If you enjoy catching trout but don't have time to travel, you can enjoy some excellent fishing close to home at Oklahoma's winter trout areas.
Beginning Nov. 1, trout season opens at the six designated winter trout areas managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Sprinkled throughout the state, these fisheries provide trout fishing opportunities in areas where warm water temperatures are not suitable for trout during the summer. "They are stocked regularly with catchable size rainbow trout, and they are very popular with anglers all over the state,"
said Barry Bolton, the department's assistant chief of fisheries.
Anglers will be excited to learn that trout stocking schedules are now posted regularly on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's official website, www.wildlifedepartment.com.
Bolton also noted that anglers need to be aware that trout stockings are subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond our control. Once logged on the Fishing page within the Department's website, choose "Stocking" for the complete schedule.
"Oklahoma is blessed with a diversity of fishing opportunities, including our two year-round trout fisheries on the lower Illinois and lower Mountain Fork rivers," Bolton said. "However, the Department's winter trout fisheries provide additional opportunities that are very popular with many anglers who appreciate the experience of catching trout on their home waters. For that reason, they are valuable assets to Oklahoma's fishing community."
Seasonal trout fishing areas are at the following locations: Lake Carl Etling - This 159-acre lake is located within Black Mesa State Park in Cimarron Co. Trout season runs Nov. 1 - April 30. To get there, take US-325 28 miles west of Boise City. Boat ramps are on the south and east sides of the lake. Primitive and developed camping facilities are available at the park.
Quartz Mountain - The designated trout area directly below the dam at Lake Altus-Lugert. Trout season runs Nov. 1 - March 15. To get there from Altus, take OK-44A north about 18 miles. Lodging and camping facilities are available at Quartz Mountain State Park. Blue River - The Blue River trout area is located within the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area near Tishomingo. Trout season runs Nov. 1 - March 31. To get there from Tishomingo, go four miles east on OK-78 and then six miles north. Bank access and wade fishing is available throughout the area. Primitive camping is allowed at the Blue River campground.
Robbers Cave - Located in Robbers Cave State Park, the Robbers Cave trout fishery is located directly below Carlton Lake Dam to the south boundary of the park. Trout season runs Nov. 1 - March 15. To get there from Wilburton, go five miles north on OK-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 lies within Roman Nose State Park.
Trout season runs Nov. 1 - March 31. To get there from Watonga, go seven miles north on OK-8A. Bank access and a boat ramp are on the west side of the lake. Camping and lodging are available at the park. Lake Pawhuska - This 96-acre lake is about three miles south of Pawhuska. Trout season runs Nov. 1 - March 31. During that time, the City of Pawhuska waives the City fishing fee. To get there from Pawhuska, go three miles south on OK-60, and then go 1.75 miles east on a marked County road.
Lake facilities include a boat ramp, fishing dock and restrooms. Primitive camping is available at the lake, and developed camping is available at nearby Lake Bluestem.
In addition to these areas, the Department also manages year-round trout fisheries at the lower Illinois and lower Mountain Fork rivers. The Department stocks both of these areas with brown and rainbow trout.
To fish for trout in Oklahoma, angles need either a resident or non-resident fishing license, as well as a trout license. Trout licenses cost $7.75. There are no exemptions from purchasing the trout license.
Before going, check the 1999 Oklahoma Fishing Regulations regarding regulations and other information for each area.