Arkansas Ozarks Fishing-White River-Norfork Lake-Bull Shoals-Buffalo-North Fork

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12-pound rainbow from Rim Shoals catch & release
area on the White River.

Rainbow Trout

Because the tailwaters fluctuate wildly (depending on hydropower generation and flood control measures) and most of the springs have too much nitrogen and carbon dioxide, trout reproduction is limited and most of our fisheries must be maintained by stocking. Because the majority of the stocked Rainbow are caught and usually harvested shortly after they are stocked, our Rainbow fisheries, particularly the White, North Fork and Spring Rivers, are considered "put and take" fisheries. However, the ones that survive the intense angling pressure grow fast (up to 1/2 inch per month). Rainbow have been stocked in Bull Shoals Lake since the late 1960’s. There they inhabit the cool water below the thermocline during the summer and fall and can survive anywhere during the winter. Rainbows weighing up to 12 pounds have been caught from Bull Shoals Lake. No trout of any kind inhabit Lake Norfork. The Arkansas State Record Rainbow is currently 19 pounds 1 ounce and was caught in the White River between Calico Rock and Sylamore. The stocking raft, high quality stockers, and "catch-and-release areas" are increasing the number of 5 to 10 pound Rainbows being caught. Two to 5 pound fish are becoming fairly common.