Oklahoma City provides urban fishing opportunities
You don't always have to leave the city to find good fishing.
There are almost 8,000 surface acres of fishing water just in Oklahoma City, and Saturday will be a free fishing day.
The first Saturday of every month, anglers can fish in Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser, Lake Stanley Draper and the designated "Close to Home" fishing waters in Oklahoma City without having to buy a city fishing permit.
A state fishing license is still required, except for June 1-2, which are normally designated free fishing days throughout the state.
All other days, city fishing permits are required of anglers ages 16 to 62 to fish in Oklahoma City waters, unless exempt. City permits are $3.50 for a daily permit or $18.50 for an annual permit.
Oklahoma City has three major lakes, all with ADA-accessible fishing amenities. Lake Hefner in northwest Oklahoma City offers walleye, crappie, bass (largemouth, smallmouth and white) and catfish (blue, channel and flathead).
The lake also has two covered piers, one enclosed and heated, and three boat ramps with tending docks.
Lake Stanley Draper in southeast Oklahoma City is home to crappie, largemouth and white bass, and blue and channel catfish. It has one covered pier with two boat ramps and tending docks.
Lake Overholser in west Oklahoma City offers crappie, bass (striped hybrids and white) and catfish (blue, channel and flathead). The lake has one covered pier and two boat ramps with tending docks.
Oklahoma City's eight designated "Close to Home" fishing waters (ponds and small lakes) are Crystal Lake, the Dolese Youth Park Pond, Edwards Park Lake, Kids' Lake, Kitchen Lake, Route 66 Park Ponds, South Lake Park Ponds and Zoo Lake.
At the Dolese Youth Park Pond, 750 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked on Tuesday. The last stocking of trout will be Feb. 12 at the northwest Oklahoma City pond.
There are also fishing opportunities in the Oklahoma River and the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge. The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department operates a fisheries management program at the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery.
In an average year, hatchery staff stock 500,000 fish in the city's fishing waters.
For more information on the city's fisheries management program, go to okc.gov/parks or call 405-297-1426.
Duck season ending
Duck season is coming to a close, and once again the hunting has been better later in the season.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dictates that the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation must close duck season no later than the last Sunday of January. The earliest duck season can open in the Central Flyway is the Saturday following Sept. 24.
The USFWS also sets the maximum number of duck hunting days each state may have. Oklahoma currently has 74 days.
The Wildlife Department is now compiling results of its survey last fall of duck hunters about season dates. Many hunters would prefer to start duck season later and end the current split of the season.
State wildlife officials plan to release results of the survey at next month's meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In the meantime, there is still a youth waterfowl day remaining on Saturday. The youth waterfowl day is open to duck hunters age 15 and younger who are accompanied by an adult.
Beginning fly fishing class offered
The Rockwell campus of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City is offering a beginning fly fishing class this semester.
The first session will be Thursday and the second will be Feb. 7, but only a few class openings remain. Class times are from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
The instructor will be Tom Adams, manager of Backwoods in Oklahoma City. Cost is $79.
Crappie fishing class at Rose State
Rose State College in Midwest City is offering its "Crappie University" on Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The instructors will be Duck Dynasty's John Godwin and crappie guides Todd Huckabee, Barry Morrow and Josh Jones.
Enrollment fee is $99. For more information, contact Rose State College at 405-733-7392 or go to rose.edu/fish.
Blue River events near
Entries are now being accepted for the 2019 Blue River Fly Classic to be held March 2 at the Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area near Tishomingo.
This is a one pattern fly event with prizes for the top three finishers plus several giveaways. Lunch is provided.
All proceeds go to the Wildlife Department for Blue River. For more information, email Barry Shrader at email@example.com.
The annual Blue River Presidents Day Trout Derby will be Feb. 16-17. Cash prizes will be given for heaviest stringers in men's, women's, youth, senior and fly fishing divisions.
For more information, call Scotty's Blue River One Stop at 580-371-9288
DU Banquet on tap Saturday
The Edmond Ducks Unlimited banquet will be Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Edmond.
Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the event will include a live and silent auction plus raffles and games for prizes.
For tickets, call Carl Tipton at 405-202-2078 or Paul Fincher at 405-850-0275.
Anyone buying a car from the Bob Howard Auto Group before Saturday will receive free tickets to the banquet.