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Interesting News Article Re: Trout Stockings

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So we don't have many "pristine" streams around here any longer- but if you were asked to comment, how would you answer?

Trout or no trout?


'Pristine' creek to stay free of trout, appeals court says

By MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer



Considered the last uncontaminated stream of its kind in Oklahoma, Spring Creek will remain closed to trout fishing under a decision released Monday by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.


The state Department of Wildlife Conservation had asked the court to overturn a ruling by a district judge in February that officials violated state law when they allowed Spring Creek to be stocked with trout.


The appeals court, however, upheld the ruling.


The original case was brought by a coalition of landowners who objected to the Wildlife Department allowing private fishermen to stock the creek with trout, a species foreign to the area.


The landowners feared that the trout would crowd out native fish, triggering a domino effect in the stream's ecosystem.


"You just don't want to mess with a steam that is still in its pristine, natural state," said Charles Shipley, the Tulsa lawyer for the Spring Creek Conservation Coalition. "You just don't want to take a pristine stream and add something foreign to it, even something as usually unobjectionable as trout."


Oklahoma has several "Ozark streams," characterized by creek beds of gravel instead of clay or sand.


But conservationists describe Spring Creek -- near Pryor, an hour east of Tulsa -- as the state's last "pristine" Ozark stream, meaning its course hasn't been altered and its water hasn't been polluted.


However, the court's decision to ban trout was not based on environmental concerns. Instead, the courts focused on a technicality in how the Wildlife Department changed its rules to allow trout into the stream.


State law required the department to collect public comments before it changed the rules. The Spring Creek coalition argued that officials ignored overwhelmingly negative comments.


The appeals court wrote, "The process employed here is inherently flawed . . . and essentially renders the hearings for public comment a nullity."


Spring Creek was first stocked with trout more than two years ago, but officials believe the fish have died out.


In theory, the Wildlife Department could call new public hearings and restart the process to change its rule and, ultimately, allow the creek to be stocked again. But the Spring Creek coalition promises to fight any such move.


Wildlife Department officials could not be reached Monday.

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If there really is such a thing as a "pristine" stream. I would definitely say to keep it that way. I would oppose any type of stocking in such a stream, including species that are already there.


No Trout!

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In a state like Oklahoma or Wyoming type states im sure there are a few really pristine streams and my vote would be no as well, leave something like that alone.


It's to bad they can't declare it a wilderness area so it has to be left untouched but as they stated it has landowners soooo,to late!

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