JUNE 2008
NEWS RELEASES

WEEK OF JUNE 26, 2008  

WEEK OF JUNE 19, 2008

 

WEEK OF JUNE 12, 2008

 

WEEK OF JUNE 5, 2008

 

Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission elects officers
            New officers will begin serving next month on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.
            District 4 Commissioner Harland Stonecipher was unanimously elected Commission chairman at the June meeting. Stonecipher represents Oklahoma's Wildlife Conservation District 4, which includes Creek, Okfuskee, Seminole, Pottawatomie, Pontotoc, Hughes, Johnston and Coal counties.
            Commissioner John Groendyke will serve as Commission vice-chairman. Holding the Commission’s District 8 seat, Groendyke represents Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Woods, Major, Alfalfa, Grant, Garfield, Kay and Noble counties.
            Commissioner Mart Tisdal will serve as the Commission secretary. Tisdal represents District seven, including Ellis, Dewey, Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, Harmon and Tillman counties
            In other business, the Commission approved a memorandum of agreement with the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) to transfer the Project WILD conservation education program to UCO and fund the program at current levels for three years. Project WILD is a national curriculum designed to educate teachers on wildlife management while equipping them to teach students the benefits of sound conservation.  The Wildlife Department has coordinated Project WILD for over 20 years in Oklahoma, training over 15,000 teachers in that time. Approximately 30-50 Project WILD workshops are held annually.
            “The focus of Project WILD has shifted to reaching students that are attending school to become educators, and UCO graduates more future teachers than all the other state schools combined,” said Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Wildlife Department. “UCO has a lot of resources targeted at future teachers, so it makes sense to put this program in the hands of a school like UCO. In this partnership with UCO, we can advance the Project WILD program to accomplish even more in the way of educating our youth about conservation and nature.”
            The Commission also approved a resolution to prohibit wind turbines and transmission lines on Department-owned wildlife management areas.
             In addition, the Wildlife Department’s FY 2009 annual budget was approved, which is similar to last year’s except for an increase to cover portions of various projects such as a permanent paddlefish research center, fish hatchery renovations and construction of an education center on the Department’s Arcadia Conservation Education Area.
            Additionally, the Commission recognized Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan Co., for 30 years of service with the Wildlife Department; Tom Wyatt, biologist at Hickory Creek and Love Valley WMAs, for 30 years of service; Robert Wingo, game warden stationed in Bryan Co., for 20 years of service, and; Brent Gordon, northeast region fisheries supervisor, for 20 years of service.
            The Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.
            The next scheduled Commission meeting is set for 9 a.m. July 7 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters (auditorium), located at the southwest corner of 18th and North Lincoln, Oklahoma City.
 
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Oklahoma Wildlife Federation hosts annual banquet and auction
            Since 1951, the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation has worked to provide a unified voice for the sportsmen and women of the state, and you can show your support to this organization by attending its annual banquet and auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7 at Remington Park.
            The Wildlife Federation has teamed up on numerous occasions with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for various conservation projects, including a donation in 2005 of $200,000 to be used for purchasing land for fish and wildlife conservation. Most of the donation, along with Legacy Permit funds and Sport Fish Restoration funds, was used to purchase a 320-acre tract of Lower Illinois River front property in Sequoyah Co between Lake Tenkiller and the town of Gore.
            The Federation also is involved in teaching hunter education and aquatic education classes, improving wildlife habitat and informing state and federal lawmakers about the importance of State Wildlife Grants and other important wildlife-related legislation.
            Funds raised at the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation banquet and fundraiser will be put back into conservation efforts statewide. A variety of auction items will be available, ranging from great outdoor trips to outdoor-related merchandise and equipment.
            For more information about the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation, log on to okwildlife.org. For more information on obtaining tickets to the banquet and auction, call (405) 308-5490.
 
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Availability of apprentice-designated hunting license extends to younger youth
            Last year’s introduction of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s apprentice-designated hunting license made learning to hunt easier than ever for new sportsmen, and one change made recently by the Oklahoma Legislature will make the 2008 season easier once again.
            House Bill 2735, authored by Brian Renegar of the House and Richard Lerblance of the Senate, allows youth 10 years of age and older to purchase apprentice-designated hunting licenses if required. Previously, apprentice-designated hunting licenses were only available to hunters ages 16-35.
            “The apprentice-designated hunting license is a great way to get more youth interested in hunting and more aware of the need for conservation,” said Colin Berg, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “When you take a new hunter into the field, it’s an investment in the future of conservation as well in the lives of sportsmen.”
            For complete details on the apprentice-designated hunting license, see the “2008-09 Oklahoma Hunting Guide,” which will be available in July.
            The Oklahoma Legislature addressed several other important issues this session that may affect hunters and anglers, including one bill that creates a five-year hunting, fishing, and combination license that will be available to sportsmen in January 2009. To see a complete listing of the bills and resolutions, consult the Wildlife Department’s online legislative tracker by logging on to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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Fort Cobb yielding Lake Record Fish in recent days
            You don’t have to tell anglers about the potential for catching a lake record fish at Fort Cobb Lake. They already know and are busy setting records.
            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Lake Record Fish Program was launched in February, and since then lake records have been set at lakes all over the state. Most recently, three new lake records were landed at Fort Cobb in the flathead catfish and striped bass hybrid categories.
            Margaret Recker, Eakly, caught her 42-lb. lake record flathead catfish May 28. The fish measured 41.75 inches in length and 37.25 inches in girth. That same day, local Fort Cobb angler Rocky Brewster caught a striped bass hybrid that weighed 11.4 lbs from the south end of the lake. Just days later, on June 1, the striped bass hybrid record was broken when Brooke King of Weatherford caught an 18.2-lb. fish near the dam at Fort Cobb
            Other lakes included in the program are Arbuckle, Broken Bow, Canton, Eufaula, Grand, Kaw, Keystone, Sardis, Skiatook, Tenkiller, Texoma and Thunderbird.
            Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include blue, channel and flathead catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in addition to crappie, paddlefish, striped bass, striped bass hybrids, sunfish (combined) walleye/saugeye and white bass. Minimum weights are set for each species are detailed on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
            Anglers who catch a potential record from a participating lake should contact designated business locations around the lake that are enrolled as lake record keepers. A listing of official lake record keepers is available on wildlifedepartment.com.
            Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the catch on the Wildlife Department’s Web site.
            All past and current state record fish are registered in the Lake Record Fish Program as records for their respective lakes.
            Below are links to photographs of the three Fort Cobb fish caught earlier this week and over the weekend. To see the complete database of all lake record fish caught, including an easily-operated search feature that allows those interested to view a wealth of lake record fish information, ranging from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was used to catch them, or to learn more about the Lake Record Fish program, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
Recker’s Fort Cobb Lake record flathead catfish: http://lake-record.ou.edu/fishsite/public/fishView.php?id=479&lake%5B%5D=69&&sort
 
King’s Fort Cobb Lake record striped bass hybrid: http://lake-record.ou.edu/fishsite/public/fishView.php?id=480&lake%5B%5D=69&&sort
 
Brewster’s Fort Cobb striped bass hybrid: http://lake-record.ou.edu/fishsite/public/fishView.php?id=481&lake%5B%5D=69&&sort
 
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Oklahoma anglers urged to take online survey to improve fishing
            As part of an ongoing effort to provide quality fishing experiences for anglers, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s fisheries division works regularly to establish “fish attractors” in lakes across the state, and now the Department wants the public’s input on how those areas impact angling.
            Biologists with the Wildlife Department are conducting an online survey to gain feedback from anglers on what types of fish attracting structure seems to draw more fish, which types work best for increasing angler success and where fish attractors should be located. Anglers are asked to log on to the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com to take the survey.
            In recent years, the Wildlife Department’s fisheries personnel have been sinking brush piles and spider blocks in waters all across the state in hopes of attracting fish and increasing angler success. Brush piles are brought to lakes from other areas or cut from the lake’s own shoreline. Spider blocks, which are manmade fish attractors built from rubber hosing that is cemented into cinderblocks to create plantlike structure, are made by fisheries personnel as well as volunteers such as school groups and then strategically dropped into lakes across the state. Additionally, aquatic vegetation planting projects conducted by the Department also have been employed in some cases as a method for attracting fish.
            “When hunting for deer, turkey and quail, it’s beneficial to have access to areas that attract game and to know where those areas are located, and it is the same way with fishing,” said Barry Bolton, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. “Our state’s waters are full of fish, but anglers know there is a lot more to finding and catching them than just knowing that they live in the water. It’s helps to find areas that draw and congregate fish. And while we have been working to establish areas like this to improve fishing for our state’s anglers, we need to know how well it is working.”
            Biologists with the Wildlife Department say all comments and suggestions are welcome, and the information gained from the survey will be used to refine future habitat enhancement efforts.
            “The habitat work done by the Wildlife Department is aimed at producing quality fishing, so the interests and concerns of our sportsmen are important to us,” said Gene Gilliland, central region fisheries supervisor for the Wildlife Department.
            For more information about fishing in Oklahoma or to take the survey, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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Hunters and anglers get extra benefits from their licenses
            Field, Forest and Stream: The History of Oklahomans and the Outdoors opened in April at the Oklahoma History Center, and since then many sportsmen have visited the one-of-a-kind exhibit that showcases the state’s longstanding outdoor traditions. And now there is even more reason for sportsmen to take this unique opportunity to learn about Oklahoma’s outdoor heritage because any visitors who present a current Oklahoma hunting or fishing license will receive $1 off their admission.
            In April 2008, the Oklahoma Historical Society opened the Oklahoma History Center’s Field, Forest and Stream, which includes over 2,000 square feet of exhibition. The exhibit includes historic artifacts, images and photography, audio-visual elements and hands-on interaction relating to the outdoors in Oklahoma.
            Guests will find features in the Field, Forest & Stream exhibit such as taxidermy dioramas and an interactive hunting blind, as well a feature where more adventurous guests can experience the sensation of catfish noodling firsthand through a simulator. Additionally, visitors have an opportunity to sit and listen to camp stories told by historic Oklahoma figures.
            Field, Forest, & Stream: The History of Oklahomans and the Outdoors is made possible through the support and participation of individuals, groups, and businesses such as the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, outdoor television producer Don Wallace and the producers of the On the Water In the Woods television show. Additionally, the Wildlife Department and the Oklahoma Museum of History at the Oklahoma History Center called on the people of Oklahoma for donations of historical artifacts, documents, and images related to hunting, fishing, camping, bird watching, wildlife photography, and all other outdoor activities in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma History Center is located just east of the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. For more information call (405) 522-0765 or visit okhistorycenter.org.
            Sportsman can use their current hunting and fishing licenses to save money in the Tulsa area as well. Visitors to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks who present a current Oklahoma hunting or fishing license upon arrival receive $2 off admission. The Aquarium houses over 200 exhibits consisting of both salt and freshwater fish, including a state record blue catfish that you can see up close.
            Over the last five years, the Oklahoma Aquarium has welcomed about 2 million visitors, and approximately 1/3 of its guests come from out of state. Additionally, the Aquarium has led to an estimated $100 million in tourism for Oklahoma and has educated more than 100,000 pre-K to graduate level students through organized field trips, internships and other structured programs.
            Visitors to the Oklahoma Aquarium can learn about the biodiversity and adaptation of many different species. The Oklahoma Aquarium also includes visual opportunities, such as the Hayes Family Ozark Streams exhibit. It features Oklahoma fish such as smallmouth bass and sunfish as well as the aquarium’s first mammals, including beavers, raccoons and river otters. The unique design of the exhibit allows guests to come nose to nose with the animals, separated only by glass. Hand-carved concrete mimics the rocky cliffs of northeastern Oklahoma at the foot of the Ozarks, and a crashing waterfall adds to the ambience. Even the lighting and temperature contribute to the environment. This exhibit gives visitors to the already popular Oklahoma Aquarium a chance to learn about stream ecology and the importance of protecting Oklahoma’s native scenic waters. Other exhibits include the Karl and Beverly White Fishing and Tackle Museum, which showcases antique tackle and fishing gear; the Fishes of Oklahoma exhibit, offering the opportunity to see a state record blue catfish, seven-foot-long gars and an alligator snapping turtle that is more than 120 years old; and the Ray & Robin Siegfried Families Shark Adventure, which has a walk-through tunnel and dome that allows you to see the largest bull sharks in captivity swimming alongside you and even right over your head.
            For additional information about the Oklahoma Aquarium and how you can plan your visit, log on to okaquarium.org or call (918) 296-3474.
 
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The WildSide goes electronic
            Living in Oklahoma means living close to wildlife, and Oklahomans who have ever had an interest in learning more about the wildlife that surrounds them have a free online resource available to help them do just that.
            The WildSide e-newsletter is a free publication of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program and provides information about wildlife-viewing events, unique wildlife species, citizen-participation opportunities, Wildlife Department projects and more.    
            “The WildSide can be delivered right to your e-mail and is full of useful information for anyone interested in wildlife in Oklahoma,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department.
            The most recent issue of the WildSide includes articles about wildlife on Cooper and Ft. Supply wildlife management areas and the newly purchased Cimarron Bluff Wildlife Management area.
            The Wildlife Diversity Program manages and conserves Oklahoma’s rare, declining, endangered and common wildlife for future generations.
            For more information about this program, to subscribe to the WildSide e-newsletter or to learn about other publications and information sources available through the Wildlife Department, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.  
 
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School Day brings in 2008 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo
            The 2008 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo will kick off at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26 when busloads full of thousands of school students from across the state will arrive at the event for a day of outdoor fun.
      “We are opening the Expo at an earlier time this year than we have in the past so that schools can come to the event as a field trip,” said Colin Berg, education supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “There are already over 5,000 students expected to arrive Friday, and we can’t wait to greet them. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the Expo than by sharing the outdoors with our state’s youth.”
      This year’s Expo is slated for Sept. 26-28, 2008 at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City, and just like in year’s past, it will feature a family-friendly environment where people can shoot shotguns, try archery, ride mountain bikes, catch fish, test-drive ATVs, sample wild game meat and so much more with their loved ones at no charge.
            “The Expo is all about exposing as many people to the outdoors and the importance of conservation as possible,” Berg said. “And the best thing is that the outdoors have a drawing effect on people. All you have to do is introduce a youngster to a few outdoor-related activities and they will gain a stronger appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors and a better understanding of the importance of conservation.  The Expo provides an outlet for people to see the value of what Oklahoma’s outdoors have to offer.”
Educators interested in planning a trip to the Wildlife Expo with their students this year should call (918) 299-2334 for more information.
            The Wildlife Department is partnering with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies to host this huge event. The Expo is designed to promote and perpetuate the appreciation of Oklahoma's wildlife and natural resources and provide hands-on learning opportunities for all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
            Expo hours will be from 8 .m. to 6 p.m. each day, Sept. 26-28. Log on to wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on the upcoming Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.
 
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Outdoor Marketplace returns to 2008 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo
            Oklahomans interested in the outdoors should mark their calendars now for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s fourth annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo slated for September 26-28 at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City.
            The Wildlife Department will be working with a range of organizations, individuals and outdoor-related companies to host the Expo — an event intended to promote and develop appreciation for Oklahoma’s wildlife and natural resources.
            “The Expo is the state’s largest indoor and outdoor recreation event,” said Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Wildlife Department. “Tens of thousands of people get a chance to enjoy the outdoors and maybe experience something new.”
            Among many other activities, Expo visitors will be able to fish, shoot shotguns, kayak, ride mountain bikes, see and touch wildlife, attend dog training seminars and learn about recreation in the great outdoors. They will also be able to win a variety of free prizes thanks to the Expo’s generous sponsors. And just like last year, the Expo will feature the Outdoor Marketplace, a large area where commercial vendors will be selling their hunting and fishing-related merchandise and services. This year’s Marketplace will again feature venders under a large tent, but outdoor open-air spaces also have been added for displaying larger items such as ATVs and treestands. Nonprofit conservation organizations also will be able to sign up for free booth spaces to promote membership and educate sportsmen about their organizations. A 10’ x 10’ booth space under the tent costs $500, while a 20’ x 20’ outside space costs $500. Both include electricity.
             “The Outdoor Marketplace was a big hit with Expo visitors last year, and we are glad to bring it back,” Rodefeld said. “It will be bigger and better than last year, and it will be a great opportunity to showcase your products to thousands of outdoorsmen.”
            Log on to wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on the upcoming Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.
For more information about obtaining a booth in the Outdoor Marketplace or to obtain an application for a booth, contact Rhonda Hurst, Wildlife Expo Coordinator at (405) 522-6279.
 
 
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Wildlife Department seeks artists for waterfowl stamp design
            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will begin accepting entries for this year’s Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp Design Contest July 1 and will continue to accept entries through Aug. 15, 2008.
            The gadwall is the featured species for the 2009-10 contest, and the winning art will be printed on the 2009-10 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp.
            “Last year we introduced two new elements to this competition,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We opened the doors for artists to be more creative by including hunting dogs in their entry, and we invited the public to help us choose a winner. The same is true for this year.”
            Artists may include a retriever in their artwork, but the gadwall must be the featured element of the painting.
            Duck stamp sales help finance many projects that benefit ducks and geese. Since the duck stamp program began in 1980, thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat have been created through duck stamp revenues.
            Artwork may be of acrylic, oil, watercolor, scratchboard, pencil, pen and ink, tempera or any other two-dimensional media. The illustration must be horizontal, six and a half inches high and nine inches wide. It must be matted with white mat board nine inches high by 12 inches wide with the opening cut precisely 6.5 x 9. Artwork may not be framed or under glass, but acetate covering should be used to protect the art. All artists must depict the mallard, and any habitat appearing in the design must be typical of Oklahoma. For complete entry guidelines, call (405) 521-3856.
            Entries should be sent to the Duck Stamp Competition Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Fed Ex, UPS and other ground deliveries should be sent to 1801 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
            Entries will be judged on anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for printing. The winner and three honorable mentions will appear in a future issue of Outdoor Oklahoma magazine.
            A non-refundable entry fee of $20 (cash, money order or cashier’s check) must accompany each entry. No entries will be accepted after 4:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
            The winning artist will receive a purchase award of $1,200, and the winning entry will become the sole and exclusive property of the Wildlife Department.
            A selection of waterfowl stamp art from previous years is currently on display in the lobby of the Wildlife Department headquarters located at 1801 N. Lincoln, in Oklahoma City.
            Prints of previous winning waterfowl artwork can be purchased at http://www.wildlifedepartment.com

            For more information about the contest call (405) 521-3856. For a complete list of contest rules, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com


 
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2008 Wildlife Expo’s Outdoor Marketplace to be bigger and better
            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s fourth annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, slated for September 26-28 at the Lazy E Arena, will again include the popular Outdoor Marketplace, but officials also say the second year for this Expo feature will be even better than last year.
            “The Outdoor Marketplace is a huge tent at the Expo where vendors are set up to display and offer for sale a huge selection of outdoor-related products and services,” said Rhonda Hurst, Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “This year, though, the huge tent will have even more vendor space, so even more products will be available to shoppers at the Expo.”
            Additionally, Hurst said the Outdoor Marketplace may have a different location at the Expo to provide more exposure to the tens of thousands of visitors that hit the Expo over a three-day period.
            “The Expo focuses on educating its visitors about the outdoors, and it is all completely free,” Hurst said. “Therefore, it draws huge crowds of people who come for a day of fun and learning. The Marketplace gives these outdoor-minded guests a place to shop for the latest in outdoor products and services that cater to their lifestyles, while providing vendors a place to showcase their goods to the people that will want to buy them.”
            The Wildlife Department will be working with a range of organizations, individuals and outdoor-related companies to host the Expo — an event intended to promote and develop appreciation for Oklahoma’s wildlife and natural resources.
            Log on to wildlifedepartment.com regularly to stay up to date on the upcoming Oklahoma Wildlife Expo.
            Vendors who wish to obtain a booth at this year’s Outdoor Marketplace should contact Hurst at (405) 522-6279.
 
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Hunting dogs help celebrate 2008 Wildlife Expo
            Ask any sportsmen who has ever been hunting with a good dog and they will tell you that few outdoor experiences compare to pursuing game with a canine partner.
            Loaded with tradition, the sport of hunting with dogs is a longstanding Oklahoma pastime and a rich part of Oklahoma’s hunting heritage. Additionally, hunters will tell you that a good sporting dog is also a good conservation tool, aiding the hunter in locating as well as harvesting more game. Countless birds and small game animals have been harvested in Oklahoma thanks to the trusty work of a well trained hunting dog.
            The pleasures and benefits of hunting with dogs is explored each year at the annual Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, to be held Sept. 26-28 this year at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Among the hundreds of events, activities and booths at the Expo are several opportunities to get up close to real hunting dogs bred for the field and woods and to talk with dog trainers and hunters about how to successfully train and care for one of several types of hunting breeds. Seminars are held to educate visitors on the wise use and training of hunting dogs, ranging from dogs bred to point, retrieve or tree wild game.
            “Dogs and hunting are a winning combination,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “They make us better hunters because they alert us to things in nature we’d otherwise miss, and they’re just plain fun to have around.”
            Dogs can be used to hunt a range of Oklahoma wildlife, including certain upland and migratory birds and waterfowl and a variety of furbearers such as bobcats, raccoons and small game like rabbits and squirrels.
            “Expo visitors will have a front seat opportunity to watch dog training in action well as learn about the history of certain breeds, such as those used to retrieve waterfowl, point quail or tree squirrels,” Holmes said.
            Dog training seminars and booths are popular hits at the annual Wildlife Expo and make up only a fraction of the more than 200 hands-on activities that will be available.
            This year’s Expo will also feature popular attractions like wild game calling, shotgun and archery shooting, atlatl-throwing, mountain biking, wildlife art, ATV riding, wild game meat tasting and more.
            “There is going to be something for everyone in the family at this year’s Expo,” Holmes said. “Whether you are a seasoned sportsmen, rookie angler or just interested in wildlife, you need to come to the Expo to get a grasp of everything Oklahoma’s outdoors have to offer.”
            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is partnering with a wide range of other state agencies, private individuals and outdoor-related companies to host this huge event. The Expo is designed to promote and perpetuate appreciation of Oklahoma's wildlife and natural resources and provide hands-on learning opportunities for all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
            Expo hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To stay up to date on information regarding activities available at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, log on regularly to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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More lake record fish enter the books
            Two new lake record fish were caught recently at Lake Thunderbird, one largemouth bass weighing in at eight pounds, and the other a three-pound white bass.
            Randall Farley, Norman, caught the largemouth bass June 13 while crappie fishing. It measured 23.5 inches in length and 17 inches in girth. The white bass lake record, caught by David Belvin, Norman, on a soft plastic, was 18.25 inches in length and 13 inches in girth and was caught near the main body of the lake near a channel.
            Other than Thunderbird, lakes included in the program include Arbuckle, Broken Bow, Canton, Eufaula, Ft. Cobb, Grand, Kaw, Keystone, Sardis, Skiatook, Tenkiller and Texoma.
            Species eligible for spots in the lake records book include blue, channel and flathead catfish and largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in addition to crappie, paddlefish, striped bass, striped bass hybrids, sunfish (combined) walleye/saugeye and white bass. Minimum weights are set for each species and are listed on the Wildlife Department’s Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
         Anglers who catch a potential record from a participating lake should contact designated businesses around the lake that are enrolled as lake record keepers. A listing of official lake record keepers is available on wildlifedepartment.com.
            Once it has been determined that an angler has landed a record fish, the media is notified and the public will be able to view information about the catch on the Wildlife Department’s Web site.
            All past and current state record fish are registered in the Lake Record Fish Program as records for their respective lakes.
            To see the complete database of all lake record fish caught, including an easily-operated search feature that allows those interested to view a wealth of lake record fish information, ranging from the size of record fish caught to what kind of bait or rod and reel was used to catch them, or to learn more about the Lake Record Fish program, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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