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Dahlgren Lake on the Lexington WMA is now full and ready for anglers

During the rebuilding of Dahlgren Lake, state wildlife officials sank trees upside down in the lake bed so the root wads would provide surface cover and attract fish. The construction is now complete and the lake has filled and ready for fishing. [ODWC PHOTO]
During the rebuilding of Dahlgren Lake, state wildlife officials sank trees upside down in the lake bed so the root wads would provide surface cover and attract fish. The construction is now complete and the lake has filled and ready for fishing. [ODWC PHOTO]

Dahlgren Lake on the Lexington Wildlife Management Area is now full of water and ready for fishing.

The lake, drained three years ago by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and renovated to be more accessible for fishing from the shore, has now filled with recent rains. State wildlife officials say the lake has been stocked with adult fish and contains bass, catfish and sunfish.

In addition to improving fish habitat, the parking lot was expanded, the boat ramp was rebuilt, a new floating dock was constructed and five fishing jetties for better bank fishing were added. The main focus of the renovation was improving bank access for anglers.

“It was a decent fishery,” Kurt Kuklinski, fisheries research supervisor for the Wildlife Department, said of Dahlgren Lake before the makeover. “It had a lot of bass and sunfish but the anglers couldn’t get necessarily get at that because we had limited access.

“There was a lot of weeds and vegetation problems choking the shoreline. Very limited access unless you had a boat. We are trying to change that.”

The Wildlife Department spent more than $500,000 into rebuilding Dahlgren Lake and improving the shooting range on the Lexington Wildlife Management Area in Cleveland County.

Because it is on the doorstep of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, the Lexington WMA gets visited by hunters, shooters, anglers, campers and wildlife watchers more than any other WMA in the state with 70,000 visitors annually.

Dahlgren Lake always was a good sunfish lake and state wildlife officials say that will continue.

“We are focusing our efforts here management-wise for producing quality sunfish, trophy sunfish, providing the fishery for novice anglers, for kids to come out at access this easily from the bank and catch those sunfish,” Kuklinski said.

During its reconstruction, state wildlife officials cut trees and sank them upside down in the lake bed so the root wad would be near the surface to provide overhead cover for bass and sunfish.

“It also provides a target for anglers from the bank where they can see that habitat out there and cast toward it, knowing there are to be fish around there,” Kuklinski said.

In addition to the Dahlgren Lake, there are about 30 other ponds on the Lexington WMA that contain sunfish and bass, and a few are also stocked with channel catfish.

Family fishing clinics moved to Mustang

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has relocated its summer family fishing clinics from the Arcadia Lake Conservation Area to Wild Horse Park Pond in Mustang.

The pond near Arcadia Lake that state wildlife officials used for clinics is now inaccessible due to the recent flooding.

The family fishing clinics are held on Tuesdays in June and July and cover fishing basics for beginning anglers. A fishing license is not required. All fishing equipment is provided.

Pre-registration is required. Early registration is encouraged as class size is limited. A list of all clinic dates and registration links can be found on the Wildlife Department’s events calendar at GoOutdoorsOklahoma.com.

Instructional youth shoot scheduled Saturday

The Central Oklahoma Chapter of Quail Forever will holds its 14th annual Youth Instructional Shoot on Saturday at the Oklahoma City Gun Club near Arcadia.

The event is free to participants ages 10 to 17 and their parents, but an RSVP is required. For more information, contact James Dietsch at (405) 415-5724 or info@centralokquailforever.org.

Bat watch deadline is Friday

All applications for the summer bat watches at the Selman Bat Cave in northwest Oklahoma must be postmarked by Friday.

Go to wildlifedepartment.com and print, complete and mail the registration form to Selman Bat Watch, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City OK 73152, to be entered for the drawing.

Only 75 people are selected for each bat viewing on Friday and Saturday nights in and July.

Only one registration form is needed for families or groups. Size of groups are limited to 10 on Saturday nights. Children must be age 8 or older to attend.

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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