The Fishing Wire reports that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host free fishing seminars at the William Carl Garner Visitor Center in Heber Springs from April to June, to teach new anglers how to chase trout in the Arkansas's famous trout tail waters.
Three seminars are scheduled – a beginning trout course, a beginning fly-fishing course and an intermediate trout course. Seminar host, Bo Davidson with the AGFC's Aquatic Resources Education Program, said the courses are designed to build upon each other, with each offering a new aspect of trout and trout angling. All seminars will be held at the William Carl Garner Visitor Center, 700 Heber Springs Road North in Heber Springs. Call 501-362-9067 to register.
Seminars are scheduled at the following times:
• Beginning Trout Fishing, 10 am, April 30
• Beginning Fly-Fishing, 10 am, May 28
• Intermediate Trout Fishing, 10 am, June 18
Trout are once again being stocked in the upper section of the Spring River. Last August, an annual fish health inspection detected infectious pancreatic necrosis, a virus that can be fatal to fingerling trout at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery. Biologists temporarily halted stockings from the hatchery to test trout in the system and prevent further spread of the disease. As an added precaution, staff abandoned stocking fish above the hatchery in an effort to break the cycle of the virus returning to the facility through its water supply.
"No fish were stocked between Dam 1 and Dam 3 for about six months, and fishing declined," said Melissa Jones, hatchery manager at the AGFC's Jim Hinkle Hatchery. "We've been able to work out an agreement to bring trout back to the upper section of the Spring River."
The Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery has agreed to provide disease-free trout to the upper section of the Spring River for the next three years. It will stock 11-inch trout, which is the standard for all Arkansas's rainbow trout stocking efforts.
The IPN virus can be fatal to trout fingerlings. It is not transmittable to humans and presents no risk to anglers who handle or eat trout.