Lost Creek Repairs Underway for Lower Mountain Fork River Trout Fishery

By Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation

First posted on 03-02-2010

Recent flooding of the Lower Mountain Fork River’s Lost Creek trout fishing area did damage to the fishery, but anglers came to the rescue by funding a renovation that should wrap up in March.

Lost Creek is a stretch of pristine stream in Beavers Bend State Park that makes up part of the Lower Mountain Fork River year-round trout fishery. The quarter-mile stretch was completed in 2006 when, with support from anglers groups, fisheries personnel from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation revived a relic floodplain stretching across a bend in the Lower Mountain Fork River.

Lost Creek has since been managed as a trophy trout fishery with unique regulations conducive to trophy fishing opportunities.

When the largest flood releases since the construction of Broken Bow dam occurred in 2009, the fishery once again was in need of renovation.

According to Jared Vanderpool, streams management technician for the Wildlife Department, the flooding was destructive and brought significant damages to the area, including the loss of a highway bridge.

“Sediments stemming from the highway failure and upstream bank erosion deposited in Lost Creek and filled the new channel,” Vanderpool said.

In all, about 1,000 feet of Lost Creek was drained and became unusable for angling.

Outdoor groups and angler organizations including the Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation and 89ers Chapter of Trout Unlimited rallied their membership and donated over $10,000 to the Wildlife Department for the renovation of Lost Creek. Donations were then matched with Sport Fish Restoration funds, derived from excise taxes on sporting goods. These donations are used exclusively to cover the direct cost of the project such as heavy equipment rental and the purchase of construction materials such as boulders and logs.

Renovation efforts began on Feb. 8. According to Vanderpool, the project should conclude in March when the Wildlife Department will resume stocking the reach with rainbow and brown trout.

“Year around trout water is a limited and precious commodity in Oklahoma,” said Jay Barfield, also a streams management technician alongside Vanderpool. “While unfortunate, the flood damages provide us an opportunity to improve the original project. The newly designed Lost Creek will be about 200 feet longer, provide deeper pool habitat and feature cutting-edge trout habitat.”