A Survey Of The Commercial Fishery On Four Oklahoma Reservoirs

The commercial fishery on four Oklahoma lakes (Eufaula, Gibson, Grand and Texoma) from which approximately 85 percent of the total state commercial harvest is landed was studied from July 1967 through June 1968. Thirty to forty-eight fishermen fished gill and trammel nets throughout the study period. Legal restrictions limited gear to 3 inch and larger bar mesh. The amount of fishing effort expended by mesh size and lakes was studied. Approximately 70 percent of the total effort was fished with 3 and 3% inch bar-mesh nets. On the lakes studied, approximately 50 percent of the effort was fished on Lake Texoma. Monthly and yearly percent catch composition was determined and the average lengths, weights and condition factors for the fish harvested were computed. The catch was primarily composed of buffalo, flathead catfish, and carp with average weights of individual fish landed being 5.3, 5.0, and 7.5 pounds, respectively. During some months in various lakes a noticeable portion of the catch was carpsucker, paddlefish and channel catfish. The latter species could not legally be harvested. The best estimate of the harvest during the sampling year was 1,360,650 pounds on the lakes studies and 1,625,637 pounds for the total Oklahoma fishery. The average catch per 24 hours for 100 feet of net fished was 4.4 pounds. Lakes in northern Oklahoma yielded approximately 3 pounds per acre and Lake Texoma in southern Oklahoma yielded approximately 9 pounds per acre which was six percent of the standing crop other than clupeids.

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