Oklahoma Free Fishing Days

Oklahoma Free Fishing Days

There is no better time to introduce your friends or family members to the great American pastime of fishing than to take them out on Free Fishing Days!

Anyone can fish for free June 2-3, 2018, in Oklahoma. On that weekend, a state fishing license will not be required for any resident or nonresident angler to fish.

The Sooner State has some excellent fishing in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, but also in urban waters designated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as “Close to Home Fishing” locations.

Although state fishing licenses and the Oklahoma City fishing permit (where applicable) are not required during Free Fishing Days, anglers should note that certain city permits may still apply in other urban fishing areas. Additionally, anglers fishing Lake Texoma should be aware that Free Fishing Days applies for all of the lake on June 2 but only on Oklahoma portions of the lake on June 3.

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer free fishing days about 35 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.

Avoid Interfering With Young Wildlife

Avoid Interfering With Young Wildlife

by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

The best thing you can do for young wildlife is to keep young wildlife wild.

Springtime is when people in the Lake Texoma area begin to see a variety of newborn and young animals. Newborn rabbits, squirrels, deer and birds easily appeal to most people’s sense of care and compassion. People often think these baby animals are “so cute” and imagine that they must be lost or abandoned.

Usually that is not the case.

“Chances are an adult animal is nearby and is simply waiting on you to move away so they can take care of their young,” said Mark Howery, natural resource biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

In most cases, people should not interfere with young wildlife.

In Oklahoma, most fawns are born in May and June. And that’s when people begin seeing the young animals.

Fawns are periodically left alone, which is normal behavior for the doe. People who come across young wildlife are urged to leave the animals alone. (Matt Johnston/RPS 2016)

Game Warden Brayden Hicks, based in Caddo County, said he has taken several calls from the public asking him to rescue a fawn found near a home. “I tell them don’t touch the fawn, and don’t try to feed it. Normally the momma is around, and she’s left her fawn on purpose so she can go feed.”

The doe leaves the fawn because it must maintain good nutrition to produce milk. Also, the doe will often leave a fawn in a safe place, such as near a house or where people can easily see them, because those are places where predators might be less likely to visit.

Also, the doe will stay away from its fawn so the doe’s scent will not attract predators. But the doe will normally return several times during the day to nurse its fawn.

Howery said springtime storms can easily blow young birds and squirrels out of their nests. Even though they may appear to be alone and distressed or in need of help, a mature animal will often find and care for them.

It can actually be more stressful on young wildlife when people try to help. People who take in wildlife and attempt to raise and release those animals are actually doing them no favors. The animals will lose their instinctual fear of people and begin to bond with and depend on people to survive. If returned to nature later, these animals will have no idea how to feed or what dangers to avoid. And the young animal could even die from the stress of being handled.

“It’s admirable when well-meaning Lake Texoma sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts want to help, but sometimes the best help we can offer young wildlife is to leave them alone and let nature run its course,” Howery said.

In rare cases, an animal might actually need help, such as when it is injured or seriously ill. That is when the public might choose to call a wildlife rehabilitator. A list of rehabilitators by county is at www.wildlifedepartment.com/law/rehabilitator-list.

Austin College to Hold Nonprofit Symposium for Area Professionals, Volunteers

Austin College to Hold Nonprofit Symposium for Area Professionals, Volunteers

SHERMAN, Texas— May 6, 2018

Austin College welcomes nonprofit professionals and volunteers to the 2018 Nonprofit Symposium to learn about grant writing, public policy, and fiduciary responsibility. The event is Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to noon in Wright Campus Center, Room 254. The morning sessions are free and open to the public but registration is required at https://www.picatic.com/athena2018 by Wednesday, April 25. 

The theme of the morning continues at the ATHENA Awards luncheon that follows, with a keynote address by Kate Murphy, senior child welfare policy associate at Texas Care for Children in Austin and a 2009 graduate of Austin College. Symposium attendees may sign up, $25 per person, at the symposium registration site for the luncheon where the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award will be announced. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Wright Campus Center’s Mabee Hall.

Symposium Schedule:

At 8:30 a.m. following registration and a light breakfast, Dr. Randy McBroom of the Texoma Council of Governments will moderate the “Grantmakers Panel,” of Brianna Adams of Independent Bank of Texas; Kaitlyn Guthrow of Communities Foundation of Texas; Terri Davis of Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation; and  Kris McKinney of Texoma Health Foundation.

The “Public Policy and Nonprofits” session begins at 10 a.m. and features Jamie Baker, director of public policy with the Office of Representative John Ratcliffe, and Nate Strauch, community and support services manager for the City of Sherman.

The final session of the symposium at 10:45 a.m. addresses “Nonprofit Fiduciary Responsibility” with comments from Chris Emerson, CPA, auditor, and manager of outsourced finance and accounting at Armanino in Dallas; and Ben Walker, senior policy advisor for the Center for Health Empowerment and executive director of Texas Health Action in Austin.

The day’s events are organized by Austin College’s Center for Community and Regional Development, with input from the Texoma Women Get Connected program. United Way of Grayson County is a continuing sponsor of the event. Other ATHENA Luncheon sponsors are Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center and Texoma Health Foundation, along with individual gifts honoring or memorializing individuals: Austin College Institutional Advancement staff in honor of Jill Joiner Roberts; Kristine McKinney in memory of Clara Blackford Smith; and Gary and Marilyn Murphy in honor of Kate Murphy, luncheon speaker. Other sponsors are pending.

ATHENA Awards:

The ATHENA Leadership Awards presented by Austin College are open to outstanding women in Grayson, Fannin, and Cooke counties.

This year’s ATHENA Leadership Award nominees are Stephanie Chandler, director of community investment for United Way of Grayson County, Inc.; LuAnn Daniel, founder and chief executive officer for Women Rock Inc.; Deborah Estes, education consultant; and Tonya Price, chief nurse officer for Wilson N. Jones Regional

Medical Center.

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are Amber Pilcher, banking services manager and regional retail manager for Landmark Bank Denison;  Kristina Quinlan, member services and events director for Sherman Chamber of Commerce; and Melanie Truxal, Main Street coordinator for the City of Denison.

The recipients will be announced at the luncheon. Nomination forms for the 2019 awards can be found at www.austincollege.edu/athena.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change LivesAustin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and