Department Fishing Areas
All persons must possess a fishing or hunting license, or a Wildlife Conservation Passport to access any Department Fishing Area, unless exempt (see License Requirements & Exemptions).
Department Fishing Areas — PUBLIC USE RESTRICTIONS
The following rules and restrictions govern public use on all Wildlife Department Fishing Areas. Wildlife Department Fishing Areas are listed in blue type on pages Public Fishing Areas (PDF).
Alcoholic Beverages/Controlled Substances – Beer and other alcoholic beverages are not allowed (as defined in O.S. Title 37, Section 163.1), except at designated camping and parking areas on any lands or waterways subject to control of the ODWC. 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.
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. No boats allowed at Doc Hollis Lake.
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.
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.
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.
Fireworks/Explosive Devices – Possession or use of explosive devices, including fireworks and firecrackers, is prohibited.
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) and Doc Hollis Lake (Sandy Sanders WMA) are closed to fishing during designated controlled hunts (check current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for dates).
Glass beverage containers – Are prohibited at Department fishing areas, except in designated camping and parking areas.
Hunting – Always check the current “Oklahoma Hunting” guide for season details and restrictions. Hunting is permitted on the following lakes: 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, including migratory bird seasons. Hunting is restricted to shotguns and bows only. These lakes are closed to antlerless deer harvest, except during archery season. Hunting regulations and restrictions for lakes Dahlgren, Doc Hollis and Vincent are the same as those listed for Lexington WMA (Dahlgren), Sandy Sanders WMA (Doc Hollis) and Ellis County WMA (Vincent). Hunting and shooting other than provided above is prohibited. “Closed areas” may be designated for purposes of safety and/or security. Trapping 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.
Swimming – Swimming is not permitted in Wildlife Department lakes.
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 are prohibited.
Water Skiing – Water skiing is prohibited.
Waterfowl Refuge Portion – The 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 wildlifedepartment.com for a map of the WRP portion or contact the Area Managers listed in the “Oklahoma Hunting” guide.
Blue River Public Fishing & Hunting Area
In addition to restrictions listed above, the following regulations apply to the Blue River PFHA:
- 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 Unit – Special rules pertain to these areas, including walk-in access only (except where wheelchair access provided), no camping, and no swimming.
Lower Illinois River Public Fishing and Hunting Area – Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit
In addition to other restrictions on this page, the following regulations apply to the 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.