Trout bring tourism, money to Arkansas

Trout bring tourism, money to Arkansas

MAMMOTH SPRING, AR (KAIT) - Trout fishing in Arkansas is a big deal and it has the state reeling in the money.

Melissa Jones with the Jim Hinkle Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas said they supply a majority of the trout throughout the state.

"We're responsible for stocking 1 million rainbow trout annually into Arkansas trout streams, rivers, and we have a family and community fishing program that we also provide fish," Jones said.

While the population of trout in the state is great, Jones said there are some things people may not know about trout in Arkansas.

"Trout are not native to Arkansas," Jones said. :They're stocked through our fish hatchery system either through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries."

Jones said when dams were built on certain rivers and streams, it caused the temperatures on the water to change, allowing for conditions trout can be introduced in.

"Trout need cool, clear, a constant supply of oxygen," Jones said. "Anything from 50 to 62 degrees is really good for trout."

Not only are the fish not native to the state, but a majority of the trout population doesn't reproduce.

That doesn't hurt the state though, because the money brought in from trout fishing is a lot more than what is being put into it for the state.

"For every dollar that we spend on operating the hatchery, it returns about 90 dollars back into the state," Jones said.

With several hatcheries in the state it means the money brought in reaches into the hundreds of millions.

"Trout fishing in Arkansas brings in about 180 million dollars annually," Jones said.

Denise Ludwig is from Mammoth Spring, which is located on the Spring River, and said she has seen the benefits of trout fishing in her town.

"It brings money in, it brings people in, and it helps us grow you know as a community," Ludwig said. "I think it is very important and not to mention it is just fun."

Ludwig included when she fishes on the Spring River she will meet people and a majority of them are from out of state, which shows the benefits from tourism are there.

To find out more on where you can cast your line to catch trout you can go to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website here.

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