Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Fish Story

A recent headline proclaimed, “North Texas woman reels in record fish at Lake Texoma.” The fish, a striped bass caught in Oklahoma waters of the lake, weighed 27 pounds. Not to brag, but they are even bigger on the Texas side though, with record catches of over 30 pounds for the same species.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife,
“Free-flowing current in the Red River makes Texoma one of the few lakes in Texas with a self-sustaining population of striped bass, and one of only eight inland freshwater reservoirs worldwide where this species has spawned. A cousin of the white bass, striped bass were first stocked in Lake Texoma by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1965. They began spawning in 1974.”

Lake Texoma now provides habitat for at least 70 species of fish, several of which were introduced by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and TPWD. Since the lake, formed in the 1940’s, is now entering its 8th decade, what changes have occurred over the years as far as the fish, the habit and the lake ecosystem; what have been the effects of cyclical drought and flooding? Hear Dr. Patton, Professor of Biology at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, speak on this topic for Second Saturday at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge on February 14.

Dr. Patton has been a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University since 1998, where he teaches numerous classes in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. His recent related research has included fish-habitat relations in rivers of Oklahoma and Texas, sedimentation issues in Lake Texoma and freshwater turtle ecology and conservation in Oklahoma.

Second Saturday sessions are held from 10 – 11:30 am, in the Visitor Center at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, and are free and open to the public. The Refuge,  established 69 years ago this month, is located at 6465 Refuge Road, Sherman. For more information, call 903 786 2826 or see

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