The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program will be in full swing this week, delivering catfish to many central Arkansas program ponds for families to enjoy during spring break. According to Maurice Jackson, FCFP coordinator for the AGFC, parents looking for a way to spend some precious time and make memories with their kids should consider fishing at one of the stocked locations this spring. Most locations are within easy reach of large cities and towns and many are in parks where you can enjoy a picnic lunch or other activities once you’ve caught your limit.

"The best part is that you can take your fish home and continue enjoying your experience with a delicious meal of catfish that’s as good as any farm-raised fish you’ll find in the grocery store," Jackson said. "We also have some special catfish that have been marked with fluorescent green tags that are worth a fishing tackle prize package to the lucky anglers who catch them."

Tag returns aren’t just for kicks. The AGFC monitors tag returns from ponds to assess fishing pressure and adjust the frequency of stockings. Jackson says the stockings were to begin in central Arkansas locations, and other ponds would be stocked as soon as the hatcheries around the state have time to transport the fish.

The AGFC’s hatcheries are also involved in spawning projects for walleye, stripers and other programs now and have short windows, Jackson noted. But the Family and Community page at will be updated as soon as fish are stocked at each location. Also, many fishing events are planned for this year, so be sure to check (click the box below) regularly to see when a pond near you is stocked and when a special event is headed your way.