Wall­eye Rodeo be­gins Thurs­day

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

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 jeff.tib­bits@odwc.ok.gov or Kasie Joyner at 405535-5681 or kasie.joyner@odwc.ok.gov.

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 rod­snlures@ya­hoo.com.

[PHOTO PRO­VIDED]

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.

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