Fish ID workshops in Oklahoma Can Benefit All Anglers

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Fish ID workshops in Oklahoma Can Benefit All Anglers

Friday, April 15, 2011

While most fish are easily identified, even an experienced angler may need help at times determining the exact species of fish they have caught. At two upcoming fish identification workshops in southeast Oklahoma, personnel with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will focus on instructing adult anglers to distinguish between a number of commonly misidentified fish.

Small subtleties, unusual coloring among individuals, out-of-the-norm features and occasional hybridization are just a few of the things that could make species identification a challenge.

"Most people get their knowledge of fish from family, friends, neighbors and fellow anglers," said Don Groom, southeast region fisheries supervisor for the Wildlife Department. "For the most part, this knowledge is 'close enough.'"

Still, the workshops will cover areas of special concern to Oklahoma anglers, such as subtle differences in fish species that have different sets of regulations. Species like black bass and black bass hybrids, for example, may not always appear different to the untrained eye, but knowing the difference can impact daily harvest limits for anglers. For example, largemouth bass may look similar to spotted bass, but in most cases daily limits set for largemouths but no daily limits on spotted bass.

"During the workshop, anglers will be encouraged to ask questions along the way and should expect to leave with more confidence in their ability to identify a fish, and more importantly, be able to pass better than 'close enough' information on to their family, friends, neighbors and fellow anglers," Groom said.

Groom and his fellow Wildlife Department fisheries personnel will be on hand to discuss the differences between black bass, but also others such white bass, yellow bass, striped bass, hybrids and catfish. They will also cover differences between snakeheads and bowfins.

One workshop will be held at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Broken Bow Library, and the other will be held at 7 p.m. April 26 at the Hugo Library. The workshops are free, and registration is not required.

For more information, contact the Wildlife Department's southeast region office at (918) 297-0153 or Don Groom at (918) 686-3249.
 


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