Here is the latest Power For Progress column from GRDA…

It may be an understatement to say that Grand River Dam Authority Fisheries/Tournament Coordinator Brent Davis is a busy man these days.

After all, with the popularity of tournament fishing on GRDA lakes, Davis helps coordinate a lot of fishing events around the shores of Grand and Hudson.

Tournaments visiting the lakes are required to get an event permit from GRDA, and follow the Authority’s rules for catches, weigh-ins and releases during the event.

While Davis works with groups on those issues, he is also a key answer man for all the anglers’ questions during those events.

Of course, questions about those fishing rules are often asked, especially this time of the year when the weather gets warmer and rule changes are put into effect.

GRDA Fishing Policies

GRDA Fisheries Coordinator Brent Davis weighs and tags one of the fish used during the Grand Lake Extravaganza earlier this year. Davis and the rest of the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department work hard to help protect, preserve and promote the fisheries of Grand and Hudson lakes.

The short answer is that, when hotter temps arrive, time allowed for fishing is scaled back a bit, as is the catch limit, to help protect the fishery and prevent fish kills, which could result from longer periods in the holding tank or in the bag, waiting for weigh-in.

Prior to those rule changes, Davis said it was not unusual for 50 percent or more of caught fish to die as a result of the weigh-in process.

While Davis admits the changes were not popular with fishermen when they were implemented nearly a decade ago, today the results speak for themselves.

The fisheries of Grand and Hudson are healthy and as popular as ever.

Many will remember that Grand Lake even hosted the “super bowl of fishing” – the Bassmaster Classic – in February 2013.

Going forward, Davis said GRDA’s plan for its lakes is more of the same: continue to work closely with tournaments to prevent fish mortality while also educating anglers year round on ways they can help protect and preserve the waters of Grand and Hudson lakes.

GRDA’s new “catch and release” tournament trailer, annual Rush for Brush events, public outreach campaigns and ongoing water quality monitoring programs are some of the ways that is accomplished (while also keeping Davis plenty busy).

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.