Fishing activities

Fall always offers recreational activities along the river | New


The crowds on the Illinois River are gone now that the summer season is over and the area’s annual festivals are over, but there is still fun to be had on the scenic Oklahoma River and the surrounding area. ‘surrounded.

Although float operators have closed their doors, that doesn’t mean people still can’t float if they have their own raft or kayak. A number of public access areas allow canoeists to set off, including Round Hollow, Stunkard, Peavine, Edmondson, No Head Hollow, Todd and Echota access points.

Austin Spears, of Arrowhead Resort, said it closed its doors last Saturday, but people are more than welcome to bring their own devices to roam Illinois.

“It’s always safe. You just have to be careful of what’s going on, ”he said. “People float alone all the time after closing. So the private crafts are still there.

The Grand River Dam Authority has a myriad of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you cruise the river. People should never dive from bridges, cliffs, stream banks, and trees. Boaters should never go it alone and respect the weather and the water. If they are tired while floating, adventurers should take a break on the shore or on a gravel bank. In high water conditions, they should be aware that the river may contain debris which presents a hazard to navigation.

Some public accesses maintained by the GRDA allow camping. Round Hollow, Stunkard, Peavine, No Head Hollow, Todd, and Echota all allow camping. The charge is $ 14 per night per site and includes two tents and two vehicles for one night. All of the camping areas are primitive, which means they have no water, electricity, or shower. There is an electrical site at Round Hollow, which costs an additional $ 14 per night. GRDA Scenic Rivers operations should be called if customers plan to use the electrical site. No alcohol is permitted in the Round Hollow and Todd Access Areas.

Anglers can find rainbow trout, brown trout, white bass, walleye, and sometimes striped bass in the Illinois River area. The lower Illinois is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and, according to the latest Oklahoma Department of Wildlife fishing report dated Oct. 16, the action downstream from the dam in the Watts area is good.

Cherokee County Game Ranger Cody Youngblood said anyone can fish, provided they have a fishing license, at any public access point. He said, however, that visitors should avoid crossing private property to find a fishing spot.

One of the best views of the Illinois River is in the Sparrow Hawk Wildlife Management Area off State Highway 10, about five miles east of Tahlequah. Youngblood said all adults need a valid hunting or fishing license, or conservation passport, which can be found online at Wildlife, or at Walmart or Atwoods.

Youngblood said with the archery season underway, with muzzleloading season approaching next weekend and rifle season arriving in November, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for hikers to. use caution and wear brightly colored clothing when hiking Sparrow Hawk.

“He’s open to hunting so there are people out there hunting him with archery gear right now,” he said. “But a lot of people use it for hiking. This is a property that was donated to the Department of Wildlife years ago. Most of our other properties, such as Cherokee and Cookson, are closed to non-hunting activities. But when the land at Sparrow Hawk was given to the Department of Wildlife, part of the deal was that it was to be open to the public year round. This is why it is not limited to only hunting activities.

Dense stands of oak and hickory wood interspersed with a few shortleaf pines cover the Hawk area. The property features hilly, rocky and steep terrain, allowing beginners and experienced hikers to exercise.

Dogs and horses can use the trail, which is about 3.8 miles. At several locations, hikers will find viewpoints that overlook the Illinois River and Green Country Oklahoma.