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Wildlife Department Fishing Lakes


The Wildlife Department owns and manages 15 small lakes ranging in size
from 30 to 263 acres.

Information and maps about these lakes and their lo­ca­tion can be ob­tained online at Fishing regulations for these lakes are listed in the Special Area Regulations Lakes section. The Wildlife Department lakes include:

  1. American Horse Lake. Note: American Horse Lake is undergoing repairs and is closed to fishing during the renovations.
  2. Burtschi
  3. Carl Etling.  Note:Fishing opportunities are limited due to prolonged drought.
  4. Dahlgren
  5. Elmer.  Note: Lake Elmer is undergoing renovation. Water has been drained from the lake. It will take from two to three years for stocked fish to reach harvestable size. It is illegal to transfer any fish from another body of water to Lake Elmer.
  6. Evans Chambers
  7. Hall
  8. Jap Beaver
  9. Nanih Waiya
  10. Ozzie Cobb
  11. Raymond Gary
  12. Schooler
  13. Vanderwork
  14. Vincent
  15. Watonga

Maps of these areas are available at


Department Fishing Areas — PUBLIC USE RESTRICTIONS

The following rules and restrictions govern public use on all Wildlife Department Fishing Areas:

Waterfowl Refuge PortionThe Waterfowl Refuge Portion (WRP) of the following lakes/areas is closed during Oct. 15 – Jan. 31 to all public use and access: Canton, Hackberry Flat, Hugo, McClellan-Kerr, Red Slough, and Wister. Visit for a map of the WRP portion or contact the Area Managers listed in the “Oklahoma Hunting” guide.

Fishing – Fishing is permitted at all times in accordance with regulations. “Closed areas” may be designated for purposes of safety and/or security. After 10 p.m. and until 5 a.m., all Wildlife Department fishing areas are restricted to fishing and hunting (when applicable) related activities only. No person may fish with more than two poles, except during trout seasons at Designated Trout Areas when only one pole per person is allowed. Trotlines, throwlines, limblines, juglines, nets, seines, yo-yos, spearguns, noodling and taking of bait minnows by any method is prohibited, except cast nets may be used to take bait for personal use only at Lake Carl Etling. Lake Dahlgren (Lexington WMA) is closed to fishing during designated controlled hunts (check current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for dates).

Hunting – Always check the current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for season details and restrictions. All forms of hunting are permitted on Lakes Vincent, Hall, Jap Beaver, Burtschi, Nanih Waiya, Ozzie Cobb, Schooler, Evans Chambers, American Horse and Vanderwork during open hunting seasons from Sept. 1 through spring turkey season. Hunting is restricted to shotguns and bows only. These lakes are closed to antlerless deer harvest, except during archery season. See current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for seasons and restrictions on lakes Vincent (Ellis County WMA) and Dahlgren (Lexington WMA). Hunting and shooting other than provided above is prohibited. “Closed areas” may be designated for purposes of safety and/or security.

Camping – Limited to three days, except at the Lower Illinois River PFHA, Kiamichi River Access Area and Arcadia CEA where no camping is permitted, and at Lakes Watonga and Carl Etling where camping is limited to 14 consecutive days, and at Blue River PFHA where camping is restricted to 14 days in a 30-consecutive-day period. Camping is permitted only in designated camping areas. Quiet shall be maintained in camping areas between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Operation or use of any audio-producing device including radios, televisions and musical instruments or motorized equipment used in such a manner as to reasonably annoy or endanger persons at any time or exceed state or local laws governing noise levels is prohibited.

Boats & Motors – Must comply with existing state boat regulations and boat operators must obey Oklahoma State Boat Laws. All boats must be operated at no-wake speed (six miles per hour or less) and may not be left on the water or at areas longer than the limit on camping.

Water Skiing – Water skiing is prohibited.

Littering– Disposal of trash, refuse and debris, including organic and inorganic material is prohibited, except in designated trash containers.

Motor Vehicles – Driving, occupying or parking any motor driven vehicle, except on maintained roads (unless posted as “no parking zones”), designated parking areas and camping areas is prohibited. It is unlawful to operate any vehicle in a manner to create a public nuisance or to park in a “no parking zone.” Motor vehicle operators must be licensed drivers.

Vandalism, Theft, & Damage to Property – Vandalism, theft, cutting or defacing of trees and vegetation, removal of soil, rocks, water or minerals or damage to state property is prohibited.

Fireworks/Explosive Devices– Possession or use of explosive devices, including fireworks and firecrackers, is prohibited.

Swimming – Swimming is not permitted in Wildlife Department lakes.

Dogs – Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, except when used to hunt during legal open seasons on those areas where hunting is permitted.

Disorderly Conduct – No person shall use threatening, abusive or indecent language, participate in disorderly assemblage nor publicly appear nude or intoxicated on any lands owned and managed by the Wildlife Department.

Glass beverage containersAre prohibited at Department fishing areas, except in designated camping and parking areas.

Alcoholic Beverages/Controlled Substances – Beer and other alcoholic beverages are not allowed (as defined in O.S. Title 37, Section 163.1), except at camping and parking areas. No person shall use any controlled dangerous substance (as defined in O.S. 63, Section 2-101) on any lands or waterways subject to control of the ODWC.

Blue River Public Fishing & Hunting Area

In addition to restrictions listed above, the following regulations apply to the Blue River PFHA:

  • Wildlife Conservation Passport– All persons who enter or use the Blue River PFHA must possess the Wildlife Conservation Passport, unless exempt (see page 6).
  • Hours – Vehicular access is closed to all except emergency traffic from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. year-round.
  • Hunting – Always check current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for season details and restrictions. All hunting is restricted to shotgun and archery only. Closed to waterfowl hunting and antlerless deer harvest during deer gun season.
  • Camping – Camping is restricted to 14 days in a 30-consecutive-day period. The Area Manager may grant extensions. Extension approval will be based upon degree of area use, anticipated weekend or holiday occupancy and recreation season. Requests for extensions must be received by the Area Manager a minimum of 48 hours prior to start of extension date. Camping is permitted only in designated camping areas. No person shall leave a vehicle, camper, tent or any personal property unattended for more than a 48-hour period without approval of the Area Manager. Unauthorized placement of camping equipment or other items placed at a campsite, and/or personal attendance without overnight occupancy at a campsite for the purpose of reserving a campsite for future occupancy is prohibited. All property removed from unauthorized placement at a campsite will be at the owner’s expense and liability.
  • Carl R. & Ruth Walker Landrum Wilderness Area & Plaster Wildlife Management UnitSpecial rules pertain to these areas, including walk-in access only (except where wheelchair access provided), no camping, and no swimming.

Arcadia Conservation Education Area

  • Fishing – Walk-in fishing is allowed year-round on the Arcadia Lake shoreline within the conservation area. No overnight fishing allowed. Fishing is not allowed on the ponds or wetland areas.
  • Hunting – All hunting seasons are closed except controlled archery deer hunts, which are offered through the City of Edmond. For more information log on to
  • No camping allowed.
  • Closed to all nonhunting and nonfishing activities Oct. 1 – Jan. 15.
  • For additional information, contact Daniel Griffith, (405) 396-2223.

Lower Illinois River Public Fishing and Hunting Area – Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit

No camping permitted. All hunting is restricted to shotguns with pellets or archery equipment only. See “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for open hunting seasons.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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