Oklahoma has some of the best fishing lakes in the country. Anglers can expect to catch catfish, walleye, and several different bass species in the state’s many great fishing lakes. It’s no secret that Oklahoma is home to some massive fish. In fact, Oklahoma broke the world record for the largest paddlefish twice in one year! As for walleyes, Oklahoma may not hold the national record, but it still has an impressive state record. This article explores the largest walleye ever caught in Oklahoma and how it compares to the United States record.
Facts About Walleyes
Walleyes are in the fish family Percidae, which also includes the sauger, ruffe, and a few perch species. Other names for walleye include yellow pike, yellow pikeperch, or yellow pickerel. Walleyes get their common name from their opaque, pearlescent eyes. Their unusual eyes allow them to see in dim light.
Walleyes are a popular species with anglers across North America. The best times to fish for walleye are at dawn, dusk, and during cloudy or windy weather. Since walleyes can see so well, they often hunt when the light is dim or when the weather has stirred up mud in the water. In fact, windy weather is such a great time to fish for walleye that anglers call it the “walleye chop”.
How Big Do Walleyes Get?
Walleyes typically grow up to 20 lbs. and 31 in. long. They can grow larger, but large individuals are rarely caught. Additionally, walleyes can live especially long, with some even living up to 29 years. However, in heavily fished areas they typically do not live that long.
What Is the Largest Walleye Ever Caught In Oklahoma?
According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, walleye were first introduced to Oklahoma in the 1950s. Since then, the state has maintained its walleye populations with fish hatcheries. Officials stock most of the state’s major lakes with walleye each year. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation states that western Oklahoma is home to the best walleye populations. However, the record for the largest walleye comes from Eastern Oklahoma.
The largest walleye ever caught in Oklahoma was 12 pounds 13 ounces That’s heavier than a gallon of paint! The massive fish measured 30 3/8 inches long and 19 1/2 inches around. Kerry Carter caught it at Robert S. Kerr Reservoir in 2004. A photo of Kerry Carter and the record walleye is on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website.
Let’s explore Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, home of the record walleye.
Robert S. Kerr Reservoir
Robert S. Kerr Reservoir, a man-made lake on the Arkansas River, is the fourth-largest lake in Oklahoma. It is part of the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which was built to make the Arkansas River more navigable by boat. The lock and dam that created Robert S. Kerr Reservoir was built in the 1960s and completed in 1970. Today, the reservoir is a popular area for boating and fishing.
In addition to the largest walleye ever caught in Oklahoma, another state fishing record was set at Robert S. Kerr Reservoir. The largest sauger ever caught in Oklahoma, weighing five pounds five ounces, was caught there as well. Let’s explore some of the other fish species living in the lake.
Other Fish Species in Robert S. Kerr Reservoir
In addition to walleye and sauger, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir is home to many other fish species. Anglers can find almost any fish that lives in Oklahoma at this amazing lake. Here is a list of the other fish species in Robert S. Kerr Reservoir:
- Blue catfish
- Channel catfish
- Flathead catfish
- Largemouth bass
- Striped bass
- White bass
- Black crappie
- White crappie
- Bluegill sunfish
What Was the Largest Walleye in the United States?
The largest walleye ever caught in the United States was a whopping 25 pounds! Additionally, it measured 41 inches long and 29 inches around. An angler caught the fish in 1960 at Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee. This record is so impressive that none have come close since.
What Is the Largest Fish Ever Caught In Oklahoma?
The largest fish of any species ever caught in Oklahoma was an alligator gar. The massive 254-pound 12-ounce fish was caught at Lake Texoma. It measured 97 3/4 inches long with a girth of 44 inches. Paul Easley caught the fish in 2015. A photo of Paul Easley and the record gar is on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Department website.
Where Is Robert S. Kerr Reservoir Located on a Map?
Robert S. Kerr Reservoir is located on the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma. The reservoir is just below the confluence of the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers. It is approximately eight miles south of the small town of Sallisaw.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Piotr Wawrzyniuk/Shutterstock.com
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