Northwest Oklahoma City will start off the New Year by providing metro anglers with an opportunity to catch trout practically in their own backyards during the Dolese Youth Park Pond trout season. In addition, the City will partner with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to host a free trout fishing clinic to help anglers have the best chance of catching trout during the season.

On Jan. 1, the metro trout season will open at Dolese Youth Park Pond, located north of NW 50th and a half block west of Meridian Ave in Oklahoma City.

The two-month long trout season runs through Feb. 28 and features several stockings of rainbow trout provided through a generous donation from BancFirst.

“This event is all about outdoor family fun,” said David Rainbolt, CEO of Bancfirst. “BancFirst enjoys being a part of the tradition.”

Wildlife Department fisheries personnel say the support of BancFirst and its commitment to the Dolese trout season over the years have been crucial to providing the local trout fishing program, which has proven to be popular, affordable and entertaining among anglers. Bancfirst ranks 19th in the nation on the Forbes 2012 list of best banks in America and is the only Oklahoma bank in the top 25 listing.

The free trout fishing clinic will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Jan. 13, at the Putnam City High School gymnasium (5300 NW 50th). Pre-registration is required by calling the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at (405) 755-4014. Clinic topics include bait and tackle, pole rigging, trout biology, fish cleaning and recipes, knot tying, safe casting and trout season rules and regulations, followed by a question-and-answers session.

Part of the “Close to Home Fishing” program, the Dolese trout season is a result of a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department. The “Close to Home” fishing program provides fishing areas that are often just a short drive away from even the most urban locations, saving families time and gas money. In addition, it allows parents and children to fish together after school or on a busy weekend. The Dolese trout season also offers anglers a chance to catch a unique fish that they don’t catch at other times of the year when water temperatures are warmer.

“The Dolese trout seasons has been a great opportunity for area anglers to fish for nice sized rainbow trout in their own community,” said Bob Martin, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department. “What makes Dolese trout seasons popular is most people travel a few blocks or miles to fish instead of hours of expensive travel.”

According to Martin, successful trout anglers at Dolese should keep several colors of powerbaits as well as an assortment of other trout baits in their tackle box, as the best baits to use often change throughout the day. Anglers should have success using 4- to 6-pound test line equipped with a slip sinker and small hook. Along with powerbaits, choice baits include corn, small worms, small minnows, small spinners, jigs and spoons.

There is a daily limit of six trout per person during the Dolese Park Pond trout season. In addition, angling is permitted from the bank only, and each angler may only use one rod and reel while fishing for trout. Trout caught and placed on a stringer or otherwise held in possession cannot be released. Regulations for other species that may be caught at Dolese are available in the current “Oklahoma Fishing Guide” or online at wildlifedepartment.com.

Those fishing for trout at Dolese must purchase an annual state fishing license, unless exempt. In addition, an Oklahoma City Fishing Permit is required for anglers ages 16-61 unless exempt.

Dolese Youth Park and the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery are operated by the City of Oklahoma City’s Parks and Recreation Department. For more information about trout fishing at Dolese and other Close to Home fishing opportunities, contact the city’s H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at (405) 755-4014, visit the Lakes and Fishing page of the city’s website at okc.gov, or log on to the Wildlife Department’s website at wildlifedepartment.com.

Tulsa area residents also have an opportunity to fish for trout without venturing far from home. This Tulsa trout fishing opportunity is made possible by a partnership between the Trout Unlimited Oklahoma Chapter #420, the Tulsa Fly Fishers and Tulsa-based conservation group NatureWorks. Trout Unlimited Oklahoma Chapter #420, Tulsa Fly Fishers and NatureWorks are non-profit organizations working for statewide conservation issues. For more information about Trout Unlimited Oklahoma Chapter #420, log on to tulsaflyfishers.org. For more information about NatureWorks, log on to natureworks.org.

This year the selected pond is located in LaFortune Park at the corner of 51st Street and Hudson in Tulsa, and the season has been open since Dec. 26. The pond is stocked periodically.

“Children only” days are scheduled for Jan. 16, Feb. 20 and March 19. On these days fishing will be open to children under the age of 16 only, and children fishing on these days must be accompanied by an adult. The accompanying adult may fish on these days. All other days during the season will be open to all ages. All anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Oklahoma fishing license. A bag limit of six trout per day per angler has been set, and catch and release of trout is discouraged.

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