An Oklahoma group is making it easier for folks to catch trout in the heart of Tulsa.
Trout are not native to the state, but the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has introduced two species to some Oklahoma rivers and even a few ponds. And Oklahoma's Trout Unlimited chapter is also helping give anglers a chance to catch trout in an urban setting.
The group stocked 600 trout into the Gardens Park Pond at LaFortune Park last week. It is the second time in less than a month Oklahoma Trout Unlimited has paid to have trout put in the pond.
And while the members love seeing people of all ages out fishing, they said their main goal in stocking the pond is to get more kids involved in trout fishing.
“This is a great place to bring them, catch a couple fish, we know they're in there, we just put them in,” said Scott Hood with Oklahoma Trout Unlimited. “So it's not a two-hour experiment. It's a ‘come here, catch a couple fish, if it's too cold, go home grab a cup of hot chocolate’ and at least you had a nice day out with the kids.”
Oklahoma's Trout Unlimited has organized a wintertime pond stocking program for about 15 years and it is not cheap – about $2,000 each time, but Hood said it is worth every penny.
“It’s really an outreach program. We’re a conservation organization, more than we are a fishing club,” said Hood. “We pride ourselves on working with programs like this one, we do veteran’s programs, Project Healing Waters is part of our program. We also have another one called Trout In The Classroom. It’s all about getting kids involved in the outdoors through fishing.”
Urban fishing options help get more children involved and Oklahoma Trout Unlimited members said there's nothing quite like catching a trout in the middle of Tulsa.
“Right there I see 51st and Hudson, I see that light going off and here I'm holding up a rainbow trout. So it's really nice to know there's trout in Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma Trout Unlimited Secretary Binnie Jones. “They're beautiful and when I get them in the net, I'm just amazed at how beautiful they are.”
Oklahoma's Trout Unlimited will stock the pond one more time next month ahead of kids-only fishing on President's Day.
To find more information on how to join or donate to Tulsa's Trout Unlimited Chapter, Click Here.