Trout stockings that had been temporarily suspended in the Lower Illinois River due to warm water temperatures will resume November 19th.
According to Jim Burroughs, east central region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, it was heavy spring rains and a period of extreme heating that combined to create the unusually warm water in Lake Tenkiller. Wildlife Department officials had hoped to resume stockings by the end of October, but water temperatures remained at critical levels for trout, temporarily preventing further stocking at that time.
“This has been a very unusual year,” Burroughs said. “Temperatures needed to be 65 degrees or lower in the tailrace during power generation before regular stockings could resume. Temperatures have now reached this threshold level.”
Anglers won’t miss out on any of the fish that did not get stocked during the suspension, however, as officials with the Department say the same number of fish will eventually be stocked through additional or larger stockings.
The Lower Illinois River is one of the only two year-round trout fisheries in the state and is managed by the Wildlife Department. The other is the Lower Mountain Fork River below Lake Broken Bow in Beaver’s Bend State Park.