Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Oklahoma
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Long, J.M., R.G. Hyler, and W.L. Fisher. 2012. Response by anglers to a differential harvest regulation on three black bass species at Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 92:9-20.


Angler responses to a differential harvest regulation on black bass, Micropterus spp. at Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma was assessed from 1997 to 1999. This regulation allowed anglers to harvest 15 spotted bass, M. punctulatus (Rafinesque) of any size and six largemouth bass, M. salmoides (Lacepède) and smallmouth bass, M. dolomieu Lacepède greater than 356 mm (in aggregate) per day. Anglers’ ability to differentiate spotted bass increased after the first year of the study, but their willingness to target or harvest spotted bass declined. Angler catch rates (number of fish per angling hour) for all three species remained steady throughout the study although total catch for spotted bass was lower in 1998 compared to 1999. Despite the more liberal regulations as incentive, the regulation failed to accomplish the primary objective of increasing angler harvest of spotted bass because of high rates of voluntary catch and release.