State wildlife biologists are optimistic about this year’s quail hatch because of timely rainfall and milder temperatures this spring.
“We’re seeing better conditions now than we’ve seen the past 21/2 years,” said Scott Cox, upland game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“There are a lot of birds being heard that haven’t been heard in the past two or three years. We’re optimistic that we’re looking at a good nesting season.”
Oklahoma’s quail population had hit historic lows in recent years, but Cox said landowners were hearing more quail this spring, an indication more birds were on the ground and ready to nest.
Last year in mid-June, researchers who were tracking quail in northwest Oklahoma had not recorded any birds nesting at that point. This year, people in western Oklahoma reported seeing quail chicks in mid-May.
“Right now, with the rainfall and milder temperatures, we’re definitely going to see more birds if we don’t have any catastrophes between July and October,” Cox said.
LAST DAY OF FAMILY OUTDOOR EXPO
The Family Outdoor Expo at Crystal Lake in Oklahoma City concludes Sunday.
Hours of the Expo are noon until 5 p.m. at the lake located at 6625 SW 15 off of MacArthur Boulevard. Cost is $10 per car.
Activities at the Expo include fishing, fly fishing demonstrations, fishing simulators, archery, Dutch oven cooking, camping seminars, kayaking and more.
City Care, a non-profit agency in Oklahoma City, manages Crystal Lake, and money raised at the Expo will be used to hold camps for inner city children at the lake.
Food and drink are available for purchase at the Expo from the Hal Smith restaurant group.
CHANDLER WOMAN HOOKS LAKE HEFNER CATFISH RECORD
A Chandler woman has caught a new lake record channel catfish at Lake Hefner.
Amanda Knight caught the 22.6-pound channel cat at the canal inlet on June 19 using live baitfish.
“Walmart special rod and reel combo held up the fight,” Knight stated on her lake record documentation.
Knight and three others in her fishing party that night caught more than 100 pounds of catfish. They released all but three fish, said David Hughes of Lucky Lure Tackle in Oklahoma City.
Lucky Lure Tackle is the official lake record keeper for Hefner. Hughes said there have been some big blue catfish also caught recently on Hefner in the same area.
“The catfish are still biting like crazy,” Hughes said. “It’s always good there when there is water coming in.”
OSU TO HOST FOOD PLOT WORKSHOP
Oklahoma State University Extension is teaming with several state and national seed companies for their second annual Wildlife Food Plot workshop.
The workshop will be held July 12 in Slaughterville, about 20 miles south of Norman, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Participants will get a tour of several acres of wildlife food plots and learn about proper seed blends to attract more wildlife.
The event if free but those planning to attend must RSVP to Cherry Slaughter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321-4774.
BIG BASS BONANZA STARTS FRIDAY
The annual Arkansas River Big Bass Bonanza will be Friday through Sunday on the Arkansas River within the state of Arkansas.
The Arkansas River will be divided into five fishing pools with hourly prizes for big bass from each of those pools. The overall winner of the Big Bass Bonanza wins $50,000, and $10,000 will be awarded to each angler catching the biggest fish from the four remaining pools.
The tournament is open to amateur anglers only. For more information, visit arkansasbigbass.com.