Kurt a few questions for you.....
Stocking, Slot limits and over populations
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Posted on Wednesday Jul 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM  
Hello Kurt, I have a few questions that always seem to come up when talking to my friend and other local anglers. 
1. How come there are more Smallmouth stocked? Ex. Skiatook, Arbuckle, Tenkiller etc
2. Can we expect to see more Slot Limits on more lake to improve quality fish to catch? 
3. I know Skiatook had a LM virus years ago and it seems that they just have never really recovered. Is it possible the colder water has something to do with their survival success and will the new stocking of Florida LM has the same issues. 
4. I personally feel Skiatook could be an Amazing Smallmouth lake and it does have some Giants in there but is it possible with the high volume of Hybrid population and continuous over stocking of Hybrids it's hurting the LM & SM populations. **Calm down Hybrid fisherman it's just a question not a Anti Hybrid campaign! Well not yet anyway! :)
thank you for your time and thoughts Kurt! 
Posted on Wednesday Jul 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM  
Sorry it took so long for me to respond...I have been given some new duties as part of a job title change and will not have as much time available to respond to your questions here (but I will try my best or refer them to someone who can help).

1. ODWC does not stock huge numbers of SM bass because of our limited success in creating fisheries with them.  Where stockings have been successful, natural reproduction generally takes care of maintaining the population year to year.  Additional (supplemental) stockings are usually a waste of resources.

2. Slot limits are not very good at changing fish populations...because anglers generally DO NOT keep fish on the lower end of the slot.  This essentially becomes a more restrictive length limit (whatever the upper end of the slot is becomes the "minimum" length.  In my opinion, slot limits have outlived their utility in most cases (especially bass populations).

3. LMBV did have quite a negative impact on many bass populations.  This combined with many cold winters and threadfin shad winter kills is likely the cause of the slow recovery of Skiatook bass populations.  Since the threadfin shad keep winter killing, there is not much food for predators to eat.  This is pretty much the same answer for your next question too.  It is not so much that we over-stock hybrids...there simply is not as much food to go around when the threadfin shad die off each winter.

For any additional info please contact Bill Wentroth at 580-762-2248
Posted on Wednesday Jul 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM  
I heard that when ODWC put out gill nets on Skiatook earlier this year, to count/catch shad, you didn't see any in the nets. That must deeply concern the department. Has anything been done? 
The more you practice, the luckier you get.