Blue River news
Blue River had its annual trout derby over the weekend and Donny Carter of Stratford took this photo of a fly fisherman who knows how to relax.
Instead of wading the Blue, this fly fisherman put his camping or lawn chair in the river and did his fishing sitting down. Donny said the man wasn’t do much casting, however, mostly just relaxing.
Justin Sutton of Pickett Center (near Ada) won the fly fishing division of the tournament, weighing in a two-day total of rainbows of 13 pounds, 14 ounces. Trout fishing continues on the Blue River in southern Oklahoma through March.
Dolese trout fishing
Speaking of trout fishing, the trout season at Oklahoma City’s Dolese Park officially ends Feb. 28 but anglers can still fish until all the trout are gone.
When the season ends, the daily catch limit will remain six per day, but anglers will be allowed to use as many as three rods per person. Only one fishing rod per person is allowed during the regular season.
Still more on Bobwhite
I continue to receive emails from quail hunters about the quail demise in Oklahoma. I got this response from Monty Marcum of Washington, who has hunted quail in western Oklahoma and Collingsworth County, Texas, since 1982.
Marcum hunted quail in McClain County as a kid but said the birds were pushed out by development as more people moved to the area.
“The situation in the west is completely different. There are still wide open spaces out there. The habitat is there as it was 30 years ago,” Marcum wrote.
“I lease about 2,500 acres of prime quail habitat in Harmon County, north of Hollis along the Salt Fork of the Red River. This year I moved a total of 8 coveys in Harmon County, 2 coveys at Fort Supply, 2 coveys in Blaine County, no birds in Black Kettle or the west central part of Oklahoma, and I didn’t hunt the in Greer County this season.
“Instead, I spent more time hauling milo out to locations to see if I could hold quail, or bring quail in. I believe the only reason I have birds on my lease is because I have fed them and not over hunted them.
“The thing that really worries me is that I don’t believe it’s a predator/habitat problem. Our area hasn’t had extreme hail or any other weather condition that would have caused this decline either. “I have been at the lease during mating season and called birds up to my feet with calls and know that successful hatches occurred.
“In short, I have seen very good numbers of quail until early September when dove migration comes through that area. Then the quail just seem to disappear. Obviously, there is no way for me to prove that this is anything other than a coincidence but it has happened in 08, 09, with dwindling number occurring in 2010, but still noticeable.
“I’m afraid there is some kind of disease or parasite that is riding in on migratory birds. I really, really hope that I am completely wrong.
“The optimist that I am, I believe that nature will turn itself around in regards to the quail population. It has always been that way.”