Spring has sprung, and for anglers that means it’s time to get a line wet!
Recently the Lake’s fishing rules were updated to help preserve our precious natural resource, and to give the game fish species we stock the lake with an opportunity to recover their strength and numbers. Last season the Fishing Committee recommended making both smallmouth and largemouth bass catch and release only. New signs were purchased and erected at the boat ramps and at the dam. This year the Board of Trustees is officially adding wipers to the list, along with the bass, as the catch and release only species.
Wipers are a hybrid fish, a combination of a White Bass and a Striped Bass. The benefit to stocking them in our lake is they grow large quickly, and are tremendous fighters! The drawback is they do not naturally reproduce. The Fishing Committee also stocks the lake with Bass, and while they do reproduce, their numbers and size has declined over the last several years. It is believed these efforts will help bring the game fishing back to what it once was here at Choctaw Lake!
Current Fishing Rules are as follows:
- Large & Smallmouth Bass: Catch & Release Only.
- Wipers: Catch & Release Only.
- Crappie: No minimum length, limit 10 per resident per day. Property owner guests are restricted to catch and release only.
- Carp: No minimum length or limit.
Carp are an invasive species harmful to our lake’s water quality, and the habitat the fish we desire use for cover. Please do not release Carp back into the lake. For all other types of fish caught, such as Bluegill and Catfish, please practice good judgement in conserving this valuable natural resource.
There are two Fishing Tournaments on the 2017 Calendar so far. The first will be a Carp only tournament held Saturday, June 10th. This will be a hook & line or bow fishing tournament with a goal of helping to reduce the Carp population in the lake. This tournament is sponsored by both the Fishing Committee and the Fundraising & Volunteers Committee. The Fundraising & Volunteers Committee will provide the prizes which will be awarded for the three largest Carp weighed in. Also, the annual 4th of July Choctaw Lake Fishing Tournament is scheduled for July 3rd. This is a catch and release only tournament with multiple categories. More details will follow on both of these events.
Guests fishing without a property owner present must have a Guest Pass with them and practice catch and release for all species at all times! The Lake Patrol is encouraging property owners to contact them if you see someone fishing that you have reason to suspect does not live here, for instance their vehicle does not have the proper Choctaw Lake decal, or is not displaying a Guest Pass. You can reach them at the Guard Shack at 740-852-2976, or call the Sheriff’s dispatcher at 740-852-1212 who will contact them for you.
Enjoy the fishing, and catch a big one!