Year Round Trout Fisheries Make For Fun Summer Vacation in Oklahoma
Though there are six seasonal trout fishing areas in Oklahoma, anglers don’t have to wait until Nov. 1 to catch trout. There are two additional first class trout fisheries in Oklahoma where anglers can fish for trout no matter what the time of year — at the Lower Mountain Fork River and the Lower Illinois River.
Both the Lower Mountain Fork River and the Lower Illinois River are year round trout fisheries, and rainbow trout usually are stocked about every two weeks, while brown trout are occasionally stocked.
“One of the great things about summertime trout fishing in Oklahoma is that you can take an affordable vacation with your entire family,” said Paul Balkenbush, southeast region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Take the Lower Mountain Fork River for example. Even though it’s hot outside, you’ve got this pristine, cool stream cascading through the mountains, mature forests all around you and great fishing. And the scenery is second to none. If trout fishing isn’t your thing, there is a beautiful reservoir — Broken Bow Lake — feeding the river where you can enjoy a multitude of activities, including some great white bass fishing. There’s also nice campgrounds and cabins nearby, swimming, boating, hiking, awesome summertime squirrel hunting in public areas, golfing, a nature center and a neat train you can ride through the state park. There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy, which makes for a great family vacation when gas prices are high and kids are still on summer break.”
The Wildlife Department’s streams management team works vigorously on projects to enhance trout habitat in certain state waters. Recent trout habitat improvement projects have included renovations at the Evening Hole portion of the Lower Mountain Fork River during the summer of 2006. At the same time, a new trout stream dubbed “Lost Creek” was also created that is providing additional trout fishing opportunities.
Seasonal trout fisheries in Oklahoma include Lake Pawhuska, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Quartz Mountain and Lake Carl Etling. Trout season in these areas kicks off Nov. 1.
Trout are an introduced species to Oklahoma, and they are stocked regularly at all eight trout areas. Anglers can view the trout stocking schedules on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
Trout anglers must carry a resident or nonresident fishing license and a fishing and hunting legacy permit, unless exempt, while fishing. Additionally, a trout license is required for all who fish in state-designated trout areas or in tributaries of state-designated trout streams during trout season. Anglers should also note the special trout angling regulations that are in effect in certain areas.
For trout angling tips as well as daily trout limits, season dates and other trout fishing regulations for each area, log on to wildlifedepartment.com or consult the current “Oklahoma Fishing Guide.”