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CATCHING RAINBOWS: Grab a fishing pole and head to OKC's trout fishing hole

Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are released from a tank via a tube into the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. Five-hundred pounds of trout were added to the pond for the annual winter trout season at Dolese. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN]

Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are released from a tank via a tube into the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. Five-hundred pounds of trout were added to the pond for the annual winter trout season at Dolese. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN]

For 17 years, Oklahoma City anglers have been able to go trout fishing in the winter without leaving the city limits.

The annual trout season opened Dec. 1 at Dolese Youth Park Pond, 5105 NW 50 St., a place where anglers can catch up to six trout per day.

The rainbow trout are bought from a Missouri hatchery thanks to the financial donations of the Dolese Company and the 89er Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The donation is then matched by federal sport fish restoration funds from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

For the Dec. 1 opener, 1,701 rainbow trout were stocked in the lake. That's 900 pounds of fish.

Every two weeks until late February, another 500 pounds of the Missouri trout are added to the pond by officials from the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma City. The last stocking is normally another 900 pounds, said Bob Martin, Oklahoma City fisheries biologist.

Popular baits for the hatchery-raised trout are Berkley PowerBaits, corn, worms and small minnows. Small spoons and spinners are ideal for casting.

"We see a few people fishing with fly rods with dry flies," Martin said.

For beginning trout anglers, you can get a crash course Jan. 19 when the city sponsors a trout fishing clinic at the Putnam City High School gymnasium. The annual clinic will be from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

To fish for trout at Dolese, anglers need a city fishing permit and state fishing license, unless exempt. Only one rod and reel can be used during the season.

For more information about the trout season, go to okc.gov/parks or call 405-297-1426.

And if you would like a trout fishing experience more reminiscent of a Colorado mountain stream, take a day and travel to Johnston County to visit the beautiful Blue River, one of six wintertime trout fishing areas managed by the Wildlife Department.

Trout are also stocked in the winter at Robber's Cave near Wilburton, Perry CCC Lake, Lake Watonga, Lake Carl Etling in the Panhandle and Medicine Creek in Medicine Park.

State waterfowl stamp could be licked

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation wants to eliminate the state waterfowl stamp and the annual art contest that is held to select the portrait on the stamp.

Since 1986, Oklahoma has sold a waterfowl stamp. Hunters once had to have one in their possession to legally hunt waterfowl in the state.

In the 1990s, as state wildlife agencies discovered the ease of selling hunting licenses online, hunters eventually were no longer required to buy the stamp, just a state waterfowl license.

Even though it was no longer a legal requirement, the Wildlife Department continued to sponsor an art contest for the stamp and to sell the waterfowl stamp each year. In recent years, it has been bought mostly by stamp collectors, said Micah Holmes, spokesman for the Wildlife Department. The money from the sale of stamps went toward waterfowl conservation.

Only 424 duck stamps were sold last year, Holmes said. There are about 14,000 waterfowl hunters in the state, he said.

"Over time, fewer and fewer people wanted the stamps," Holmes said. "We are basically doing this waterfowl art contest for a small and decreasing number of people."

State waterfowl stamps were common across the country in the '70s and '80s. California was the first state to issue one in 1971. Now, many states are eliminating them, Holmes said.

New hunting, fishing rules proposed for 2018

The elimination of the duck stamp is part of the hunting and fishing regulation changes being proposed by the Wildlife Department for 2018.

Other proposed changes include opening nine new counties to fall turkey hunting: Cleveland, Johnston, Garvin, Lincoln, Marshall, McClain, Oklahoma, Pontotoc and Pottawatomie.

"Rio Grande turkeys are doing well," said Alan Peoples, head of the wildlife division for the Wildlife Department.

The Wildlife Department also wants to clarify its regulations so state game wardens can enforce the law on the national wildlife refuges in Oklahoma.

To view all of the proposed rule changes, visit www.wildlifedepartment.com/public-meeting.

The online public comment period on the rule changes ends Jan. 5. A public hearing on the proposals will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 4 at the agency's interim headquarters in Oklahoma City, 2145 NE 36 St.

Road closure will inconvenience Lake Hefner anglers

Lake Hefner Drive along the north side of Lake Hefner will close to motor vehicle traffic beginning Jan. 2 so the Oklahoma City Utilities Department can make improvements to the water intake tower at the Lake Hefner Dam.

The road is scheduled to reopen March 15, pending weather delays.

The closure includes the dam road that runs from Britton Road on the west side of Lake Hefner to the parking area on the lake's northeast side.

Many anglers like to fish on the north side of Lake Hefner, but during construction no cars or other motor vehicles will be allowed on the dam road.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, including anglers, will have limited access from Britton Road to the north side of the lake. Access to the construction area near the dam will be strictly prohibited.

Tell me your Christmas story

I am on the hunt for Christmas stories with an outdoors theme. Or outdoor stories with a Christmas theme.

If you have a story to tell of a special gift at Christmas (first gun, grandpa's rifle, a hunting dog, fishing rod, etc.) or a memorable hunting, fishing or outdoors trip around Christmas, email egodfrey@oklahoman.com or call me at 405-496-2361.

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Related Photos
<p>Fisheries technicians Kayla Eldredge, left, and Hannah Myers of the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery add rainbow trout to the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN]</p>

Fisheries technicians Kayla Eldredge, left, and Hannah Myers of the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery add rainbow trout to the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e799e0c85176258063aa4e6faf2b951c.jpg" alt="Photo - Fisheries technicians Kayla Eldredge, left, and Hannah Myers of the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery add rainbow trout to the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Fisheries technicians Kayla Eldredge, left, and Hannah Myers of the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery add rainbow trout to the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Fisheries technicians Kayla Eldredge, left, and Hannah Myers of the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery add rainbow trout to the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-961c242252cd255653db428ba795a21f.jpg" alt="Photo - A rainbow trout gets acclimated to its new surroundings in the Dolese Youth Park Pond. Trout fishing at Dolese continues through February. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" A rainbow trout gets acclimated to its new surroundings in the Dolese Youth Park Pond. Trout fishing at Dolese continues through February. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> A rainbow trout gets acclimated to its new surroundings in the Dolese Youth Park Pond. Trout fishing at Dolese continues through February. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-525e6df963bfefab57ad017540c45987.jpg" alt="Photo - Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are released from a tank via a tube into the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. Five-hundred pounds of trout were added to the pond for the annual winter trout season at Dolese. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] " title=" Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are released from a tank via a tube into the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. Five-hundred pounds of trout were added to the pond for the annual winter trout season at Dolese. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] "><figcaption> Hatchery-raised rainbow trout are released from a tank via a tube into the Dolese Youth Park Pond on Tuesday. Five-hundred pounds of trout were added to the pond for the annual winter trout season at Dolese. [PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN] </figcaption></figure>
Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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