Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Glossary – Fishing Terms Defined

Brought to you by:

Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) – aquatic organisms that are not native to Oklahoma and have the potential to harm native organisms, their habitats, human health, or the economy. A few examples are the bighead carp, white perch, rudd, zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil, giant salvinia and alligator weed. See the  Aquatic Nuisance Species
section for more information.

Artificial flies – are objects that are constructed to resemble native insects and crustaceans for a body of water. Artificial flies may not be made with soft plastic fish eggs, worms, grubs and larvae; any natural fish food; any human food; any dough bait; any substance to attract fish by taste or smell.

Barbless hooks – a hook manufactured without a barb; hooks having manufactured barbs that have been removed or pinched down that renders the barb ineffective.

Black bass – largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted (Kentucky) bass.

Combined daily limit – some species of similar kind are combined into one daily limit. The combined limit is the total number of those species that can be kept in a day. Example: unless specified otherwise, anglers may keep a combined limit of 15 (total) channel and/or blue catfish, but not 15 each.

Culling – releasing fish caught that were placed on a stringer, in a livewell, or otherwise held in possession, often to replace the fish with a larger one. Culling is legal, except paddlefish, trout, striped bass and hybrid striped bass may not be released once held in possession.

Daily limit – the maximum number of fish of a given species which an angler may legally keep in a single 24-hour period (midnight to midnight).

Gaff hook – a handheld hook or handheld pole with a hook attached that may only be used in the landing of a fish, other than paddlefish, already hooked by hook and line methods.

Game fish – largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, black and white crappie, rainbow and brown trout, sauger, saugeye, walleye, striped bass, white bass, blue and channel catfish.

“In the Field” – meaning while fishing, while in the boat, on the bank, in the immediate vicinity of any river, creek, stream, lake or pond, or while transporting or carrying the fish from the waters described above to camp or from such water to the final destination.

Minimum size limit – the smallest size of fish that may be kept. All fish caught which are below the minimum size listed for that species must be returned (released) to the water immediately.

Nongame fish – all other species not listed as game fish.

Protected slot limit – special limit that prohibits keeping fish between certain sizes. All fish caught which are between the size range listed must be returned (released) to the water immediately. Example: a 13 to 16-inch protected slot limit on bass means anglers may not keep any bass caught between 13 to 16 inches in size.

Tailwaters – an area that covers the first 1,000 feet below a dam.

Total length – term used to describe the correct way to measure a fish. Measure from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, with the fish laid flat on a ruler with the mouth closed and the tail lobes pressed together.

Return to the home page
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Department of Wildlife Conservation allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Department of Wildlife Conservation Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Department of Wildlife Conservation neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult theDepartment of Wildlife Conservation for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
For advertising information, please visit: