Kelly Bostian: Oklahoma's winter trout season opens
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 5:05 AM
Go to Kelly Bostian's blog Original Print Headline: State's winter trout season opens
TRUCKING, PIPING, DUMPING and splashing is in full swing as Oklahoma's winter trout season opens Thursday.
It's the season of trucking trout and plucking the tasty critters from the cooled waters of Oklahoma's lakes and streams.
A nearby city-managed trout fishery launches this morning as well. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the hatchery truck backed up to Pretty Water Lake in Sapulpa to deliver the first load of the season.
The lake is stocked twice monthly through March.
The 25-acre lake, located north of downtown Sapulpa off the west side of Oklahoma 97, has ample shoreline access, fishing docks and can be fished by canoe or kayak - no gas motors allowed.
Anglers need a city permit to fish the lake, said Jan Duke, administrative assistant. A $5 daily permit is available, and for a season-long permit the cost is $10 for youth ages 9 to 16, $15 for adults 17-64, or $10 for seniors 65 and older. Children 8 or younger fish for free. Permit fees go to pay for the fish stockings.
Duke said the permits are available at the Sahoma Lake Bait and Concession Store, just one-quarter mile west of Pretty Water on the lake road, or at Wal-Mart stores in Sapulpa, Glenpool and Sand Springs.
Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon is the annual Pretty Water Lake Trout Derby. Prizes will be given away each hour for the largest fish caught in both adult and youth categories, Duke said.
A permit is required to participate.
"Every year we have fun out there," Duke said.
Also this year, tagged trout will be regularly stocked in the lake, and anyone who catches a tagged trout can turn it in for a prize at the Sahoma Lake Bait and Concession Store.
State-managed trout fisheries that open Thursday include Lake Pawhuska, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga and Lake Carl Etling. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation announced that the Quartz Mountain fishery near Altus would not be stocked this year due to golden algae blooms.
This opening does not include the state's two year-round trout fisheries, at the Lower Illinois and Mountain Fork rivers.
The joy of the winter trout fisheries is that the fish generally are willing biters and the different locations offer a variety of approaches, from tying on a fly and luring a trout to the surface or sitting on the bank with light gear - a bobber and a salmon egg on a hook.
They make for, generally, easy family outings that are fun for adults and youngsters.
What likely will be a little noticed but interesting new aspect of the trout fishery this year is that the trout will be coming much farther to reach Oklahoma's lakes and streams.
After working with the state on trout stocking from the beginning of its winter trout program more than 20 years ago, the Crystal Lake Hatchery at Ava, Mo., lost the bid for the job this year.
Service under a new three-year contract with Cedar Springs Trout Farm of Broadwater, Neb., began in October. The hatchery is in western Nebraska, roughly 700 miles northwest of Tulsa.
One change resulting from the new service is a change to the listing of trout stocking times on the Wildlife Department website.
Listings now indicate the fisheries will be stocked the "week of" instead of listing exact days.
Assistant Chief of Fisheries Gene Gilliland said that listing stocking days has caused problems at times in the past.
"Something goes wrong or a truck breaks down and people are upset that the truck isn't there," he said. "What we hope to do is, through fishing reports and news releases, to let people know where fish were stocked on such and such a day."
Most areas only require a state fishing license to fish for trout, but make sure you check state and site-specific regulations before you go.