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The Lower Mountain Fork River trout fishery is stocked with rainbow trout nearly every two weeks, while brown trout are occasionally stocked.
Because of heavy rainfall, the Lower Mountain Fork River trout fishery in southeast Oklahoma recently experienced the most extreme flooding the area has seen since Broken Bow Lake was impounded in 1969. The lake feeds the Lower Mountain Fork, and the recent flooding caused significant damage to portions of the trout fishery. However, biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say that, although fishing was affected for a short time by flooding and inaccessibility, fishing is getting back to normal and anglers are enjoying great summer fishing.
"Habitat enhancements in Spillway Creek, Evening Hole, and the stream we created called Lost Creek, all in Beavers Bend State Park, suffered impacts from the flooding," said Paul Balkenbush, streams management supervisor for the Wildlife Department. "We have addressed several of these issues already, but it is going to take some time to repair it all. Still, trout stocking has fully resumed and fishing in the area is good. Summer anglers should be as successful as always at the Lower Mountain Fork River."
The Lower Mountain Fork River designated trout stream includes an 11-mile portion of the Lower Mountain Fork extending from the Broken Bow Lake spillway downstream to the U.S. Route 70 bridge. About five miles of the trout fishery lies within Beaver's Bend State Park in McCurtain County. Bank access is unlimited within the state park and downstream to the Re-regulation dam. Great camping and cabin rentals throughout the area attract anglers from all over to enjoy world-class angling and many other forms of outdoor recreation.
"One great thing about trout fishing at the Lower Mountain Fork River is that you can go fishing with your family close to home, but feel like you are far away on a once-in-a-lifetime getaway," Balkenbush said. "But it's not ‘once-in-a-lifetime' because it is here to stay and you can go all you want. The scenery is second to none, and you can enjoy other activities such as hunting, camping, hiking and much more."
The Wildlife Department's streams management team works vigorously on projects to enhance trout habitat in certain state waters. Along with the year-round trout fisheries at the Lower Mountain Fork River and Lower Illinois River, seasonal trout fisheries in Oklahoma include Lake Pawhuska, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Quartz Mountain and Lake Carl Etling. Trout season in these areas kicks off Nov. 1.
Trout are an introduced species to Oklahoma, and anglers can view the trout stocking schedules on the Wildlife Department's Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
A trout license is required for all who fish in state-designated trout areas or in tributaries of state-designated trout streams during trout season. Trout anglers also must carry a resident or nonresident fishing license, unless exempt, while fishing. Anglers who bought their annual fishing license before July 1 also must have a fishing and hunting legacy permit, available on wildlifedepartment.com or anywhere fishing licenses are sold. Fishing licenses sold after July 1 will have the legacy permit included in the cost of their fishing license. Anglers should also note the special trout angling regulations that are in effect in certain areas.
For trout angling tips as well as daily trout limits, season dates and other trout fishing regulations for each area, log on to wildlifedepartment.com or consult the current "Oklahoma Fishing Guide."
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