|Meanwhile, Roger Fisher was excited to show us a golden rainbow trout he hooked on Aug. 7. “I didn’t kow what it was at first,” he said. “It’s the first one I’ve seen.” Fisher caught the golden rainbow on the White River between Buffalo and Shipp’s Ferry, he said. “I was kayak fishing and using a rainbow-colored spoon … Sorry I couldn’t hold it up. It was too slippery, slimy and hyper! I had a tough time throwing him back in.”
The AGFC stocked 7,500 rainbow trout near Bull Shoals dam earlier this year, and some of that stocking included trout with a golden color variation. Golden rainbow trout are native to California.
“Golden rainbow trout cause a lot of excitement because they are something that looks completely different from the rest of the fish anglers catch. It is just another unique opportunity that anglers will have over the next few months when trout fishing,” Christy Graham, the AGFC’s trout program coordinator, said on Facebook back when the news broke about the stocking and some anglers had already hooked some gold.
Graham says the stocking of standard rainbow trout and the golden ones were part of a federal reimbursement from 2017 when a flood decreased the Jim Hinkle State Fish Hatchery’s ability to produce trout. According to the AGFC, the flood damage reduced the number of rainbow trout stocked in Arkansas by 25 percent.
“The flood at Spring River was unfortunate and had a significant impact on our anglers. We’re happy to be able to provide this additional opportunity for the next couple of years to offset that loss,” Graham said.