The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) bestowed a Special Recognition Award upon the Oklahoma Fishing Trail during their 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) collaborated on the initiative to increase fishing participation across the state.
“This collaborative initiative boosted tourism in Oklahoma, increased fishing participation, and had great economic returns for the state,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said.
Launched in June 2019, the fishing trail highlights 38 lakes in six regional loops. It also features 20 Oklahoma fishing experiences that are part of the ODWC’s Close to Home Fishing Program. The trail’s website, FishingOK.com, is hosted by OTRD. Anglers choosing to participate in the Fishing Trail Grand Slam can submit photos of themselves through the website and receive an exclusive decal for successful completion.
For its one-year anniversary, ODWC and OTRD offered anglers a chance to win a guided fishing trip with Lt. Governor Pinnell and ODWC Director J.D. Strong. More than 10,000 entries were submitted.
The Association’s special recognition awards are bestowed upon individuals, groups, or programs who, in the state agency directors’ opinions, have served the association and made outstanding contributions toward wildlife and fisheries conservation, outdoor recreational engagement, and the natural resources professional community.
The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.