While hunters focus on deer and waterfowl, anglers have their own winter treat in Oklahoma as the cold weather allows stockings of lakes, ponds and streams with cold water-loving rainbow trout.
The Veterans Park Pond at Jenks will be stocked Dec. 2 this year due to scheduling issues with the hatchery, according to Josh Johnston, regional fisheries biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The pond usually is ready to fish on Dec. 1.
About 5,000 trout will be stocked in Veterans Park Pond over the course of the trout fishing time, Dec. 1-Feb. 28, Johnston said.
The Trout Pond for Tulsa, sponsored by Trout Unlimited Chapter 420 and NatureWorks, also will hold trout beginning with kids-only days on Christmas Day. Only children under 16 accompanied by an adult may fish the pond on kids-only dates, Dec. 25-31 and two Monday holidays in January and February.
The City of Sapulpa Parks Department has stocked Pretty Water Lake, where people may fish from the shoreline or from small craft. For updates on fishing conditions and stocking reports at the lake, follow the Sahoma And Pretty Water Lake Fishing public group on Facebook.
Other winter trout fisheries in Oklahoma include two year-round trout streams, the Lower Illinois River below Lake Tenkiller and the Lower Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow Lake.
Fishing at the Lower Illinois River has been poor lately due to muddy water conditions because of recent rainfall and heavy releases through Tenkiller Dam.
Reports are good from the Lower Mountain Fork, however.
Other wildlife department winter trout fisheries where stocking began on Nov. 1 and will continue through March include the Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park area, Robbers Cave State Park, Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area and Medicine Creek.
The Perry CCC is a community lake and park open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily near Perry, about 80 miles west of Tulsa and south of the intersection of Interstate 35 and Highway 412. It has good shoreline access for fishing.
The creek at Robbers Cave State Park runs through campground areas and also offers ample shoreline access. Robbers Cave is located of Highway 270 in southeast Oklahoma near Wilburton.
Blue River, near Tishomingo in the Blue River public fishing and hunting area, offers a stretch of clear water stream with riffles and runs that can be hiked/waded or floated and offers excellent fishing for anglers with light spinning tackle or a fly rod.
Medicine Creek, in the southwest Oklahoma town of Medicine Park, offers easy access along a downtown sidewalk.
More details on all of the wildlife department streams and updated fishing forecasts may be found at gooutdoorsoklahoma.com.