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Trout release program supplies base lake with fresh fish

Woman puts hands in water.

Dana Hardage, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron natural resource manager, helps trout swim out of foliage on the edges of the small base lake Feb. 6, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The fish came from a hatchery on Lake Ouachita. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

Man releases trout into small base lake from truck.

Robby Strother, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission senior technician, releases rainbow trout into the small base lake Feb. 6, 2018 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Five-hundred rainbow trout were released for winter fishing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhett Isbell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Team Little Rock members hooked a big catch when 500 rainbow trout were released into the small base lake Feb. 6, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Anglers up for some winter fishing and who want a colorful catch can try for the trout and enjoy the recent revitalization of the trout program here on base.

“This provides a great recreational opportunity for the whole base,” said Ronnie Shaw, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron chief of environment compliance. “Before this program was restarted, you would probably have to drive an hour to be able to fish for trout.”

The rainbow trout came from a program brought back by members of the 19th CES and originated in Lake Ouachita, Ark.

“Arkansas Game and Fish brought in these trout and we’re restarting a program to stock the base lake with trout,” said Dana Hardage, 19th CES natural resource manager. “From now on around Thanksgiving they’re going to be restocking the lake with a thousand each year. The Rainbow Trout may be consumed as stated on the Fish-Consumption signs posted around the base lakes.”

The limit for the trout is five per day and there are a few steps that need to be taken to be able to legally fish for them at all.

“Anybody wanting to fish for these trout would need to get an Arkansas state fishing license, a base fishing permit and a trout stamp,” Hardage said. “You can get those at Outdoor Recreation, just make sure that you have all three before you go out and fish.”

However, the trout are only available for a limited time due to their inability to survive in warmer climates, so team Little Rock members are encouraged to catch them before the weather begins to warm up.

For more information, Arkansas Game and Fish can be reached at 1 (800) 364-4263 and Outdoor Recreation at (501) 987-3365.