When the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife announced it's Lake Record Recognition Program, I greeted it with great excitement and enthusiasm. In my mind it was sheer genius! What angler wouldn't want their favored water or their own fishing ability to be recognized by the state wildlife agency?
Shortly after learning about the program I fired off an email suggesting the wildlife department consider expanding their program to cover rivers, streams, creeks, and small waterways.
I have yet to get a response.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a Rainbow from the Illinois River recognized or a Brown from the Lower Mountain Fork showcased. And then...how about Lady Blue showing off a dan dan dandy Small mouth or Spotted Bass. Personally, I would like to see someone recognized for catching a two hand sized Sunfish from Rock Creek, the Glover River or some other small waterway.
I mean...wouldn't an overall fishery recognition program encourage us who already angle to angle somewhat more? And...wouldn't the fact of being recognized create a whole new generation of anglers when angling is on the decline?
I know very well that the Wildlife Departments program is in the pilot stage. My goodness, less than a month into it they had to place a lake into their "pilot" program, a lake not originally consider, because someone almost broke a state record by fishing this lake. In other words I know the Wildlife Department needs time to expand the program. But, if it's help they need...I figure it's readily available.
There are two main reasons for this writing. The first is that I truly believe our smaller waterways should be recognized and in doing so we will create more anglers. Secondly, I fully expected at least a courtesy response in reply to my email suggestion to the Wildlife Department.
I didn't get that, and thus I am making this post in hopes that anyone that feels the same will copy the link of this post and send it to the Wildlife Department. Perhaps, in the text box you can add, "Guys, you might really should consider this, since it might just help fishing overall".
My main argument is this. Oklahoma is very proud of it's lake fisheries and rightfully so. However, if our rivers, creeks, streams, and small waterways didn't exist...then neither would these lakes.
I'd like to see someone argue that point.