White and Norfork River Trout Regulation Changes~ Happy New Year

Tucker Hole above Tucker Shoals


New This Year in Trout

Hatcheries, Facilities and Districts

  • Revised the trout retention restriction code to make culling of all species of trout unlawful on all waters in the state.
  • Reduced number of rods permitted on the Narrows Tailwater (Little Missouri River below Narrows Dam) and the Spring River from two rods to one rodperindividual.
  • Enacted a regulation to limit harvest of trout over 14 inches to one per day on Bull Shoals and Norfork Tailwaters. 
  • Increased the minimum length limit for cutthroat trout from 16 to 24 inches and reduced the daily limit from 2 sh to 1 sh per day on Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters. 

• • •

Reduced the daily limit of brook trout from 2 fish to 1 fish per day on BullShoal sand Norfork tailwaters. 

Enacted a regulation to restrict anglers using bait (e.g., corn, worms, PowerBait) to a single hooking point. 

Removed the Monkey Island Catch-and-Release area from special regulations on Bull Shoals Tailwater. 


Anglers venturing out for a day of fishing will find a few changes to fishing regulations on waters throughout Arkansas this year. The new rules include trout regulations on the tailwaters of Bull Shoals and Norfork dams after public input at management plan meetings.

The daily limit on all trout species combined is five, but only on may be 14 inches or longer. The daily limit on cutthroat was reduced to one, and the minimum length for that species is 24 inches. The daily limit on brook trout was reduced to one. Anglers may only use a single hooking point when using natural or scented bait on the Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters. In addition, the Monkey Island Catch-and-Release Area on Bull Shoals Tailwater was removed.

These and several other regulations were passed in August during the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s regular regulations cycle and were post-dated to be effective Monday. Copies of the 2018 Arkansas Fishing Guidebook and 2018 Arkansas Trout Fishing Guidebook are being distributed across the state and are available for download at agfc.com.

Yikes! Here Comes Ike

Sign up for the Shad Kill Alert  shadkillalert@flyfisharkansas.com


As of this morning at midnight the White River has been shut down.  Don’t know why but I do know it is making a lot of folks around here happy.  This guide for one will be hitting the river to do some wade fishing and some scouting around.  The lake level at Bull Shoals is not at 681.40 and rising and currently there is no generation.  The Norfork Lake level is 566.60 and has been dropping and there is currently no generation at this time.

Unfortunately the hurricane Ike is predicted to go through texas and head up towards us as Gustave did 10 days ago and dumped a bunch of rain in the watershed which brought up Bull Shoals lake 6 feet.  It looks as though we are in the path of another hurricane and we sure don’t need the rain.  Thus far for the year we have had 42.88 inches of rain at the dam and the predictions range from 2″ to 12″ depending on which T.V. station one watches.  

This past tuesday I had the pleasure of fishing with Jim from Colorado.  We spent the day fishing the upper end of the river on some fluctuating water.  Jim managed to catch some good fish and have a couple of really good ones get off the hook.  We did see one of the fish and it is always exciting when a good one gets on and a little disappointing when it got off.  Thats the thing about big fish up at our C&R area.  These fish have a tendency to swim right at the fisherman and one has to be prepared to strip line in at a high rate of speed as opposed to trying to reel it in.  It just dosn’t work most of the time. All in all a good day on 1 to 2 units.