MAMMOTH SPRING – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working with private contractors to renovate and restore Dam No. 3 on the Spring River near Mammoth Spring. Work began March 24, and will continue through September 2014.

In order to repair the dam, water will be diverted from the main channel of the Spring River to the north channel. This will result in an approximate 2-foot rise in the water level at the AGFC public access at Dam No. 3 during normal flows.

Melissa Jones, Assistant Chief of Fisheries and Coldwater Coordinator for the AGFC, said the renovation is necessary to repair the 100-year old dam and gate system that provides water for the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery.

“The dam has been inoperable since 2009,” Jones said. “This has caused trout production at Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery to decline. Once repairs are completed, the hatchery will be back in full production”

Jim Hinkle State Fish Hatchery is Arkansas’s only state-owned trout hatchery, and produces 1 million catchable-size trout for Arkansas waters annually.

Caution should be used when around the Dam 3 Access area and the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery due to the construction. The area will remain open for launching, fishing, loading and unloading, but parking will be restricted to AGFC property on the north side of the railroad crossing during busy periods such as Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Contact the hatchery at 877-625-7521 for additional information.