Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area Brochure

 

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Regulations and Information
General
1. Entrance gate opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Quiet hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. (No loud music or running of generators during quite hours).
2. No vehicles, swimming, camping, fires, or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Carl R. and Ruth Walker Landrum Wilderness or the Plaster Wildlife Management Unit. These areas are walk-in access only.
3. Littering will not be tolerated. Please pick up any trash you see and put it in a trash can.
4. All vehicles must remain on maintained roads or designated parking and camping areas unless such areas are posted “No Parking Zone.”
5. Only street legal vehicles (tagged and inspected for use on public roadways) may be operated, used or parked in the area. A.T.V.’s are prohibited.
6. Cutting or defacing trees and vegetation and damaging property is prohibited. It is unlawful to remove any historical, cultural, or archeological artifacts, including arrowheads, from the area.
7. No person shall possess, consume or use any intoxicating beverage except at camping and parking areas as defined in O.S. Title 37 Section 163.1 or controlled dangerous substances as defined in O.S. Title 63 Section 2-101 on any land or waterways subject to the control of the ODWC.
8. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times except when used for hunting.

Fishing
1. A a resident or nonresident fishing license as required to fish. Special trout regulations: From November 1 to end of February, this section (end of Landrum Wilderness/Plaster WMA walk in trails to end of property) is catch and release only. Fishing is restricted to barbless hooks, artificial flies and lures only. Starting March 1, special regulations do not apply.
2. The daily limit is six (6) game fish of each species (bass, crappie catfish, trout etc.) per person per day, with twelve (12) in possession after the first day.
3. 14-inch minimum length limit on all bass.
4. One rod and reel per person during trout season; two per person thereafter. All other fishing methods are prohibited.


Hunting
1. Hunting license requirements, bag limits and seasons may vary from statewide regulations. Consult the current Oklahoma Hunting Guide and Regulations.
2. Hunting is restricted to shotgun or bow and arrow only (no rifles or pistols).


Camping
1. The area manager may require permits, designate sites or apply conditions for camping.
2. Camping is permitted only in the Blue River Campground area in designated sites (see map) and is limited to 14 days in a 30 consecutive day period unless extended by the Area manager.
3. Camping extension permits must be obtained no later than 48 hours prior to requested date of extension. Such extensions shall be based upon the degree of area use, anticipated weekend or holiday occupancy, recreational season and compliance of regulations. Campers must rotate or move to another camping area following approval of the extension.
4. No person shall leave a vehicle, camper, tent, or any personal property unattended for more than a 48-hour period. Property will be removed at the owner’s expense and liability.
5. The unauthorized placement of camping equipment or other items on a campsite and/or personal appearance without overnight occupancy at a campsite for the purpose of reserving a designated campsite for future occupancy is prohibited.


The Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area (PFHA) is located in Southcentral Oklahoma about 11 miles northeast of Tishomingo in Johnston County. The Blue River PFHA is owned and managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The clear spring fed river flows through a unique geologic area formed by the eastern outcrop of the Arbuckle Mountains.

Granitic formations exposed during thousands of years form a diversity of aquatic habitats from deep, slow moving pools to six-foot waterfalls and fast moving riffles. The river channel often becomes braided, forming smaller streams with interspersed islands covered with seaside alders and native hardwoods.
The Blue River is one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful and picturesque public recreation spots. The primary objective of the ODWC is to provide quality stream fishing and access during the entire year. This is accomplished by a seasonal trout fishery during the colder months (November 1 through March 31) and supplemental stockings of grow-out channel catfish during the warmer summer months, coupled with fishing for native bass, sunfish, and catfish.

Hunting opportunities also are available to the sportsperson seeking deer, dove, turkey, quail, squirrel, raccoon and rabbits.

The Blue River Area provides angler access to 6.25 miles of stream and 3,333 acres of prime wildlife habitat. The area was initially purchased in 1967 with later additional river access and land purchases with the help of Sportfish Restoration Funds.
Trout anglers use a wide variety of spinning and fly fishing equipment. Ultra-light spinning rods and reels spooled with four- to six-pound monofilament line is best. Artificial baits that have proven to be effective are 1/24 to 1/16 oz. spinners such as Panther Martins, Roostertails, Mepps and small spoons (Little Cleo’s and Super-Dupers). Bait anglers often use meal worms, whole kernel corn, Velveeta cheese, salmon eggs and Berkley Power Bait. Small trout hooks and split shot are recommended.

The river can be fished easily with hip boots or waders in most sections. Fly anglers normally fish around the riffles and waterfalls. Bank fishing is limited primarily to still anglers or fishermen using spinning tackle since most of the river banks are lined with trees and bushes.

Almost 100,000 rainbow trout are stocked each season. Fish are stocked each week unless high water or icy weather conditions persist. Most trout are from nine to 12 inches long, however some fish as large as two to four pounds are stocked to satisfy the trophy angler. During trout season a special trout permit ($10) is required for all persons, regardless of age, in addition to the Oklahoma resident or non-resident fishing license (see Oklahoma Fishing Guide and Regulations for exemptions).
Information regarding the Blue River and other ODWC hunting and fishing opportunities can be picked up at the Information Center located adjacent to the road at the Headquarters. For additional information contact the Area Manager at 580/443-5728 or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

Historical Information
Just south of the Belton Bridge on Highway 7 crossing Blue River was the small community of Belton. In 1912 George Thomas Johnson was the Post Master. He managed the general store and lived in the building. There also was a water mill and mill race, a grist mill that ground corn, a blacksmith shop and a coffin factory. The Gillespie Ranch built a house in 1915 for its ranch hands. It later burned and the foundation is still visible from the parking area southwest of the bridge.
Hughes Crossing located at the end of Blue River Road was the primary area for crossing the river. A cotton gin and mill race were located near the crossing.
Desperado Springs located on the south boundary of the Landrum Wilderness runs year around except in very dry seasons. This area was a popular camping and vacation area in early days.
Granitic escarpments below the low water crossing going to Camping Area 1 is the only visible site west of the Mississippi River where black granite invades the native pink colored granite. Seaside alders grow in clumps along the banks, on the waterfalls and islands. This misplaced tree is typically found only along the eastern sea board of the United States.

FISHING TIPS...
Trout congregate immediately above and below waterfalls and behind large rocks and logs in deep holes. For best results, anglers should use spinning and fly tackle including light lines and small hooks. Bait anglers will find that whole kernel corn, red worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, and dough baits are effective for catching trout. The best artificial lures are flies, small spinners and spoons. Catfish can be caught on stinkbait, cut bait, liver, worms, crayfish, and artificial lures resembling these baits. Always wet your hands before grasping a fish that you intend to release. Remember to practice good angling ethics. Help protect this unique resource and please, keep the area clean.