JANUARY 2010 NEWS RELEASES

WEEK OF JANUARY 28, 2010

WEEK OF JANUARY 21, 2010

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 14, 2010

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 7, 2010

2010-11 Waterfowl Stamp artwork selected
            The 2010-2011 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp design competition results are in, and first place goes to John Brennan of Lutz, Fla. The wildlife artist's winning painting portraying a lone ringneck duck on the water will be featured on the 20010-11 Oklahoma Waterfowl Stamp.
            Brennan is a junior music major at the University of South Florida.
            “I am thrilled to be a part of the state duck stamp tradition,” Brennan said. “It is particularly special because it is my first state duck stamp win. I have always had a passion for the outdoors, and the Waterfowl stamp program is the perfect way to blend my loves of art and nature.”
            An honorable mention was awarded to Guymon resident J. Bryon Test as well as J.P. Edwards of Raleigh, NC, Richard Clifton of Milford, Del. and Kip Richmond of Apex, NC.
            “We received some great entries in this year's contest and had the public's help in picking the winning artwork,” said Micah Holmes, information and education supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
            The entries were on display at the Department's Jenks office located at the Oklahoma Aquarium, and visitors were able to provide input on their favorites.
            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 enhanced and restored through duck stamp revenues.
            Entries were judged on anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for printing. The winner and honorable mentions also will appear in a future issue of Outdoor Oklahoma magazine.
 
To view the winning art
http://www.wildlifedepartment.com
 
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Oklahoma-grown seedlings available online
            Planting trees is for the birds, and this year the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has wildlife habitat improvement packages of tree seedlings that make that job even easier!
            In partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Forestry Services is offering three different packages of seedlings that will enhance the habitat of deer, songbirds, turkey, quail and a variety of other wildlife. Each wildlife packet is made up of 25 each of four different species of trees and shrubs chosen specifically to improve the wildlife habitat of your property.
            “Planting the appropriate trees can be a great way to enhance wildlife habitat on your property,” said Mike Sams, private lands biologist for the Wildlife Department. “Planting a tree today can be a long-term investment for future generations.”
            Oklahoma grown seedlings are available to landowners for a broad range of conservation projects. Landowners use the trees for windbreaks to protect crops and livestock, timber production, water quality protection, erosion control or other natural resource projects such as firewood plantings and Christmas tree production.
            “Now is the time to begin thinking about planting seedlings, and foresters from ODAFF are available to assist you,” said State Forester John Burwell. “Oklahoma's seedling planting season runs from December through early April and fall is the best time to prepare the planting site to make the planting job easier.”
            Landowners can purchase their wildlife habitat improvement packages online, as well as choose from over 35 species of trees and shrubs. Seedlings are one year old, bare-root, and each species is packaged in multiples of 50 with a minimum order of 100 trees. They are to be used in rural conservation plantings and cannot be used for ornamental plantings or resold as living trees.
            All orders will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, so landowners are encouraged to visit www.forestry.ok.gov today to choose their tree seedlings for planting this winter. The seedlings will be available for pickup or shipment starting in mid January, but orders are being taken now via the online store or you can request a paper order form by contacting the Department's Forest Regeneration Center at 800-517-FOREST.
 
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Now is prime time to watch Oklahoma's wintering eagles
            Locations all across the state offer many opportunities to see the nation's emblem in the wild this winter.
            As lakes in the northern U.S. and Midwest freeze, eagles migrate south to find open water and food. Oklahoma has 11,600 miles of shoreline and over a million surface acres of water, and that is part of what makes it one of the top 10 states in the nation for winter eagle viewing.
            During the winter, Oklahoma is home to anywhere from 700 to 1,500 eagles that migrate in from the northern states and Canada. With numbers peaking in January and February, wintertime is a great chance to catch of a glimpse of the bird in the wild. The highest concentration of birds are located at lakes, such as Kaw, Texoma, Tenkiller, Ft. Gibson, Grand, Canton and Great Salt Plains.
            In addition to migrant eagles that winter in Oklahoma, the state also has around 120 bald eagles that live here year-round. While there were no known pairs of nesting eagles in the state prior to 1990, there are now around 60 known breeding pairs.
            Eagle watches are hosted by state parks, lake management offices, national wildlife refuges and local Audubon Society chapters. Event activities will vary, but most are free. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation annually compiles a list of events to help Oklahomans discover where to view this majestic bird. For more information or to view the list, log on to the Wildlife Department's Web site at
http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/.
            The site provides details on eagle viewing locations and events as well as historical information on the bald eagle. Additionally, tips for eagle viewing and helping protect them also are included.
 
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Creativity to benefit wildlife at NatureWorks art show
            Every year wildlife and nature artists from across the United States and abroad convene on the Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center to bring visitors the annual NatureWorks Art Show and Sale. This year about 60 artists are expected to display their work Feb. 27-28.
            Art featured at the show includes everything from paintings and photography to sculptures and more. The 2010 featured artist is Kenny McKenna, an oil painter from Guthrie.
            “The NatureWorks art show has been recognized as one of the best wildlife art shows in the country,” said Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “It's widely recognized for its outstanding art and the opportunity it provides for visitors to meet directly with artists.”
            The annual art show is sponsored by NatureWorks, Inc., a Tulsa-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting in wildlife conservation efforts and wildlife education opportunities. The NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale has generated matching grants to assist a variety of state wildlife conservation projects.
            Projects such as the Department's paddlefish management program, duck stamp print program and centennial duck stamp print have benefited from NatureWorks' support along with habitat work at the Harold Stuart Waterfowl Refuge Unit within the Deep Fork Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Grassy Slough WMA. NatureWorks also has been an important supporter of the Wildlife Department's Hunters Against Hunger program — in which hunters can donate their legally harvested deer to feed hungry Oklahomans — as well as in funding an effort to put Outdoor Oklahoma magazine in every school and library in the state.
            Hours for the NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. Tickets are $5, and one ticket is good for both days. The art show will be held at the Tulsa Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, located at 6808 South 107th East Avenue (71st and US-169) in Tulsa. For more information about NatureWorks or the art show, log on to natureworks.org.
 
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Mountain Fork River to welcome 40,000 trout in next three months
            Over the next three months, more than 40,000 rainbow trout will be stocked at the Lower Mountain Fork River in southeast Oklahoma thanks to six additional loads of fish that that will be released into the river. Regular bi-weekly stockings also will continue.
            While one of the extra trout stockings took place Jan. 13, five others are scheduled for Jan. 27, Feb. 10 & 24 and March 10 & 24. Trout anglers at the Lower Mountain Fork River also enjoyed an extra stocking in November.
            The additional rainbow trout are being provided to the Wildlife Department by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help offset the impacts caused by dams on Oklahoma waters.
            Wildlife Department personnel will transport the fish from the Greers Ferry Fish Hatchery in Arkansas and then release them into the LMFR trout fishery for anglers to enjoy.
            To view the regular, bi-weekly trout stocking schedule and specific regulations for all the state's trout waters, including the LMFR, log on to wildlifedepartment.com. The Web site also includes tips on how to catch trout as well as a wealth of information about the state's streams restoration program, which works to provide healthy streams and better trout angling in Oklahoma.
            To fish for trout, anglers need an appropriate state fishing license. Additionally, a trout license is required of anglers who fish in state designated trout areas or tributaries to a state designated trout stream during trout seasons. For further details about trout fishing in Oklahoma, including a detailed listing of all designated trout areas and regulations for each, consult the current “Oklahoma Fishing Guide” or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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Outdoor Oklahoma readers' photos wanted for “Readers Photography Showcase” issue
            Outdoor Oklahoma magazine is currently accepting submission for its annual “Readers' Photography Showcase” issue, which features the digital images of outdoor enthusiasts all over the state.
            Submissions will accepted through March 31, and selected photographers will have their work featured in the July/August 2010 issue of Outdoor Oklahoma.
            The special summer issue gives both professional and amateur photographers the chance to have their digital photos displayed in a magazine nationally recognized for its photography.
            "My wife, Kitty and I look forward all year to your “Photography Showcase magazine,” said Mark Cromwell of Enid. “We save our favorite Oklahoma pictures for your magazine hoping to get one published.”
            Cromwell and his wife have both seen their images appear in the “Readers Photography Showcase.” According to Cromwell, it's an exciting time each year when the July/August issue of Outdoor Oklahoma arrives in the mail at their home.
            “We thumb through the pages to see if we made it,” Cromwell said, adding that part of the excitement of the issue is having the chance to see what other photographers submitted
            “I always enjoy seeing the other photographers work from all over Oklahoma,” he said. “We live in a beautiful state, full of wildlife and rich scenery."
            Each participant may submit up to five digital images. Each submission must include a description of the photo, including the location taken, name and hometown of photographer, names and hometowns of subjects and what it took to get just the right shot. Photos should be in sharp focus, and images should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). The canvas size should be about 8 inches by 11 inches. All submissions must be digital and slides and print images will not be accepted. Images mailed on CD or e-mailed to Outdoor Oklahoma become the property of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
            “Photography is a great way to enjoy the outdoors,” said Michael Bergin, associate editor of Outdoor Oklahoma. “We look forward to the many submissions we get each year, and it's always challenging for the judges to make their final selections.”
Hopeful photographers can mail a disk to: Outdoor Oklahoma magazine, Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.
            Individuals can subscribe to Outdoor Oklahoma by calling 1-800-777-0019. Outdoor Oklahoma is known for providing decades of outdoor entertainment to both youth and adults. Subscriptions are just $10 for one year, $18 for two years, or $25 for three years. You can also subscribe over the Internet by logging on to the Department's Web site at wildlifedepartment.com.
 
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Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International slates sportsmen's auction and banquet
            Safari Club International is known for supporting conservation and sportsmen, and their active Oklahoma Station Chapter provides a chance for sportsmen to contribute through its annual banquet and fundraiser, scheduled this year for March 6.
            The chapter's 25th Annual Awards Banquet and Charity Fundraiser will be held March 6 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The event will feature a live auction where bidders will have a chance to buy guided hunts around the globe, ranging from feral hog hunts at Oklahoma's Chain Ranch and a variety of whitetail deer hunts in several states to big game hunts in Africa and fishing trips in Alaska. Other auction items include selections of firearms, outdoor art, pickup bed-liners, hunting gear and much more. A continually updated list of auction items can be viewed on the Oklahoma Station Chapter's Web site at oklahomastationsci.org.
            “This is a special celebration of our hunting heritage,” said Mike Mistelske, current president of the Oklahoma Station Chapter. “The auction will feature more North American big-game hunts than ever before, banquet ticket prices have been reduced, there will be many other activities, and there will be great value and fun for everyone — all for the benefit of Oklahoma hunters and non-hunters.”
            The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, but registration and opportunity to visit with outfitters and vendors begins at 4:30 p.m. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located at 1700 N.E. 63rd St. in Oklahoma City 73111.
            SCI membership is not required to participate in the banquet and raffles, or to be eligible for door prizes. Tickets purchased before Jan. 31 are $45. Tickets may be purchased after Jan. 31 for $70 or at the door for $95. A limited number of sponsor tables will be available as well. To purchase tickets or for further information, contact Judy Rork at 405-703-3381 or oscsci@yahoo.com. Ticket forms also may be printed and either mailed, faxed or e-mailed through the Chapter's Web site at www.oklahomastationsci.org. Bid cards for the auction are available to members at no cost. For non-members, bid cards ($50) or memberships ($85) may be purchased at the door if desired. For questions relating to the banquet and auction, contact Mike Mistelske, current Oklahoma Station Chapter of SCI president, at mjmistelske@yahoo.com.
            The Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International offers support and funding to local conservation efforts that benefit the sportsmen and wildlife of Oklahoma. The chapter is a supporter of projects conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, such as the Hunters Against Hunger program that coordinates the annual distribution of over 30,000 of pounds of venison to needy families. The Chapter is also a sponsor of the Wildlife Department's Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, which educates tens of thousands of Oklahomans each year on the value of wildlife and the outdoors to quality of life in Oklahoma.
            The organization also has helped fund the purchase of an airboat used by the Wildlife Department on waterfowl surveys and other wetland management tasks, and several trailers for use in the Department's Shotgun Training Education Program (STEP). The STEP program introduces both youth and adults to shotgun shooting techniques and the proper handling of firearms. The Oklahoma Station Chapter also partners with the Wildlife Department each year to hold an annual youth essay contest that provides youth a chance to share their feelings about Oklahoma's outdoors and to win great prizes, including a guided pronghorn antelope hunt in New Mexico. Additionally, the chapter purchased eight elk for introduction into an existing herd in southeast Oklahoma.
            For more information on the Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International, log on to www.oklahomastationsci.org.


 
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Dolese Youth Park Pond teeming with trout; fishing to be great for anglers
            Oklahoma City resident Gaston Gallant goes fishing nearly every day of the two-month trout season at Dolese Youth Park Pond, a northwest Oklahoma City fishing destination currently teeming with nearly 2,600 rainbow trout.
            Just moments after the release of about 850 fish into the pond, located north of NW 50th and a half block west of Meridian Ave, the native Canadian said trout are a big part of his and his wife's regular diet.
            “We love to eat trout, and they are very expensive in the supermarket,” Gallant said, emphasizing that just a state fishing license and Oklahoma City fishing permit are a small price to pay for the opportunity to catch fish near his home in Oklahoma City, where he has resided since 1978.
            As part of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Close to Home Fishing Program and in partnership with the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, the pond is stocked regularly with rainbow trout as part of a special season at the pond that runs through Feb. 28. About 90 percent of the trout stocked in the pond range from nine to 14 inches and average about a half pound in weight. The remainder of trout stocked are trophy fish up to 24 inches in length. The remaining stockings at Dolese are scheduled for Feb. 4 and Feb. 18.
            According to Bob Martin, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department who oversees fish stocking and angling activity at Dolese, a total of about 8,000 fish will be stocked in the pond throughout the two-month season.
            Fishing had slowed at Dolese at the start of the New Year because of excessively cold water temperatures. While trout thrive in cool water, their activity decreases when water temperatures drop below 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
            “Several inches of ice formed on Dolese, causing water temperatures to range closer to 32 degrees,” said Keith Thomas, fisheries research biologist for the Wildlife Department, adding that the frozen surface of the shallow pond had for a short time hindered dedicated anglers from sinking a hook.
            With the ice melted, temperatures stabilizing and plenty of fish in the pond, biologists expect fish activity to resume and trout angling to be at its best for the remainder of the season.
            Trout are provided through a generous donation from BancFirst. These funds are crucial in providing the necessary match for Oklahoma's Sport Fish Restoration Program funding.
            “BancFirst's donation is matched with sport fish restoration dollars through the Wildlife Department to supply the trout for this popular local program,” said Barry Bolton, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. “Their help makes this great opportunity possible for our metro anglers.”
            According to Martin, trout anglers at Dolese should have success using 4- to 6-pound test line equipped with a slip sinker and small hook. Choice baits include an assortment of powerbaits, corn, small worms, small minnows, small spinners, jigs and spoons.
            A free Dolese trout fishing clinic will be held at Putnam City High School's Old Gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 to teach how to be successful during the Dolese trout season. The school is located just south of the Dolese trout pond, on the south side of NW 50th Street. To pre-register for the clinic, call (405) 755-4014.
            There is a daily limit of six trout per person during the Dolese Park Pond trout season. In addition, angling is permitted from the bank only, and each angler may only use one rod and reel while fishing for trout. Trout caught and placed on a stringer or otherwise held in possession cannot be released. Catch-and-release angling is allowed all day long during the Dolese trout season, but once a fish is kept, such as put on a stringer or in a basket or bucket, it cannot be released and counts toward the angler's daily limit of six trout. Anglers can still catch trout after the Dolese trout season ends Feb. 28 under regular Close to Home Fishing Regulations. Regulations for other species that may be caught at Dolese, as well as other Close to Home fishing locations, are provided in the current “Oklahoma Fishing Guide” or online at wildlifedepartment.com.
            Those fishing for trout at Dolese must purchase an annual state fishing license, unless exempt. In addition, an Oklahoma City fishing permit is required for anglers ages 16-61 unless exempt. No state trout license is required. For more information about trout fishing at Dolese and other Close to Home fishing opportunities, contact the city's H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at (405) 755-4014, or visit the Lakes and Fishing page of the city's Web site at okc.gov. For more information on the “Close to Home” fishing program, log on to wildlifedepartment.com. Dolese Youth Park and the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery are operated by the City of Oklahoma City's Parks and Recreation Department.



 
Photo Caption: Bob Martin, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, releases trout into Dolese Youth Park Pond near NW 50th and Meridian. The pond is host to a trout season running through Feb. 28. A state fishing license and Oklahoma City fishing permit are required, unless exempt, but a state trout license is not required.
 
 
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Oklahoma-grown tree and shrub seedlings available online
            Planting trees is for the birds, and this year the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has wildlife habitat improvement packages of tree seedlings that make that job even easier!
            In partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Forestry Services is offering three different packages of seedlings that will enhance the habitat of deer, songbirds, turkey, quail and a variety of other wildlife. Each wildlife packet is made up of 25 each of four different species of trees and shrubs chosen specifically to improve the wildlife habitat of your property.
            “Planting the appropriate trees can be a great way to enhance wildlife habitat on your property,” said Mike Sams, private lands biologist for the Wildlife Department. “Planting a tree today can be a long-term investment for future generations.”
            Oklahoma grown seedlings are available to landowners for a broad range of conservation projects. Landowners use the trees for windbreaks to protect crops and livestock, timber production, water quality protection, erosion control or other natural resource projects such as firewood plantings and Christmas tree production.
            “Now is the time to begin thinking about planting seedlings, and foresters from ODAFF are available to assist you,” said State Forester John Burwell. “Oklahoma's seedling planting season runs from December through early April and fall is the best time to prepare the planting site to make the planting job easier.”
            Landowners can purchase their wildlife habitat improvement packages online, as well as choose from over 35 species of trees and shrubs. Seedlings are one year old, bare-root, and each species is packaged in multiples of 50 with a minimum order of 100 trees. They are to be used in rural conservation plantings and cannot be used for ornamental plantings or resold as living trees.
            All orders will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, so landowners are encouraged to visit
http://www.forestry.ok.gov today to choose their tree seedlings for planting this winter. Orders are being taken now via the online store or you can request a paper order form by contacting the Department's Forest Regeneration Center at 800-517-FOREST.
 
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Creativity to benefit wildlife at NatureWorks art show
            Every year wildlife and nature artists from across the United States and abroad convene on the Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center to bring visitors the annual NatureWorks Art Show and Sale. This year about 60 artists are expected to display their work Feb. 27-28.
            Art featured at the show includes everything from paintings and photography to sculptures and more. The 2010 featured artist is Kenny McKenna, an oil painter from Guthrie.
            “The NatureWorks art show has been recognized as one of the best wildlife art shows in the country,” said Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “It's widely recognized for its outstanding art and the opportunity it provides for visitors to meet directly with artists.”
            The annual art show is sponsored by NatureWorks, Inc., a Tulsa-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting in wildlife conservation efforts and wildlife education opportunities. The NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale has generated matching grants to assist a variety of state wildlife conservation projects.
            Projects such as the Department's paddlefish management program, duck stamp print program and centennial duck stamp print have benefited from NatureWorks' support along with habitat work at the Harold Stuart Waterfowl Refuge Unit within the Deep Fork Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Grassy Slough WMA. NatureWorks also has been an important supporter of the Wildlife Department's Hunters Against Hunger program — in which hunters can donate their legally harvested deer to feed hungry Oklahomans — as well as in funding an effort to put Outdoor Oklahoma magazine in every school and library in the state.
            Hours for the NatureWorks Wildlife Art Show and Sale will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. Tickets are $5, and one ticket is good for both days. The art show will be held at the Tulsa Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, located at 6808 South 107th East Avenue (71st and US-169) in Tulsa. For more information about NatureWorks or the art show, log on to natureworks.org.
 
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Now is prime time to watch Oklahoma's wintering eagles
            As lakes in the northern U.S. and Midwest freeze, eagles migrate south to find open water and food, making Oklahoma a top location for bird enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of the national emblem in the wild.
            Oklahoma has 11,600 miles of shoreline and over a million surface acres of water, and that is part of what makes it one of the top 10 states in the nation for winter eagle viewing.
            During the winter, Oklahoma is home to anywhere from 700 to 1,500 eagles that migrate in from the northern states and Canada. With numbers peaking in January and February, wintertime is a great chance to catch of a glimpse of the bird in the wild. The highest concentration of birds are located at lakes, such as Kaw, Texoma, Tenkiller, Ft. Gibson, Grand, Canton and Great Salt Plains.
            In addition to migrant eagles that winter in Oklahoma, the state also has around 120 bald eagles that live here year-round. While there were no known pairs of nesting eagles in the state prior to 1990, there are now around 60 known breeding pairs.
            Eagle watches are hosted by state parks, lake management offices, national wildlife refuges and local Audubon Society chapters. Event activities will vary, but most are free. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation annually compiles a list of events to help Oklahomans discover where to view this majestic bird. For more information or to view the list, log on to the Wildlife Department's Web site at
http://www.wildlifedepartment.com  .
            The site provides details on eagle viewing locations and events as well as historical information on the bald eagle. Additionally, tips for eagle viewing and helping protect them also are included.
 
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