Walleye Rodeo begins Thursday
The 51st annual Walleye Rodeo, the state’s oldest and largest fishing tournament, is set to take place Thursday through Sunday on Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma.
The state’s oldest and largest fishing tournament begins Thursday on Canton Lake. The 51st annual Walleye Rodeo will run through Sunday on the northwest Oklahoma reservoir.
Walleye have been in their typical post-spawn pattern the last few weeks, said Chas Patterson, northwest region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
White bass have moved to the Canton Lake dam and fishing has been outstanding the last two weeks, Patterson said. A few hybrids are also being caught along the dam, he said.
But Canton Lake has earned its reputation as Oklahoma’s premier walleye fishery. Known as great table fare, walleye were initially introduced into the lake from 1961 to 1963.
Canton Lake became the Wildlife Department’s source for walleye broodstock in the mid-1960s and it continues today.
Since that time, the majority of walleye and saugeye in lakes throughout the state have been produced from Canton broodstock.
About 3 million walleye fry raised at the nearby Byron Fish Hatchery are stocked into Canton Lake each year.
Last year, 791 anglers entered the Walleye Rodeo. Prizes are awarded to the five largest walleye, largest stringer for all four days of fishing and the largest fish of different species: striped bass, drum, buffalo, carp, sunfish, flathead catfish, channel catfish, white bass, crappie, black bass and hybrid bass.
There will be 300 to 400 fish in Canton Lake tagged for prizes of $20 to $50. And since this is the 51st year of the rodeo, there will be 51 fish tagged with $100 prizes.
The weekend activities in Canton include a carnival, art show, fun run, parade, bull riding and craft show. For more information, visit the Canton Lake Walleye Rodeo Facebook page.
Wildlife Department looking for land
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is encouraging landowners in the state to enroll in the Oklahoma Land Access Program.
Entering its second year, the Wildlife Department leases land from private landowners for public use such as hunting and fishing.
The program uses federal grant money to increase public hunting and fishing opportunities in exchange for payments to private landowners.
Landowners who make parcels available through OLAP can choose which types of public access they want to allow in the categories of walk-in hunting, walk-in fishing, stream access and wildlife viewing.
Compensation is variable up to $15 per acre based on the options selected, property location, and term of lease. Additional payments have been pledged by conservation groups such as Oklahoma Pheasants and Quail Forever if farmers choose to leave standing crops or delay harvest.
The Wildlife Department is especially interested in leasing land to increase dove hunting opportunities near metro areas and stream fishing in eastern Oklahoma. The agency also is seeking more land to lease in western Oklahoma.
For more information, contact Jeff Tibbits at 405-5357382 or email@example.com or Kasie Joyner at 405535-5681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landowners can learn more or enroll online at wildlifedepartment.com/OLAP.
Duncan Fishing and Tackle Show set June 1-2
The Duncan Fishing and Tackle show will be June 1 and 2 at the Stephens County fairgrounds.
Antique and new fishing tackle will be on display for sale or trade. Admission is free.
Guests may bring tackle to sale or trade, and anyone may rent a table to sell tackle. Free appraisals will be provided.
Show hours are noon to 6 p.m. on June 1 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 2.
For more information or to rent a table, contact Jerry Jolly at 580-656-6181 or email@example.com.
Wade Free of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservations holds a big walleye netted in March during the agency’s walleye broodstock collection on Canton Lake.