The exposed boat ramp at Lake Carl Etling in Cimarron County demonstrates how low the water level is at the Wildlife Department fishing lake. (Photo: Chas Patterson/ODWC)
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Lake Carl Etling Trout Diverted to Guymon, Watonga
Trout stocking at Lake Carl Etling near Kenton in the far western Oklahoma Panhandle has been suspended because of low water levels. Instead, trout stockings originally scheduled during the next few weeks are being diverted to Guymon’s Sunset Lake and to Lake Watonga at Roman Nose State Park.
Northwest Fisheries Supervisor Chas Patterson with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said 8,500 pounds of trout have been stocked at Lake Carl Etling since the seasonal trout area began receiving fish in November. But dry conditions have caused water levels to drop to half of normal at the 160-acre Wildlife Department-owned fishing lake. This has concentrated the trout and native fish populations into a much smaller volume of water, and adding even more trout could be harmful to the fish population as a whole, Patterson said.
Sunset Lake will be getting about 3,000 pounds in total of mature trout. The initial stocking was March 2. Patterson said Guymon had ceased stocking trout the past two years because of funding cuts, and city officials were very pleased to receive these trout in this special situation. Anglers must have a state fishing license and a municipal fishing license for Sunset Lake, unless exempt.
Anglers fishing at Lake Watonga must have a state fishing license.
Trout stocking in the Department’s other five seasonal trout fishing areas will continue as normal until March 15 or March 30, as listed in the Oklahoma Fishing Regulations Guide.