Designated Trout Area / Size / Location:
7.75 miles of Illinois River from Tenkiller Dam to Hwy. 64 bridge near Gore in Sequoyah County.
Bank Access / Boat Ramps:
The Lower Illinois River Public Fishing and Hunting Area – Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit offers public fishing access to almost one mile of the trout stream and 320 acres of public hunting opportunity (see map). To reach the area, travel north on SH 100 from Gore approximately four miles. Turn east onto county road E0990 and travel approximately one mile to the entrance. Park in the designated parking area only. The area is managed for walk-in access only.
Four other public access sites are available along the state designated trout stream, including a pool off the river located immediately below the dam which allows trout fishing even during high power generation. Another good site is located at the River Road Public Access Area about six miles downstream from the dam. The Gore Landing Public Access Area, operated by the city of Gore (918) 489-2636, offers camping and a boat launching ramp.
Special Regulations: Daily limit
Brown trout – one over 20 inches in length. Rainbow trout – six, no minimum length. From USGS stream gauge downstream to Gravel Pit County Road: one over 20 inches in length.
Fishing in the Lower Illinois River Simp & Helen Watts Management Unit from the USGS stream gauge downstream to Gravel Pit County Road is restricted to artificial flies and lures only and barbless hooks only, except that single barbed hooks 3/0 or larger, may be used only when fishing with natural bait.
Lower Illinois River Public Fishing and Hunting Area
Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit – all general trout fishing regulations apply (see Trout Regulations). No overnight camping is allowed on the area.