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Filtering by Tag: little

Public Comment on Greers Ferry Tailwater Management

leah kirk

HEBER SPRINGS – Earlier this week the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Trout Management Program hosted a public workshop to receive public comments and feedback on the newly developed draft of its plan to manage the Greers Ferry Tailwater.

The current management plan for the 30-mile long trout fishery on the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam was developed in 2006. Biologists now want to determine if those strategies have worked and whether public expectations of the fishery have changed.

On June 7, 2016, a public workshop enabled anglers and other stakeholders to provide input on the direction of management of Greers Ferry Tailwater. Attendees of the workshop were asked to identify their major issues or concerns with the trout fishery. Thanks to input received at the workshop, AGFC personnel have developed a draft of goals and strategies that will serve as a guideline for management of the trout fishery for the next 5 years. Key to developing realistic and effective strategies was the analysis and incorporation of the large amount of data and angler comments from an ongoing Greers Ferry Tailwater creel survey, annual population samples, a growth and mortality study, and a phone survey.

A summary of the input provided at the first public workshop and a draft of the future management plan can be viewed at an Arkansas Game and Fish web page. Click HERE to view.  This second public workshop is intended to allow workshop attendees an opportunity to comment on issues and concerns they have with specific draft plan goals, objectives, and strategies. Anglers who were unable to attend the second workshop may submit their comments via email to Kyle Swallow at Kyle.Swallow@agfc.ar.gov, or Christy Graham atChristy.Graham@agfc.ar.gov.

Another Arkansas Lunker Brown Trout

leah kirk

Calvin Johnston of Olathe is an unlikely poster boy for Arkansas' claim of national fame as a trophy trout state. When he showed up to go trout fishing on the White River last February, he brought a bass rod and a reel spooled with 15-pound test line - hardly the kind of equipment trout fishermen typically use. "I'm more of a bass fisherman," Johnston said. "I had never fished seriously for trout. But my brother and his friends asked me to go with them, so I did."

The first part of the day was hardly spectacular. Wading the river, Johnston only caught one small rainbow. After a break, he decided to go again but found that his waders were frozen. So he fished off the bank behind the Rainbow Drive Resort where the group was staying. That's where he caught a brown trout so big that the nation took notice. He landed a 38-pound, 7-ounce brown trout - the biggest ever recorded on the White River and the third-largest ever caught in Arkansas.

That catch fortifies Arkansas' reputation as one of the best trophy brown trout states in the nation. Well-known fisheries, such as the White, the Little Red, the North Fork, and the tailwaters below Beaver Lake, have produced some eye-opening catches over the years. Howard "Rip" Collins set the Arkansas state record in 1992 when he landed a 40.4-pound brown trout. That fish stood as the world record for a while, but has since been broken. Mike Manley of North Little Rock, Ark., also made waves when he landed a 38.9-pound brown on the North Fork River in 1988. Fisheries biologists say there are still monstrous browns out there. "It's not unusual for us to see fish in the 30- to 33-inch range when we're sampling," said Christy Graham, trout management supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.