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Ranked as one of the top retirement locations and fishing destinations in the world, North Arkansas and its pristine cold and warm water rivers and lakes hold some of the highest numbers of fish per square mile than most any other in the country.  From Brown, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout, to our warm water species like Largemouth, Smallmouth, Perch, Crappie, Catfish, Walleye and Striper, its hard to beat our area  if you like to fish and easy to see why so many call this region home.  


With 2.5 million trout being stocked successfully into Arkansas streams and rivers per year from The Norfork National Fish Hatchery, it is vital we keep this great resource here for the many years to come.  The Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery needs your help and asks you to Become A Friend to this great cause!   

Click here to see the latest news regarding the future of the hatchery! 


Norfork River 


Whether you are a novice or experienced angler, there is no better place to come enjoy and learn about fishing than the Norfork National Fish Hatchery.   Within walking distance from the hatchery is the Norfork Lake Dam, a common place to find anglers out wading and launching boats to try their hand fishing the fabled trout waters of the Norfork River.  The Norfork River is 5 miles long and can be fished from the banks in certain designated spots along the river and by boat the entire length, or further on, once it meets meets up with the White River.  


Please remember that the water levels fluctuate based upon electricity demand and flood control.  If you are wade fishing in either the Norfork or White Rivers, please take proactive precautions by seeing the estimated generation schedules for these waterways.  A siren will sound if you are fishing at either Norfork Lake Dam or Bull Shoals Lake Dam but if fishing further from these locations, please keep an eye out for rising water as fluctuations in the water levels rise and fall quickly.  


Dry Run Creek 


If you are a young angler or a person of any age confined to a wheelchair, we have you covered as well!   Resting next to the Norfork Hatchery is Dry Run Creek, one of the top streams in America, and designed to accomodate stocking trout and easy access fishing for the mobility impaired and youngsters under the age of 16.  


With its specially designed walk ways, ramps and fishing platforms, the Dry Run Creek consruction project completed in late 2010, has made it even easier to navigate the waters where monster fish at rest in the depths of Dry Run Creek.  


White River 


The White River is another one of Arkansas's trout fishing gems that you should really explore.   This river used to be a warm water haven for small mouth bass and other warm water species until the Bull Shoals Lake Dam was built in the 1950's, turning it into a cold water river and now home to some of the worlds best trout fishing.   Whether you are searching for quantity of fish or true world record trout, The White River is what it is today because of the efforts of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery.  


The hatchery has been stocking trout on the Norfork and White Rivers since 1955 and keeping Arkansas Fishermen and Fisherwomen happy since inception.  Come stop by the hatchery and say hello to the staff and see the great work that they do to provide the future memories for those who haven't been fortunate to visit our area and those that already know this areas fishing secrets! 


Buffalo River & Crooked Creek


The Buffalo River, our nations first National Scenic River, stretches nearly 130 miles across North Central Arkansas eventually emptying into the White River.   This river is known for its bluffs, scenic views and outstanding fishing with many boat access spots along the scenic roads that run along the river.   If you have a day to spare on your vacation to the Hatchery, we would recommend spending some time at this historic river, just to say you did it!  The Buffalo National River was recently placed on the National Geographic list of "Top 10 Underappreciated Parks" in the nation.


Crooked Creek is a little less known than its counterpart, the Buffalo River, but equally as impressive from a fishing and floating standpoint.  With less crowds and often much bigger bronze backs to catch, Crooked Creek makes for one of those streams that can make for big smiles, enormous small mouth tales and excellent memories.   This creek also drains into the White River upstream of the bigger Buffalo River drainage.   


Bull Shoals and Norfork Lakes


Host to championship caliber tournaments including the Bass Masters Classic, these lakes are close by and teaming with warm water fish.  With Bass, Crappie, Walleye, Catfish, Perch and Striper, there are plenty of fish to stalk and many miles of shoreline to explore.   Take your pick on which one of these incredible lakes fish better as they both have all of the amenities you would need to make for a good day.  From boat rentals and swimming to scuba diving and lodging, these lakes have everything needed to accomodate your vacation needs.