Representatives from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be holding a public meeting at the Eisenhower State Park’s Recreation Hall on Monday, November 26th at 6:30pm (park entrance fees will be waived). A status update regarding Lake Texoma fish populations will be presented and information concerning plans for a year-long angler survey and economic analysis beginning this December will be discussed.
In summary, the focus of this random survey will be to estimate fishing effort and annual harvest of all sport fish species in Lake Texoma. Similar surveys were routinely conducted between 1987 and 2001, but this type of data has not been collected since that time. During the survey, biologists will be contacting anglers on the water and asking a short series of questions pertaining to the group’s fishing activities including the duration of their fishing trip, the species they are targeting, and how many fish the group has caught and harvested. In total, the disruption of fishing activity takes about one to two minutes, although anglers are encouraged to continue fishing during the survey.
In addition to the short, on-the-water survey, ODWC and TPWD biologists will be working with researchers from Texas A&M University to conduct a more in-depth economic analysis of fishing activity at Lake Texoma. During the on-the-water survey, biologists will be requesting contact information from one member of each group who will be sent a more detailed questionnaire about their group’s fishing trip. The goal of this study will be to assess the overall annual economic value of fishing at Lake Texoma as well as evaluate angler opinions and uncover potential fisheries management issues at Lake Texoma.
This type of data is vital to fisheries managers because it helps us to model how current fishing regulations impact fish populations as well as fishermen. The information also helps our agencies distribute information to reservoir stakeholders and prioritize fisheries management and stocking efforts.
The economic valuation will also help define how fishing at Lake Texoma benefits local and regional economies. This value is vital to understand when faced with reservoir or water management issues that may impact this nationally important fishery.
Contact Matt Mauck (ODWC) @ (580) 924-4087; or, Dan Bennett (TPWD) @ 903-786-2389 with questions.