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"2003 Oklahoma Fishing Guide" now available

The “2003 Oklahoma Fishing Guide” will soon be hitting the shelves of fishing and hunting license dealers across the state. The 42-page booklet not only lists regulations governing fishing in the state, but it also contains fishing tips and a wide variety of other helpful information.

“We have made a few changes to the regulations for 2003,” said Barry Bolton, assistant fisheries chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We are always looking for better ways to manage the state’s fisheries and provide the most opportunity for anglers.”

According to Bolton, before heading out on a fishing trip in the new year, anglers should be sure to pick up a copy of the “2003 Oklahoma Fishing Guide” for a complete list of all changes to the regulations.

Following are a few of the notable changes in 2003:
In the Illinois River upstream from the confluence of Baron Fork Creek and in Baron Fork Creek, Lee Creek and Little Lee Creek, smallmouth bass have a 9- to 12-inch protected slot limit and a daily limit of six, of which only one may be 12 inches or longer. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted
bass have a combined daily limit of six, of which only one smallmouth bass
may be 12 inches or longer.

In the Glover River, from the confluence with Little River upstream to the “Forks of the Glover,” smallmouth bass have a 12-inch minimum size limit and a daily limit of three. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass have a combined daily limit of six, of which only three may be smallmouth bass.

At Skiatook Lake, striped bass hybrids have a daily limit of five, of which only two may be 20 inches or longer. There is no daily limit or size limit on white bass.

At Konawa Lake, the 16- to 22-inch protected slot limit on black bass has been dropped and no size limit on bass currently applies. All black bass still have a combined daily limit of six, of which only one may be 22 inches or longer.

Several changes have made to the regulations regarding paddlefish. Anglers pursuing paddlefish should be certain to pick up a copy of the regulations for complete details.

Beginning July 1, 2003, a new license will take effect. The Blue River Conservation Passport ($13.50 for both residents and non-residents), will be required of all persons who enter or use the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area, unless exempt.

Anyone with questions about fishing in Oklahoma or about state fishing regulations should contact their local game warden, or contact the Department's fisheries division at (405) 521-3721. Further information
also is available at the Department’s Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com<.