The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) have teamed up to offer, free of charge, a new 178-page publication, “Lakes of Oklahoma.”
This comprehensive source of information contains maps and related data for 146 reservoirs, including 58 state and federal lakes and an additional 88 public lakes. Free copies are available for pickup at the OWRB’s Oklahoma City office (3800 North Classen Boulevard), ODWC headquarters in Oklahoma City (1801 North Lincoln Boulevard), or the ODWC’s Jenks office (300 South Aquarium Drive). The OWRB will mail individual copies for $10 to cover postage and handling.
“We are extremely proud of this new publication,” says J.D. Strong, OWRB Executive Director and Secretary of Environment. “It is an invaluable source of information on Oklahoma’s lakes, which provide countless benefits to Oklahomans, including public water supply, fishing, recreation, hydropower, and industrial uses, bolstering economic development for our state.”
Sportsmen helped fund the production of the new publication through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, a tremendous example of a partnership program between anglers and boaters and private industries, state government and federal government. The manufacturers of fishing gear, such as rods, reels, fishing tackle and fish finders, pay an excise tax at first sale. Additionally, gasoline fuels are taxed and a portion of those dollars from motorboats and small engines are dedicated to the Sport Fish Restoration Program. The federal government collects these taxes and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies, such as the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Hunters, anglers, shooters and boaters ultimately pay these taxes through the purchase of products.
“The anglers and boaters who purchase these taxed products ultimately benefit since wildlife agencies must spend this money on projects, such as this publication, sport fish habitat restoration, population management, user access, facilities, and education,” says John Stafford, federal aid coordinator for the Wildlife Department.
“Lakes of Oklahoma” differs from the “Oklahoma Water Atlas,” last published in 2007, in that it focuses solely on the many lakes and reservoirs that make Oklahoma a unique place to live and recreate. Since publication of the atlas, OWRB staff have worked with lake owners, operators, and appropriate state and federal agencies to update pertinent data and other relevant information. Lake bottom contours for 18 lakes have also been added. Maps include the locations of recreational features — parks, campgrounds, boat ramps, public access points, wildlife management areas, and other points of interest — as well as local geography, drainage, fish structures and roads. Lakes of Oklahoma also provides a wealth of background information on lake construction, storage allocations, and other reservoir data, and includes special sections on water quality and aquatic nuisance species.
For more information on the “Lakes of Oklahoma,” call the OWRB at (405) 530-8800.