Norfork Dam is on the North Fork of the White River in Baxter County. The dam was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. Construction of the dam was completed in 1944. Operations from the project created coldwater habitat unsuitable for native fish. The possibility of establishing a trout fishery was investigated with the experimental stocking of 600 fingerling rainbow trout in 1948. Brown trout were introduced in 1949, and by the early 1950s the Norfork was becoming known throughout the area for its trout fishing. The AGFC manages trout fisheries in the North Fork of the White River from Norfork Dam to its confluence with the White River.
In 2007, the AGFC Trout Management Program began developing a comprehensive management plan for both the Norfork and Bull Shoals tailwaters. The purpose of this plan is to establish specific goals and objectives, which will guide future management of the trout fisheries in these waters. Central to the plan development process was an intensive public involvement effort used to help ensure that the desires and expectations of the angling public were embodied. In 2013, this plan will be revisited to determine if management objectives were met and to ensure plan goals are still in line with public values and interests.