Spring river fishing forecast - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Spring river fishing forecast

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MAMMOTH SPRING (KAIT) Last year's flood inundated the Jim Hinkle fish hatchery outside Mammoth Spring.

Thousands of rainbow trout were lost.

The fishing was still pretty good last year and this year will be even better.

The hatchery sits on an island in the middle of the Spring River. Not a good place to be when it floods.

Standing right above the dam with the spray wrapping around us Melissa Jones from the Arkansas Game and Fish told me about last year.

"We've been used to flooding but we've never seen anything to the likes of the flooding we experienced March 18 and again on April 10."

The flooding damaged some of the hatchery's facilities including the 100 year old dam. Perhaps the greatest loss was in trout.

Jones, "We lost some of our fish production about 40 percent. We usually have around a million fish on inventory. We lost about 300 thousand trout after both floods. "

The hatchery uses concrete raceways to raise the rainbows. It also has a feature that makes it unique. They have 47 steel silos they raise fish in. Silos provide lots of vertical space because there is limited horizontal space.

The silos are about 17 feet deep, 13 feet across and hold 22 thousand gallons of water.

Anglers come from all over to fish the Spring River. David Rainey and his buddy Jeff Oswalt are from Tupelo Mississippi.

"The fishing is very good here especially at Mammoth Spring, the Spring River is real good. "

Rainey says trout fishing has a certain allure to it. In the parking lot were plates from Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio and even Florida.

You run into people from different parts of the county that have come a lot further away than we've come from just to come here and trout fish.

Based on last years loss I asked Melissa Jones how is the fishing going to be this year?

She may have been a little biased, "Trout fishing on Spring river is always great, seriously we're hearing some really good reports from anglers. "

For those of you who don't want to try for trout-- the spring has walleye, small mouth bass and catfish.

Plus, it's just a great area to visit.

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