Lake number one for Oklahoma bass in 2004 - two years running
Konawa best big Oklahoma lake
for bass numbers
February 2003 - For bass fishing prospects
on lakes larger than 1,000 acres, Lake Konawa in south-central
Oklahoma appears to be a promising destination, according to
spring electrofishing data released by the Oklahoma Department
of Wildlife Conservation.
Covering 1,300 acres near Konawa, Lake Konawa produced
188 bass per hour of electrofishing during this year's surveys.
That's a slight drop from last year, when it produced 207 bass
Ranking second was Dripping Springs Lake, which
produced more than 172 bass per hour during this year's electrofishing
bass surveys. The Department did not sample it last year. Grand
Lake in northeast Oklahoma ranked third with 145 bass per hour.
That's a considerable jump from 1999, when it produced107 bass
Ranking fourth was Lake Broken Bow (107 bass per
hour), followed by McGee Creek Lake (103 bass per hour), Lake
Hudson (90 bass per hour), Lake Skiatook (83 bass per hour) and
Lake Texoma (82 bass per hour).
If you're interested in big bass, Lake Konawa topped
that category, too. For each hour of electrofishing, it produced
about 84 bass per hour longer than 14 inches. That's a slight
jump from last year, when 81 bass per hour were longer than 14
Grand Lake ranked second in that category with
about 56 bass per hour that were longer than 14 inches. Ranking
third was Lake Hudson (47 bass per hour over 14 inches), followed
by McGee Creek (34 bass per hour over 14 inches), Lake Texoma
(29 bass per hour over 14 inches) and Lake Fuqua (28 bass per
hour over 14 inches).
"Lake Konawa has a good forage base, good
production and good recruitment, all of which indicate a healthy
bass fishery," said Kim Erickson, chief of fisheries for
the Department. "From what we've seen over the last few
years, it's been a very consistent producer during spring sampling."
This year, no lake larger than 1,000 acres produced
a bass that exceeded 10 pounds. Lake Ellsworth produced the largest
bass during spring electrofishing, and it weighed 8.8 pounds.
Two other lakes produced bass larger than eight pounds, including
Dripping Springs (8.7 pounds) and Webbers Falls (8.1 pounds).
Data from the springtime bass survey is divided
between that collected from lakes larger than 1,000 acres, and
lakes smaller than 1,000 acres. The data is used to determine
the health and trends of individual bass fisheries. Regional
fisheries management personnel capture bass using electrofishing
equipment, and then they weigh and measure each fish before releasing
them back into the water unharmed. The information helps biologists
determine which lakes might benefit from specialized management
techniques such as length and slot limits.
The Department rates a lake as high quality when
it produces more than 15 bass over 14 inches per hour of electrofishing.
Quality lakes yield more than 10 bass over 14 inches per hour
of electrofishing, and those which produce fewer than 10 per
hour are considered below average.
In terms of total numbers of bass per hour, lakes
that yield more than 60 bass of any size per hour are rated as
high quality. Those producing 40 bass or more per hour are considered
"quality" lakes, and less than 40 per hour are considered
Adair tops bass list for small
Among lakes smaller than 1,000 acres, Adair Recreation Lake in
County produced the most bass per hour during spring electrofishing
conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
In terms of overall numbers, Adair Lake produced
198 bass per hour
of electrofishing, a big jump from last year when it yielded
124 bass per
hour. Ranking second was Mountain Lake in Garvin Co., with nearly
per hour, followed by Lake Raymond Gary in Choctaw Co. (128 bass
, Taylor Lake in Grady Co. (124 bass per hour) and American Horse
Blaine Co. (122 bass per hour).
Rounding out the top 10 small lakes were Chimney
Rock Lake in Mayes
Co. (120 bass per hour), Okemah Lake in Okfuskee Co. (101 bass
Onapa Lake in McIntosh Co. (96 bass per hour), Boomer Lake in
Osage Co. (90
bass per hour), and Sportsman Lake in Seminole County (90 bass
For numbers of bass larger than 14 inches per hour
electrofishing, Mountain Lake was the top producer with 137.
Durant Lake was
a distant second with more than 67 bass per hour over 14 inches,
Okemah Lake (61 bass per hour over 14 inches) Lake Raymond Gary
Co. (36 bass per hour over 14 inches), and Lake Fairfax in Osage
35 bass per hour over 14 inches)
No lake smaller than 1,000 acres produced a largemouth
pounds or more, but three - Sportsman Lake, Lake Raymond Gary
Holdenville - each produced a bass weighing more than eight pounds.
Sportsman Lake produced one that weighed 8.9 pounds, Raymond
one that weighed 8.8 pounds, and Lake Holdenville produced one
Lake Watonga in Blaine Co., yielded a 7.5-pound
bass, and Lake Vincent in
Ellis Co., produced a 7.2-pounder.
Since only a few of Oklahoma's small lakes were
Erickson, chief of fisheries for the Department, said that anglers
use the data as a comprehensive guide to quality fishing in Oklahoma.
other lakes that weren't surveyed this year also have outstanding
"Although the results of the survey can help
anglers find good
places to fish, they're not the only information anglers should
making their decisions on where to go," Erickson said. "There
of small lakes across the state, and we can't survey all of them
Based on the numbers, these are the best lakes we surveyed this
they're not necessarily the best in the state."
Electrofishing surveys are conducted by regional
management personnel to measure the health and trends of individual
fisheries. Bass captured during the surveys are weighed, measured
released back into the water unharmed. The information collected
biologists determine which lakes might benefit from specialized
techniques, such as length or slot limits.
In evaluating electrofishng data, the Department
rates a lake as
high quality when it produces more than 15 bass over 14 inches
per hour of
electrofishing. Quality lakes yield more than 10 bass over 14
hour, while those producing fewer than 10 are considered below
For total numbers of bass per hour, lakes that
yield more than 60
bass of any size per hour are rated as high quality. Those producing
more bass per hour are considered "quality" lakes,
and less than 40 per hour
is considered below average.
When a record isn't a record
Texas angler lands Oklahoma record trout,
but record gets away after all is said and done
Every angler has a tale about, The one that got
away, but a recent story from southeast Oklahoma beats them all.
On March 13, while fly fishing below the re-regulation
dam on the lower Mountain Fork River, Barry Kniffen of Tyler,
Texas, hooked a monster brown trout on an olive wooly bugger.
An avid bass tournament angler, Kniffen was relatively new to
fly fishing, so it was especially remarkable that he could land
such a large fish on such light tackle in high water and strong
current. Furthermore, the trout measured 25 inches long and weighed
eight pounds, enough to break the Oklahoma state-record for that
Two other anglers witnessed the catch, and Kniffen
good-quality photographs to the Department's assistant chief
of fisheries, Barry Bolton. Unfortunately, Kniffen neglected
to have the catch certified by an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation fisheries biologist, disqualifying it from consideration
as a potential record.
The ODWC was prepared to send personnel to Kniffen1s
home to witness a second weighing, but Kniffen1s taxidermist
had already begun mounting the fish before Bolton could contact
him. Kniffen landed the fish, but his state record got away.
Mr. Kniffen hooked and landed a very impressive
fish on light tackle, and the Wildlife Department congratulates
him on his accomplishment,2 Bolton said.
However, we regret that his potential state record
cannot receive the recognition it deserves. That1s why it is
so important for an angler who catches a potential record to
follow the required procedure.
Anglers who believe they have caught a record fish
should immediately contact a Department employee to certify the
weight and measurement. A Department fisheries employee must
then verify the species. For more information, consult the 2000
Oklahoma Fishing Regulations or call the Department1s Fisheries
Division at (405) 521-3721.
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