(May 1, 2007) - Metro area anglers will celebrate an early summer with the opening of Edwards Park Lake, located at NE 15th & Bryant. The Oklahoma City Council passed an emergency ordinance in its May 1 meeting officially opening Edwards Park Lake to local fishing opportunities.
Ward 7 Councilwoman Willa Johnson cast the first line at a ceremony celebrating the lake’s opening. She was joined by officials from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“This is a banner day for Ward 7 and all of Oklahoma City,” said Ms. Johnson, “and one we’ve been anticipating for a long time. Leisure fishing is a favorite recreational activity for many of our residents, and I’m pleased and proud to open this new Close to Home fishing water to the citizens of Ward 7 and the community at large.”
Edwards Lake was built by the City in 2005, in cooperation with the State Department of Wildlife Conservation as part of the federal Sport Fish Restoration program. It was closed to fishing, however, in order to allow sufficient fish populations to develop.
According to the City’s fishery biologist Bob Martin, Edwards Lake is stocked with channel catfish, bluegill sunfish and largemouth bass. The fish were stocked at different intervals over a period of two years in order to allow them to grow to a catchable size. Biologists also installed four brush piles in Edwards Lake to create natural fish habitats near lake points and the fishing piers.
Anglers who fish at Edwards Lake will have to follow the City’s current fishing regulations for Close to Home fishing waters. Unless exempted, citizens between the ages of 16 and 62 must have both a state fishing license and city permit. A maximum of three rods and reels is allowed per person, and all anglers must abide by local catch limits. At Edwards, anglers may catch up to six channel catfish per day and unlimited sunfish. For the largemouth bass, anglers must follow specific catch and release regulations.
“The largemouth bass play an important role in controlling the size and population of our sunfish,” said Martin. “Keeping the bass in our Close to Home fishing waters ensures we will not have an overabundance of small sunfish, and will provide quality fishing for many years,”
With its opening, Edwards Park Lake joins seven other metro area waters as part of the Close to Home fishing program, a cooperative fisheries management project between the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The other Close to Home waters include:
For more information about the City’s 2007 fishing regulations, anglers may call 405 755-4014 or log on to the City’s website at www.okc.gov/lakes. Edwards Park Lake and the City’s fishing program are managed and operated by the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department.