Jenks trout pond is stocked and ready for 'close-to-home anglers.The pond opens for fishing on Friday
An early arrival — very early — of the hatchery truck means the trout pond at Veterans Park in Jenks is ready for fishing today instead of the earlier-announced Friday opening.
Instead of 10 p.m. Thursday, the truck was due to arrive at 1 a.m. Thursday.
“The fishing should be good as soon as the park opens Thursday,” said Josh Johnston, Northeast Region Fisheries Supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Break out the ultra-light spinning gear, 3-4 weight fly rods, Power Bait and wooly buggers — rainbow trout are once again swimming in the local trout pond.
Born of local efforts through the local chapter of Trout Unlimited, Tulsa Fly Fishers, NatureWorks and a few others annually — and in a few different locations — since December 2008, the pond enters its second season as an official “close-to-home” fishing opportunity offered through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation with continuing sponsorship from BancFirst and the local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Now part of the Wildlife Department’s regular stocking contract, the pond will be stocked every two weeks instead of once a month, Johnston said.
Fish going into the pond are from the same hatchery that supplies the department’s six other winter trout fisheries at Blue River, Perry CCC Lake and others.
Over the course of three months the pond will get about 5,000 fish, he said.
“The hatchery goes by pounds, so how many that is depends on the size of the fish, but we’re going to get about 700 pounds per delivery,” Johnston said. At least 10 percent of each delivery will include fish between 14 and 24 inches long.
“There will be some big fish, possibly some real big fish,” he said.
The first of December through the end of February offers the best time for the shallow 6-acre pond to have water cool enough to support the cold-water loving trout.
“We would have liked to have a Nov. 1 start, but there are a lot years where early November is still too warm,” Johnston said.
Dec. 1 is the official starting date for the trout pond, but the true opener just depends on when a hatchery truck is available, he said. The truck originally was scheduled to arrive late Thursday for a Friday morning opening, but a schedule change was made, Johnston said.
Another new effort this year is a creel survey. Department personnel will, on random days in random two-hour periods, visit anglers around the pond to ask questions and fill out the surveys.
“We want to find out about people’s satisfaction with the program and learn about things we could change to make it better, what we can do to make people even happier with it,” he said.
The survey also will delve into demographics, including ages, ethnicity and fishing experience, he said.
“For our close-to-home fisheries, I have a feeling it’s a different demographic, on average, than what you see out at the lake and that will help to know when we are trying to make it better,” Johnston said. “We need to be proactive about suiting our fisheries for different demographics, not necessarily just the angler born and raised out fishing at the lake.”
Fishing is allowed at Veterans Park Pond from daylight to dark every day. A state fishing license is required to fish the pond, and other regulations allow only bank fishing (no wading, tubing or boating), only one pole or rod-and-reel per person, a six-trout per person per day limit, and no releasing of fish previously caught and kept (culling for larger fish) is allowed.
For information on the pond contact the Wildlife Department office at Jenks at 918-299-2334.
Kelly Bostian 918-581-8357