Environmental Program

 

The Department’s Environmental Program, in cooperation with other state agencies, investigates pollution complaints that affect fish and wildlife resources. It also reviews environmental impact documents, including water discharge permits and major construction projects that adversely impact fish or wildlife habitat.

Pollution complaints and fish kill reports are received by the Department from field personnel, private citizens, other state agencies or directly from the parties involved. The local Department game warden, whether contacted directly by the complainant or through the Environmental Program, is usually the first Department representative dispatched to verify the pollution/fish kill report. Upon arrival at the site, the game warden will try to determine:

1) If fish or wildlife are or have been affected. This includes an evaluation of behavioral and physiological symptoms.
2) The source of pollution, if unknown.
3) Water conditions -- color, odor, vegetation, etc.
4) The extent of the pollution/fish kill -- upstream and downstream boundaries or land area affected.
5) The potential for continued effects.

All pollution/fish kill complaints received by ODWC are documented and referred to the proper state agency of jurisdiction for administrative procedures within that agency.

To report fish or wildlife kills suspected to be caused by pollution, contact the ODWC Environmental Program, (405) 990-7029. The Wildlife Department investigates fish die-off complaints on public waters (e.g. streams and rivers) -- it does not investigate reports for ponds that have been stocked by the owner, such as stocked catfish, hybrid bluegill and goldfish/koi ponds. For these types of instances, please obtain Managing Pond Fisheries in Oklahoma for $3.

To report a pollution incident without dead fish or wildlife, contact the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Complaints Hotline, 1-800-522-0206.