BY MELANIE BUCK –
The state’s yearly Free Fishing Days are coming up, and you’ll want to mark your calendar and take advantage of the treat. Free Fishing Days will be observed from noon on June 9th through midnight on June 11th. During that time, no angler will need a fishing license or trout permit to fish anywhere in Arkansas.
Both residents and non-residents can enjoy fishing the lakes and waters of the state free of charge. Regulations for Arkansas waters still apply and daily limits, slot limits, and length limits must be observed.
During the weekend, state park interpreters will offer a variety of fish themed programs and activities. Contact each state park for a detailed event schedule for their park.
If you are looking to get the kids on a near ‘sure-thing’ fishing experience, you can visit one of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s five fish hatcheries from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on June 10th.
The hatchery derbies are for anglers 12 and under. Each child must be supervised by an adult. Kids may catch and keep up to three catfish (or three trout at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery). In addition to fishing fun, participants also will be able to compete in casting contests and win prizes for fish caught.
Contact the hatchery nearest you for details on its derby:
Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery, Hot Springs, 877-525-8606.
Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery, Centerton, 877-795-2470.
William Donham State Fish Hatchery, Corning, 877-857-3876.
Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery, Lonoke, 877-676-6963.
Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery, Mammoth Spring, 877-625-7521