Friday, November 20, 2015

Destination Outdoors-Oklahoma: Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) manages more than 1.6 million acres of public land. In a continuing effort to publicize the wonderful outdoor opportunities that exist, a Department-managed area will be featured each month in a series of "Destination Outdoors" news releases.

      Wintry weather has a way of keeping people indoors, but winter is an excellent time to experience new outdoor adventures, especially at the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area (PFHA). Beginning and experienced anglers can fish the clear waters for trout, families can camp near the water, and hunters can participate in the deer archery and deer gun seasons.
      The Blue River PFHA is a 3,367-acre property that runs along 6.5 miles of the Blue River. It is managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), and is located in south-central Oklahoma about 10 miles northeast of Tishomingo in Johnston County. The clear spring fed river flows through a unique geologic area formed by the eastern outcrop of the Arbuckle Mountains making it one of Oklahoma's most beautiful and picturesque public recreation spots.
     On the Blue River PHFA, the primary objective of the Wildlife Department is to provide quality stream fishing and access during the entire year. This is accomplished by stocking trout during the colder months. From November 1 through March 31, about 2,400 rainbow trout are stocked every week. This draws anglers from all over the nation during a time when many anglers aren't fishing. Blue River can be fished easily with hip boots or waders in most sections. Bank fishing is also available in some areas.
      Several primitive campsites can be found in the Blue River Campground. The campground is divided into three areas, each with several campsites near the water. All camping is first come, first serve and limited to a maximum of 14 consecutive days.
      Even though trout fishing and camping are the most popular activities on Blue River PFHA, hunting shouldn't be overlooked. Mixed upland habitat with native prairie grasses and interspersed with forests makes a diverse habitat for wildlife and provides hunters with plenty of hunting opportunities. The most popular seasons include deer, dove, turkey, and quail.
     All visitors 18 and older must have a valid hunting or fishing license, or a Wildlife Conservation Passport to enter the Blue River PFHA. This even applies to persons not hunting or fishing. The Wildlife Department receives no general tax revenue and is funded through hunting and fishing license sales. The sale of these licenses pays for areas like the Blue River PFHA. To learn more about Blue River PFHA, watch the video below and visit wildlifedepartment.com.