State Fish Hatcheries
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission now operates four warm-water fish hatcheries, and one cold-water hatchery, which produce millions of fish each year for stocking in public waters. The goals of the fish hatcheries are to produce the appropriate fish species and numbers to assist in establishing, maintaining, or enhancing existing fish populations and to provide the angling public a better fishing opportunity in Arkansas lakes and streams.
Andrew H. Hulsey State Fish Hatchery is on the south side of Lake Hamilton in Garland County. It covers 134 acres in the southern edge of the scenic Ouachita Mountains, one mile north of Arkansas Highway 290 and 12 miles south of Hot Springs. It is the second-largest of four warm-water fish hatcheries owned and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Land for the hatchery grounds was donated to the AGFC in 1939 by the late Harvey Couch. Construction of the first 12 ponds and pumping station was completed in 1940, and the first crop of fish was raised at the Lake Hamilton State Fish Hatchery in 1941. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, more ponds were constructed on the hatchery grounds. In 1987, the hatchery was renamed Andrew H. Hulsey State Fish Hatchery in honor of former AGFC Director Andrew Hulsey.
During the mid-1980s through the early 2000s, the hatchery facilities were renovated and expanded. The hatchery includes 42 earthen ponds, ranging from 0.4 acres to 4 acres, totaling 84.1 acres. All ponds are devoted to continuous production of native and non-native sportfish for stocking public waters throughout Arkansas.
350 Fish Hatchery Road, Hot Springs, AR 71913
833-356-0933 Toll Free
Jeff Newman, Hatchery Manager
Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery consists of a series of shallow fish ponds surrounded by pasture and suburban development. It is relatively treeless, and except for a low hill to the west, the terrain is flat. It is owned by Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
The hatchery, with its shallow ponds forming temporary mudflats when ponds are intermittently drained, represents a relict habitat that once was common in northwest Arkansas. Prairie habitat dotted with playa wetlands originally covered the region. Draining the playas and plowing the prairie has left the artificial impoundments of the hatchery as the only significant wetland left to accommodate waterbirds and shorebirds. The present rarity of the habitat it provides raises the hatchery to significant ornithological importance in the area.
977 West Fish Hatchery Road, Centerton, AR 72719
833-356-0887 Toll Free
Joe Adams, Hatchery Manager
One of the United States’ largest fish hatcheries, it includes the hatchery’s 56 ponds that produce nearly 4 million fish each year. The Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery produces catfish, largemouth bass, bream, crappie, striped bass and hybrid striped bass. Tours are available to the public.
23 Joe Hogan Lane, Lonoke, AR 72086
Jason Miller, Hatchery Manager
This hatchery was built in 1938 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Corning Federal Fish Hatchery. Later it was acquired by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and has been recently renovated, including state-of-the-art fish management equipment. The shallow water table and gumbo clay soils make this area an ideal location for a fish hatchery. It sits on 140 acres of land, including 40 acres of ponds for fish production. Its water comes from wells, and it produces largemouth bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, bluegill sunfish, redear sunfish, black crappie, channel catfish, walleye, sauger and saugeye. Tours of the facility can be arranged by calling the main hatchery telephone number.
P.O. Box 555, 3587 Hwy. 67 West, Corning, AR 72422
833-356-0889 Toll Free
Mark Harness, Hatchery Manager
The Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery is on a 7-acre island in the middle of the Spring River near Mammoth Spring in Fulton County. The hatchery is one of the largest state-owned trout-producing facilities in the southeastern United States and is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s only coldwater facility. The hatchery was built in 1974 to raise rainbow trout for the table market. The Kroger Company donated the facility to the AGFC in 1985. Today the hatchery produces and stocks rainbow and cutthroat trout for Arkansas tailwater trout streams and spring creeks, and provides trout for the seasonal Family and Community Trout Fishing Program and the winter trout-stocking program in southern Arkansas.
895 Hwy. 342, Mammoth Spring, AR 72554
833-356-0898 Toll Free
Melissa Jones, Hatchery Manager