All’s quiet on Lake Murray. For now.

All’s quiet on Lake Murray. For now.

The winter weather put a freeze on all-weather fishermen, but lower numbers are expected this time of the year at the lake, anyway.

As for hunting ... when the data is finalized from this past rifle season, the state expects deer kill numbers near or exceeding the single-year record of roughly 119,000.

The Ardmoreite spoke to officials at Lake Murray State Park, game wardens and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to get a gauge on the effects of December and January’s cold weather on outdoorsmen.


Jeremy Brothers, Carter County Game Warden

What’s been the biggest change for you due to the weather of December and January?

“We’ve had fewer arrests for licenses, trespassing and road hunting than in years past. Fishing is down, but most wait until the end of February when they want to get out of the house and do something.

“Arrests are kinda down statewide, especially in the south-central region. I estimate we’re down 30-40 percent than in the past.”


Carol Conrad, Park manager at Lake Murray State Park and Dan Looney, assistant manager at Lake Murray Marina

Did the heavy snowfall have a direct effect on activity at Lake Murray? Water levels?

Looney: “Unless we have a hard rain, we don’t see big changes (in water level). The down season was colder more so this year than last.”

Conrad: “We’ve probably gained an inch. In fall of 2008, there was low water because of the drought, but we had over 20 inches of rain in April and May and 12 inches in October. At this time last year, we were doing repairs to ramps (because of low levels). We’re at about normal level now.”


Jerry Shaw, biologist at Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Will the weather have any effect on 2009’s deer numbers compared to 2008’s?

“The weather affects the hunters more so than the deer themselves. They (deer) may alter actions slightly because of snow, start feeding more. If there’s a long-term snow over a couple of weeks, you’ll see a change.

“This year we were pretty fortunate during (rifle) hunting season (Nov. 21-Dec 6) to have pretty good weather. So, I think hunters came out in force. We (the state) were a little over 111,000 (deer in 2008). We’re up a little bit from our five-year average. We’re doing quite well. We did some preliminary studies during the season and at the end of them we were pretty close to where we were last year.”