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Anglers strike 'gold' at trout stream

by Flip Putthoff | September 8, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.
Golden rainbow trout can be caught on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam and at Spring River in northeast Arkansas. (Courtesy photo)

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission worked with Crystal Lake Fisheries to stock an additional 8,000 rainbow trout in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam and 2,000 rainbow trout in the Spring River last week.

Some of the trout stocked were golden rainbow trout, which have proven popular with Arkansas anglers.

"The stockings are the result of funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements from 2017, when the Jim Hinkle State Fish Hatchery experienced severe flooding," said Christy Graham, trout management program coordinator for Game and Fish. "We saw some reductions in production that year that continue to affect production now, so we are reinvesting those federal dollars into additional stockings for our anglers to enjoy."

This is the third year of stockings using FEMA reimbursements from the flood event, and the third year the golden rainbows have been stocked.

"They're not the same as golden trout you find out West, but rather a color phase that can occur in some rainbow trout," Graham said. "We've heard from many excited anglers who have caught one of these 'bonus' fish and have heard anecdotal reports of anglers making a special trip to target a few of these fish."

This particular color-variant of rainbow trout was developed at the Crystal Lake commercial fish hatchery in Missouri. The fish has the distinct pinkish stripe down the middle of its body like a regular rainbow trout, while the rest of the color varies from a pale white to a golden yellow.

Graham said the stocking schedule from Crystal Lake will change this year from previous schedules.

"Crystal Lake will stock once per month in the Bull Shoals tailwater and Spring River from now through December," he said. "Previous stockings from Crystal Lake occurred from May through July."

The limit for trout on the White River below Bull Shoals Dam and on Spring River, including golden rainbow trout, is five per day. Anglers may keep only one trout longer than 14 inches.

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