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Norfork Lake Tailwater (North Fork River)

Access

Public boat accesses are available at Quarry Park and at the confluence of the Norfork Tailwater and White River.

Public walk-in accesses are available at Quarry Park,

Dry Run Creek and Bill Ackerman/River Ridge Walk-in Access Handicap access is available at Dry Run Creek and Bill Ackerman/River Ridge Walk-in Access.

A handicapped boater transfer lift is available at the confluence of the Norfork Tailwater and White River.

Area Specific Regulations

No fishing from Norfork Dam to 100 yards downstream.

From 100 yards below Norfork Dam to the confluence of the White River:

  • Anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license and a trout permit to fish in this area.\
  • Daily limit of 5 trout, which may include 5 trout shorter than 14 inches or 4 trout shorter than 14 inches and one of the following: 
    • one rainbow trout 14 inches or longer,
    • one brook trout 14 inches or longer,
    • one cutthroat trout 24 inches or longer, or
    • one brown trout 24 inches or longer.
  • Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole and must attend it at all times.
  • No other fishing devices may be used to catch fish, except bait tackle to catch baitfish.
  • Multiple-point hooks with barbs are allowed, unless fishing inside the catch-and-release area.
  • Fishing with bait only allowed with a single hooking point. 
  • Chains or other objects capable of destroying aquatic vegetation may not be dragged.

Norfork Catch-and-Release Area (from the downstream end of Long Hole to Bill Ackerman River Ridge Walk-in Access, as indicated by signs)

  • All trout must be released immediately.
  • Only artificial lures or flies may be used (no natural or scented baits allowed).
  • .All hooking points must be barbless.
  • Chumming is not allowed.
  • Catching bait with bait tackle is not allowed.

Dry Run Creek (Outflow from Norfork National Fish Hatchery) from its source to the confluence with teh Norfork Tailwater, as indicated by signs:

  • Only youths under 16 and mobility-impaired anglers may fish Dry Run Creek.
  • All trout must be released immediately.
  • Only artificial lures with a single, barbless hooking point per pole or rod may be used (no natural or scented baits allowed).
  • Chumming is not allowed.
  • Anglers may use no more than one fishing rod or pole at a time, and must attend it at all times.
  • No other devices may be used to catch fish.
  • Catching bait with bait tackle is not allowed.
  • Fishing is allowed only from sunrise to sunset.
  • Mobility-impaired anglers may fish from only the piers and boardwalk.
  • Mobility-impaired card required for mobility-impaired adult anglers.
Area Type

Flowing Water

Constructed

1944

Description

The Norfork Tailwater was created when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Norfork Dam in 1944. The water flowing from the base of the dam was too cold to support the native smallmouth bass and sunfish population, so trout were introduced to restore the fishery. The Norfork Tailwater has since become one of the jewels of the trout fishing world, and supports a thriving tourism industry.

District Information

Fisheries District 2 201 East 5th Street Mountain Home, AR  72653 (870) 424-5924

For generation conditions, contact:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - 870-431-5311
Southwestern Power Administration - 866-494-1993.

Location

The Norfork Lake Tailwater flows from the base of Norfork Dam east of Salesville to the White River near the town of Norfork.

Major Sportfish

rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout

Detailed Interactive Map