December 30, 2011
The baitfish industry did not appear in Arkansas until the mid-1940s, following World War II. The industry quickly grew and today is a major economic force in Lonoke, Prairie, Monroe, and Greene counties, where most of the state’s baitfish are raised. In the early twenty-first century, Arkansas had an estimated 24,000 acres of baitfish ponds. Many are visible to air travelers as they approach Little Rock (Pulaski County) from the east. All baitfish farms in Arkansas are family operations or partnerships, and the vast majority are small businesses. Baitfish farmers are shown here harvesting minnows from a Lonoke County commercial pond.