released immediately.
  • Narrows Tailwater Special Regulation Areas: In the following areas, trout must be released immediately. Only artificial lures with single, barbless hooks may be used (natural or scented baits are not allowed). Chumming is not allowed.
  • Narrows Catch-and-Release Area: 100 yards below Lake Greeson (Narrows Dam) to the upstream end of Riverside Park.
  • Narrows Summer Catch-and-Release Area: Upstream end of Riverside Park to the gas line crossing above River Ridge pool. May 1-Oct. 15th.
  • Narrows Winter Catch-and-Release Area: 300 yards downstream of Hinds Bluff Access to 300 yards upstream of Old Factory Site (Weir #2). Oct. 16-April 30.