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Visual fish survey of the Arkansas River, Tulsa OK

Few of us fully appreciate the abundance and diversity of the fish assemblages in our prairie rivers and streams. This may be especially true in urban areas where we drive over streams and rivers daily, but often have little idea what's actually living there. This was recently illustrated when fisheries workers with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation conducted visual fish surveys on the Arkansas River where they observed "schools of channel catfish in the tens of thousands, along with big flathead catfish, striped bass, sauger, suckers and other native fish, including shorthead redhorse and shovelnose sturgeon".

Shorthead redhorse and shovelnose sturgeon are both rare and seldom seen species in Oklahoma and are considered "species of special concern". The fisheries workers reported that they were "blown away by the number and variety of fish they observed in downtown Tulsa". "It's amazing that so many fish are living here, literally right in our backyards, and we really had no idea the extent to which this was all going on".

Shovelnose sturgeon are very rare in Oklahoma and their harvest is extremely discouraged, however if you do encounter one of these rare fish please report it to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation at (918) 683-1031.

Additional Info

  • Location: Tulsa OK
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