Saturday, June 06, 2009

Lake Records Program Expanded to 28 Lakes

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Lake Record Fish Program continues to grow, with several new lake records — and lakes — added throughout this spring.

Last year, there were 13 lakes and this year it has been expanded to 28! The current lakes are:

The Lake Record Fish program recognizes anglers who catch a fish that qualifies as a record setter for the lake in which it was caught. Though the program was established as a way to serve anglers and recognize significant fish, it also serves as an indicator of trophy fish production in the state's lakes.

Since last year, the program has doubled in size and there are now twenty-eight lakes currently enrolled in the program. An easy-to-use search feature is available through the Wildlife Department's Web site to view all kinds of interesting record fish information, ranging from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was used to catch them. To access the search feature, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

Anglers who catch a potential record from a participating lake should contact designated business locations around the lake that are enrolled as lake record keepers, or vendors. The lake record keeper may then enter the fish into an automated database via the Internet. Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the catch on the Wildlife Department's Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.

All past and current state record fish are registered in the Lake Record Fish Program as records for their respective lakes.

Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include:

  • blue catfish
  • channel
  • flathead catfish
  • largemouth bass
  • smallmouth bass
  • spotted bass
  • crappie
  • paddlefish
  • striped bass
  • striped bass hybrids
  • sunfish (combined)
  • walleye/saugeye
  • white bass

Minimum weights are set for each species included to avoid a rush of potential yet easily broken records early in the program's inception.

For more information about the new Lake Record Fish Program or for contact information for lake record keepers, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

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