April 25, 2018
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
JONESBORO – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program has added more access to fishing for northeast Arkansas residents. ASU Pond, south of Centennial Bank Stadium on the campus of Arkansas State University, will be stocked monthly a minimum of eight times a year as part of the program, according to FCFP director Maurice Jackson.
“It was three years in the making to get that location,” Jackson said. “It’s the only Family and Community pond without restrictions in this area, which means that anyone can fish it regardless of age.”
The AGFC also stocks a pond at the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, but the fishing is restricted to children under 16, seniors and the disabled. “Once a teenager turns 16, he or she can’t fish there anymore. Arkansas State University has over 14,000 students, so it will be a great opportunity for the students as well as the city.”
The pond is about 3-5 acres in size and the AGFC will stock 1,000 fish a month. Between March and October, the species is catfish that are grown in Corning at the Wm. H. Donham Hatchery. From November to February, the fish stocked will be trout raised at the Jim Hinkle/Spring River Hatchery in Mammoth Spring.
Jackson said a special Family and Community Fishing Program event is being planned for November following the first trout stocking. The first catfish stocking was Thursday, April 19.
The Jonesboro addition to the FCFP pond and lake roster is the second in the past month. In March, the program added White Hall Community Pond in southeast Arkansas to the lineup. Its size is similar to the Jonesboro pond, and Jackson said it replaces the Pine Bluff Regional Park pond stockings, which were halted due to the pond leaking.
“This is a great addition for Jefferson County,” Jackson said of adding the White Hall pond. “It’s right on the city limits with Pine Bluff, it’s that close. It is also a nonrestricted lake where everyone can fish.”
The White Hall pond will be stocked monthly beginning in May with 500 catfish, and trout will be stocked in place of catfish from November to February. Like Jonesboro, the pond will get a minimum of eight stockings a year, Jackson said. White Hall Community Pond “is on the radar” to have a special event marking its inclusion on the Family and Community Fishing Program stockings. Jefferson County is also served by the Martin Luther King Jr. Pond in Pine Bluff, which hosts several events with the AGFC’s help.
Visit the Family and Community Fishing Program's web page at www.agfc.com/familyfishing to learn more.