The trout haven't been biting like they want, but anglers are still finding their way to the state's newest trout fishery in Medicine Park, said Larry Cofer, southwest fishery chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“People are happy about the opportunity, but so far the fishing has been behind the curve,” Cofer said. “We are not sure why it's been slow. We are hoping it picks up.”
About 1,000 anglers have visited Medicine Creek since it opened for trout fishing on Jan. 1, Cofer said.
Medicine Park provides a scenic setting for trout fishing and a nice fishing destination for families. Sidewalks that blend into the granite rock surroundings line the banks of the creek for easy fishing access.
And when the kids get tired of fishing, there are restaurants and shops in Medicine Park that are within walking distance of Medicine Creek. Lake Lawtonka and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge also are nearby.
So far, Medicine Creek has been stocked with 2,000 trout by the Wildlife Department and another stocking is scheduled next week.
The average-sized trout stocked in the creek is 1.7 pounds. Most of the trout are being caught on Power Bait fishing on the bottom or just off the bottom, Cofer said.
Trout are placed above two low water dams on the creek. Trout will be stocked from the Gondola Dam downstream to the 49 bridge every two week until trout season officially ends March 15, but “those fish will caught through March,” Cofer said.
Medicine Creek replaced the trout fishery in southwest Oklahoma that had been at Quartz Mountain.
State wildlife officials moved the fishery to Medicine Creek because trout were not surviving in the stream below Lake Altus-Lugert because of golden alga.
Quartz Mountain rarely had anglers from the Oklahoma City area but that's not been the case at Medicine Park, Cofer said.
“We are getting some people from the Oklahoma City metro area for sure,” he said. “Last weekend there were people all over the place.”
Fly fisherman Jack Corman of Oklahoma City has already made the trip to Medicine Park twice. He has caught and released 33 trout on the two trips.
Most areas of Medicine Creek are too deep for wading, Corman said, but still he was sold on the fishery for two reasons.
“First, the average size trout is noticeably larger than other (fishing) destinations,” he said. “Secondly, the ambience of Medicine Park and friendliness of the people take you back to a bygone era of Oklahoma's past that was relaxed, unhurried and less complicated than today's hectic world.
“It's a family friendly destination and lodging is available within easy walking distance to the trout water.”
Only a state fishing license is required to fish at Medicine Creek. The daily limit is six trout.