OK: Fish identification workshops in southeast Oklahoma to benefit even experienced anglers

While most fish are easily identified, even an experienced
angler may

need help at times determining the exact species of fish they
have

caught. At two upcoming fish identification workshops in
southeast

Oklahoma, personnel with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife

Conservation will focus on instructing adult anglers to
distinguish

between a number of commonly misidentified fish.

Small subtleties, unusual coloring among individuals,
out-of-the-norm

features and occasional hybridization are just a few of the things
that

could make species identification a challenge.

“Most people get their knowledge of fish from family, friends,
neighbors

and fellow anglers,” said Don Groom, southeast region
fisheries

supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “For the most part,
this

knowledge is ‘close enough.'”

Still, the workshops will cover areas of special concern to
Oklahoma

anglers, such as subtle differences in fish species that have
different

sets of regulations. Species like black bass and black bass
hybrids, for

example, may not always appear different to the untrained eye,
but

knowing the difference can impact daily harvest limits for anglers.
For

example, largemouth bass may look similar to spotted bass, but in
most

cases daily limits set for largemouths but no daily limits on
spotted

bass.

“During the workshop, anglers will be encouraged to ask questions
along

the way and should expect to leave with more confidence in their
ability

to identify a fish, and more importantly, be able to pass better
than

‘close enough’ information on to their family, friends, neighbors
and

fellow anglers,” Groom said.

Groom and his fellow Wildlife Department fisheries personnel will
be on

hand to discuss the differences between black bass, but also others
such

white bass, yellow bass, striped bass, hybrids and catfish. They
will

also cover differences between snakeheads and bowfins.

One workshop will be held at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Broken Bow
Library,

and the other will be held at 7 p.m. April 26 at the Hugo Library.
The

workshops are free, and registration is not required.

For more information, contact the Wildlife Department’s southeast
region

office at (918) 297-0153 or Don Groom at (918) 686-3249.

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