Each year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation proposes changes in Title 800, the administrative rules that govern hunting, fishing and Wildlife Department operations. The public comment period for this year's proposed rule changes opened Dec. 1 and will close at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 2021.
Many proposed changes are simple housekeeping matters, while some are more substantial. Some of this year's rule change proposals:
- For Close To Home Fishing waters, allow black bass harvest and set new aggregate limits.
- Set new aggregate bag limit for trout statewide.
- Clarify restriction on cleaning fish while actively fishing.
- Add restriction on dumping fish carcasses.
- Change fish stringer labeling requirement at tailwaters and trout fishing areas from name and address to customer identification number.
- Clarify the taking of fish species by bow and arrow, gig, spear and speargun and disposal of remains.
- Various changes to hunting season dates, open hours, closed seasons and bag limits on many wildlife management areas. For a summary, go to www.wildlifedepartment.com/
public-meeting and click on Rule Change Proposals 2021 Agenda (PDF).
- Add archery as a legal method of take to fill Damage Control Assistance Program permits.
- Clarify when and where hunter orange is required to be worn, and remove hunter orange requirements for dove hunters.
- Allow nonresidents to complete hunter education certification through the ODWC online course.
To read all of the proposed rule changes, go to www.wildlifedepartment.com/
Anyone wishing to make comments on any of the proposed rule changes may do so in one of three ways:
- Fill out the online public comment form at www.wildlifedepartment.com/
public-meeting. The online public comment period closes at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 2021.
- Write your comments in a letter and mail to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Re: Public Comment, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Letters must be postmarked by Jan. 8, 2021.
- Voice your comments in person during a public hearing beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 7, 2021, at the John D. Groendyke Wildlife Conservation Building, 1801 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
All public comments are collected and reviewed by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Commissioners are expected to consider the proposed changes at their regular meeting set for Feb. 1, 2021.