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Arkansas Wild to premiere on Arkansas PBS


CONWAY — "Arkansas Wild: The Story of Trout Tourism on the Little Red River" – a film exploring the tourism impact and conservation challenges facing the river, home to the former world-record brown trout and Arkansas's only self-sustaining wild trout population – will premiere on Arkansas PBS Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m.
Filmmaker and University of Central Arkansas Associate Marketing Professor Dr. Benjamin Garner, a native of Searcy, returned to his roots to showcase the natural beauty and recreational opportunities the river offers. Through interviews with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Ben Batten, local fly-fishing guides Jamie and Kati Rouse, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff fisheries biologist Dr. Steve Lochmann, and the staff at Lindsey’s Fly Fishing Resort in Heber Springs, Garner sheds light on the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem.
"The Little Red River holds a special place in my heart,” Garner said. “It's where I learned to fish for trout, and I've seen firsthand the impact tourism has had on the river.

"With this film, I hope to raise awareness about the conservation challenges facing the Little Red and inspire others to take action to protect this valuable resource."
Located in the Ozark Mountains, the Little Red River is the tailwater of the Greers Ferry Dam, which was completed in 1962. In the 1960s, trout were planted in the river, and the first brown trout eggs were planted at Cow Shoals in the 1970s by Dave Whitlock and the Arkansas Fly Fishers. Since then, the Little Red has become a popular spot for anglers across the world looking to catch world-class brown trout. However, local guides and anglers report that in the last 20 years they are seeing fewer large fish than they did in the 1980s and ’90s.