This underwater view of a rainbow trout in the Lower Illinois River was captured by Scott Hood of Broken Arrow and featured in Outdoor Oklahoma magazine's 2015 Readers' Photography Showcase. Trout stocking will begin at four seasonal fishing areas statewide Nov. 1, but will be delayed at Medicine Creek and Perry/CCC Lake.
Seasonal trout fishing will begin as scheduled Nov. 1 at four of the Wildlife Department's six seasonal trout fishing locations across the state. However, trout stocking will be delayed a week or two at Medicine Creek in southwestern Oklahoma and at Perry/CCC Lake in north-central Oklahoma because of warmer-than-normal water temperatures.
With no significant cool fronts in the long-range weather forecast and current water temperatures around 70 degrees at Medicine Creek and Perry/CCC, Fisheries Division biologists in those areas have decided to postpone trout stocking for at least a week.
"Trout require cooler water to survive. Water around 70 degrees is simply too warm," said Barry Bolton, chief of Fisheries with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "The most responsible thing to do is to wait until we have water temperatures that are more trout-friendly."
Trout anglers who planned to visit those two areas in the first week of November may consider trying their luck at one of the other Wildlife Department trout fishing areas in the state.
Two areas -- Lower Illinois River and Lower Mountain Fork River -- are year-round trout fisheries. The Wildlife Department maintains trout stocking at these areas all year long.
Other seasonal areas are:
- Robbers Cave: In Robbers Cave State Park, this trout fishery is in the Fourche Maline River directly below Carlton Dam to the south boundary of the park. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 15. From Wilburton, go 5 miles north on State Highway 2. Bank access and wade fishing is available anywhere within state park boundaries. Camping facilities and cabins are available at the park.
- Lake Watonga: This 55-acre lake is in Roman Nose State Park. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 31. From Watonga, go 7 miles north on State Highway 8A. Bank access and a boat ramp are on the west side of the lake. Camping and lodging are available at the park. NOTE: Due to safety concerns, public access to the dam is closed. Fishing from the dam or walking across the dam is not permitted at this time.
- Blue River: This river flows through the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area near Tishomingo. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to March 31. From Tishomingo, go 4 miles east on State Highway 78 and then 6 miles north. Bank access and wade fishing is available throughout the area. Primitive camping is allowed at the Blue River campground.
- Lake Carl Etling: This lake is at Black Mesa State Park in Cimarron County. Trout stocking season runs Nov. 1 to April 30. From Boise City, go 28 miles west on U.S. 325. Boat ramps are on the south and east sides of the lake. Primitive and developed camping facilities are available at the park.
Stocking will begin at Medicine Creek and Perry/CCC as soon as water temperatures fall into the 60s, which will allow trout to survive, biologists said.
Trout fishing regulations, including daily and size limits, restricted areas and maps, can be found in the 2016 "Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide" online at wildlifedepartment.com, on the "OK Hunting and Fishing" mobile app for iPhone or Android, or in print at fishing and hunting license dealers statewide.
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