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Perry's CCC Lake will open for winter trout fishing

The Perry Lake replaces Lake Pawhuska as one of the Wildlife Department’s six wintertime trout fishing areas.
by Ed Godfrey Published: August 3, 2014

Anglers in the Oklahoma City area will get another wintertime trout fishing hole nearby as Perry’s CCC Lake will get rainbow trout this season.

The Perry CCC Lake, just two miles east of I-35 and a mile south of Perry off SH 86, will replace Lake Pawhuska as one of the Wildlife Department’s six wintertime trout fishing areas.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has offered winter trout fishing at Lake Pawhuska for 17 consecutive years, but the number of anglers there has decreased in recent years, said Bill Wentroth, supervisor of fisheries for the north-central region.

The City of Pawhuska was not interested in continuing the trout fishery at the lake, he said.

“They felt it had run its course,” Wentroth said.

The City of Pawhuska also would not commit to lowering the lake during the winter trout season to improve bank fishing access as it has done in previous years, Wentroth said.

With Lake Pawhuska no longer available, ODWC began looking at Perry CCC Lake as an alternative because the City of Perry wanted a wintertime trout fishery.

City officials in Perry contacted the Wildlife Department more than a year ago about the possibility of winter trout fishing at the lake, but the agency did not want to add any more winter fishing areas in the state because of the cost of buying hatchery-raised trout.

However, with Lake Pawhuska no longer an option, the 32-acre Perry CCC Lake became an ideal replacement, Wentroth said.

“It’s a neat little lake,” he said. “It’s so close to I-35. It’s got these beautiful, big rock structures they used to pull boats up into.

“It’s really an attractive place to go to. I would anticipate we will have a lot of Oklahoma City anglers head that way.”

The lake hasn’t changed much since it was originally built, said Mary Rupp, city manager of Perry.

“If you want to step back in time, this is the place to come,” she said.

The lake was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942, and original structures such as a boathouse and picnic pavilion are still on the lake. Work began on Perry CCC Lake in May 1934 and was completed in July 1935.

Also known as Perry Lake Park, in 2008 the lake was officially listed by the U.S. Department of Interior on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2002, the CCC lake became a water supply lake for Perry. The lake gets water via pipeline from Lake McMurtry in Stillwater. The lake is locked up at night.

Rupp expects the winter trout fishing will not only attract anglers to Perry from Oklahoma City, but also from southern Kansas.

State wildlife officials said the winter trout fishing might eventually give the bass fishing a boost at the Perry CCC Lake.

“It darn sure did at (Lake) Watonga,” said Barry Bolton, chief of fishers for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We never produced a 10-pound fish there until we started the trout program. I think those big bass love to eat an 8-inch trout.”

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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