Fishing / Hunting / Wildlife

The Spring River currently holds six Arkansas State Fishing Records (rod and reel): Shadow Bass, Tiger Muskie, Golden Redhorse, River Redhorse, Shovelnose Sturgeon, and Northern Hog Sucker.

The 58-degree water released from Mammoth Spring, feeds the Spring River and creates the perfect environment for trout. Areas of the upper Spring River are popular with fly fisherman as the cold water supports a good trout population for 10 miles downstream from the spring. The Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery is 2 miles downstream from Mammoth Spring State Park. The hatchery stocks more than 134,000 rainbow trout annually at nine access sites along the Spring River. Public access areas are stocked weekly throughout the year. Outfitters and launch facilities are available along the 17-mile stretch of river from Mammoth Spring to Hardy.

The three-mile stretch from Mammoth Spring to Dam 3 (an old hydropower structure) is ideal for wading or fishing from the bank, except for the deep section near the dam, which provides good boat fishing. The best way to fish the river downstream from the dam is from a canoe. Rentals are available near the hatchery, or you can launch your own at the public ramp.

The Spring River is also a great stream for walleye fishing. Recent sample studies indicate that more walleye than trout exist in the Spring River.

More information on Spring River fishing regulations and guidelines are available online at Arkansas Game & Fish Commission website:

National Fish Hatchery

Located a short 20-minute drive from downtown Hardy, the Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery and Aquatic Conservation & Education Center is a must-see for those visiting the Spring River area.

Established in 1903, Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery is one of the oldest in the hatchery system. The hatchery was built in the Ozark foothills of northeast Arkansas due to the availability of water from one of the world’s largest springs and the access to the railroad.

Some of the species the hatchery works with include: paddlefish, sturgeon, Gulf Coast Striped Bass, walleye, and smallmouth bass. It has also partnered with universities on projects with a number of freshwater mussel species, the alligator snapping turtle and Ozark Hellbender. Currently, the hatchery is predominantly working with threatened and endangered species.

The hatchery has been involved in fish production, endangered species research and education and outreach for years. The newly constructed “green” Aquatic Conservation and Education Center allows additional opportunities for research and education.

The new facility, completed in 2014, houses a 10-tank aquarium full of native species, as well as other species raised at the hatchery. The center also includes a classroom with direct access to the river for hands-on learning experiences.

The Aquatic Conservation & Education Center is open Monday through Saturday 8 am to 5 pm.

Learn more at their website

Hunting / Wildlife

The Harold E. Alexander Wildlife Management Area extends along the southern shore of the Spring River and stretches approximately 14,000 acres to the south. It is an ideal destination for bird watchers, hikers, and hunters (in season).

For more details on hunting regulations, visit the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission website: