Jan. 26, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
LITTLE ROCK – It’s not easy for some people in other parts of Arkansas to make it up to one of north Arkansas’s famous trout-fishing locations, so the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program brings the rainbow trout to other areas around the state.
Saturday, Jan. 29, will mark a great opportunity for trout fishing for the whole family, and the last family event of the cold-weather fishing season in central Arkansas, when the AGFC's Family and Community Fishing Program will be holding Trout Day 2022 from 9 a.m. to noon at the MacArthur Park Pond. Along with the fishing, free food and water will be provided to the first 400 anglers. My Sister's Keeper, a community organization, is providing the food. The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation is also a sponsor.
"Trout Day is an exciting and tremendous opportunity for folks in central Arkansas to enjoy one of Arkansas's many wild treasures,” AGFC Director Austin Booth said. “In recent years, the abundance and quality of our trout has made Arkansas a world-renowned destination. Under the passionate leadership of Maurice Jackson, our Family and Community Fishing program is bringing that coveted opportunity to the people – I could not be more proud or excited."
Trout Day is a free event, but participants must be registered to participate; visit https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/176201 to sign up. Anglers will need to bring their own fishing equipment. Also, anglers 16 and older must have a valid fishing license and a trout permit (see "Buy Licenses/Check Game'' at www.agfc.com to obtain those items). Anglers 15 and under need no license or permit.
“We are excited to highlight the great opportunities that the Family and Community Fishing Program brings to park ponds in our larger cities across the state by hosting this Trout Day event here at MacArthur Park in Little Rock, which is one of our flagship locations,” Ben Batten, AGFC chief of the Fisheries Division, said. “Many people that might not be able to get out to one of our world-famous tailwaters have a chance to catch rainbow trout during the winter months in a pond near them, thanks to this program.”
MacArthur Park Pond, at 1101 Commerce Street in downtown Little Rock, is one of many community ponds around the state stocked with rainbow trout during the winter months when the cooler water temperature can sustain the fish. The fish, grown at the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River Fish Hatchery near Mammoth Spring, are “catchable” size, perfect for the dinner table later in the day.
Anglers can also look forward to fishing-related prizes being distributed throughout the event until they are gone, according to Maurcice Jackson, FCFP program coordinator.
My Sister’s Keeper is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is connecting people to opportunities. Dr. Karolyn Taylor, the owner, says, “We serve people of all ages by providing food, financial resources, mental health, educational and housing services. Our organization started in 2015 after the founder was diagnosed with breast cancer. The organization started out providing gas money and food for breast cancer survivors and quickly turned into providing resources to the whole family and then to the community. We have received federal and state grants as well as local grants from cancer organizations.”
“Parents, register your family and come out to have a great morning celebrating Trout Day in Little Rock,” Jackson said. “This is our last trout event of the season. It’s the only event of its kind held in central Arkansas.”
The FCFP’s focus in coming weeks will turn to catfish stocking and its many family events throughout the state, including its partnership with The Big Catch this spring. Meanwhile, anglers who catch any of the FCFP’s tagged trout in MacArthur Park Pond or other locations around the state should turn in those tags to win prizes and be eligible for one of three grand prize drawings of guided trout fishing trips on the Little Red Red River, sponsored by Sore Lip’em All Guide Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation or a Bass Pro Shops gift card worth $250.
Tags must be returned by mail to:
ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION
Family and Community Fishing Program
2 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Deadline to return the tags is Feb. 28. The live drawing for the big prizes will be on the AGFC’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. March 14.
Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing to find a Family and Community Fishing Program location near you.