Posted on Friday Jul 19, 2013 at 8:32 PM
Just want to say if you fished for stripers on the Arkansas River in the 70s or 80s there were big fish. If you fished in the Lower Illinois back then, lots of fish and state records. If we can get back to that abundance; trophy striper fishing and Oklahoma striped bass fishing in general, will increase.
We've been asking for improvement in striper and hybrid fishing for 5 years or more. There is progress: limit changes on striper and numbers and length limit changes on hybrids. Also research including reciprocal hybrids on Kaw, which as a side benefit, have helped fill the gap of a decreasing long term striped bass opportunity below Kaw. Also the Arkansas River Striped Bass study, thanks to Bill, Kurk, Tom and co-workers.
I would like to see the management of ODWC put Striped bass and hybrid Striped bass fishing on a deserving scale. Grab the vision for opportunity and potential, by fully stocking suitable water for hybrids. Is supplemental striper stocking in Keystone a viable option? How about a hybrid/striper stamp? With respect to statewide stocking numbers, hybrids got the hind tit this year. If your favorite lake got blessed, I understand you feel different, but that doesn't change the aggregate numbers. If a problem is identified it is a half solved. ODWC is an entity capable of coming up with a long term hatchery solution.
Why is harvest of spawning stripers allowed below Kaw and Zinc dam, when it should be obvious to anyone who has followed striped bass in this state for more than a decade, that excluding Texoma, there has been a downward Striped bass population trend. Today's striper fishing (excluding Texoma) does not compare with the 70's and 80's and what are the contributory factors other than the limits and fisherman skill? The tremendous reproduction at Texoma, is also benefited from limited upstream fishing pressure during the spawn unlike upstream Keystone and below Keystone. There have been questions asked on here about the striper population in Keystone; previous striper stocking in Keystone and the resulting success; summer kill and management of summer water release to avoid that; with no answers.
This is the government we are talking about they deserve our full respect and vice-versa. Everything in the government not related to police or security, should be public information, as long as democracy is in force.
Sorry if I offended anyone on my joking reply on the Florida LMB blog on message board. That was intended to be half serious, kind of like the cartoons in the newspaper, to make a point. The point being we have been told in the past on the board, especially before it crashed, when my handle was "Striper Tom", that ODWC fisheries was not prioritizing the striper/hybrid segment as high as several other species, due to their surveys.
I made a point to the ridiculous about saugeye(survey says). They're stocked to control smaller sunfish(especially crappie) and hopefully assist in control of white perch, and provide fishing opportunity, too. Makes sense to stock them and there was an abundant stocking this year. Point being the striper/hybrid segment was outranked, if you will, by the limited numbers of fishermen who solely target saugeye; if one subscribes to the notion the biggest fishing segment, get the most return, as has been hinted by ODWC. No question there's more hybrid & striper fisherman in OK. In reality ODWC stocks for other reasons than popularity, when that decision is made.
About Florida LMB stocking 1.7 million fingerlings stocked this year-- a 9 lb per fish average on two winning bass tournament stringers in Arbuckle Lake says something about fish genetics. Still ODWC is wavering upon what they've said in the past, about not stocking fish capable of reproducing in the same water. It is encouraging that trophy fish have increased perceived value, at least in black bass, and appear to be changing ODWC philosophy. Stocking of FLMB that are not experimental and cost effective, makes sense for genetic reasons, if value is placed on trophy potential. Something new in this state apparently. It makes sense, trophys in certain species increases interest and following. Nothing more impressive than a trophy striper!!!
I closed my reply in that blog, again with a ridiculous statement. I presented the irony that surely something must taste wrong about hybrids (red meat?) to ODWC fishery management. My plea is with management, not Kurk, Bill , Tom and assistants. I humbly and gratefully thank you guys and gals specifically, for all your hard work, diligence, passion and wisdom put forth to promote Oklahoma Striper and hybrid opportunities, especially for bank and wading fisherman along the Arkansas. That is where my 20 lb striper and 12lb hybrid came from. Bank fishing puts opportunity on a level playing field, which is an American principal. By the way nothing more American than Striped bass, they fed the pilgrims.