The owner of Marval Resort on the Lower Illinois River near Gore has asked to end an agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation that provides for public fishing access to the area in return for the location being stocked regularly. Starting May 1, the trout will be stocked at other points on the river.
Jim Burroughs, streams supervisor in the Wildlife Department's Fisheries Division, said the resort cited an increase in conflicts between resort guests and trout anglers on the property. As part of the trout stocking agreement for many years with the Wildlife Department, the resort allowed trout anglers with a fishing license to access the river on the resort property, Burroughs said. When the agreement ends May 1, the trout that previously would have been stocked at Marval will instead be put into the Lower Illinois River at several other sites.
The resort indicated that anglers may continue to access the river on the Marval property by purchasing a day pass to the resort, Burroughs said. "The number of trout being stocked in the river and the frequency of stocking is going to remain the same, so anglers won't be losing any opportunity as far as numbers of fish are concerned," Burroughs said.
Trout anglers can fish the 7.75-mile Lower Illinois River designated trout area via several public access sites:
-Tenkiller Dam Public Access Area.
-Lower Illinois River Public Fishing and Hunting Area-Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit.
-River Road Public Access Area.
-Gore Landing Public Access Area.
The Wildlife Department stocks trout year-round in the Lower Illinois River and the Lower Mountain Fork River, and primarily during the winter months at other designated trout fishing areas across the state. Rainbow and brown trout are introduced species to Oklahoma. For general trout fishing regulations and special regulations that apply to designated trout areas, consult the "Oklahoma Fishing" guide online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print where fishing and hunting licenses are sold.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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