Friday, November 17, 2006

Great Salt Plains Lake Catfish Stocking

Last week Wildlife Department fisheries personnel stocked more than 100,000 channel catfish into Great Salt Plains Lake in northcentral Oklahoma. The stocking comes after high temperatures and prolonged drought led to a major fish kill at the lake this summer.

“We conducted several gill net surveys last month and we found out the fish kill was very significant,” said John Stahl, northwest region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The good news is that this has always been a productive lake and we expect the fish populations to bounce back over the next few years. In the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can to help Mother Nature along.”

In coming weeks biologists are planning on stocking an additional 40,000 channel catfish, each about 5 ½” long. The catfish should grow to catchable size by next year. Next summer, if water levels are favorable, Department officials will stock both blue and flathead catfish in the lake.

“We’re going to monitor fish populations in the lake very closely over the next few years and make management decisions to ensure this fishery is as healthy as it can be,” Stahl said.

Editor's Note: Story compliments of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

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