As the calendar moves towards the busiest part of tournament fishing season, the Grand River Dam Authority wants to remind anglers about proper fish handling techniques.

To help accomplish that, GRDA is inviting all area anglers and fishing tournament directors to a special free workshop on Saturday, February 24, at 10AM, at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley.

Bass Angler Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) National Conservation Director Gene Gilliland will be on hand to present information on three important tournament-related fish handling topics:

  1. Fish handling in boats
  2. Fish handling at tournament weigh-ins
  3. Proper ways to fizz a fish

Gilliland, who retired from his position as Assistant Chief of Fisheries with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) in 2013, is considered an expert in the field of tournament fish handling.

After presenting on these topics, he will also be available to answer questions from participants.

“Tournament fishing continues to be one of the most popular activities on GRDA’s Grand and Hudson lakes, so protecting the fishery is a top priority to insure that these tournaments can continue to be successful,” said GRDA Vice President Ecosystems and Watershed Management Dr. Darrell Townsend.

Also during the workshops, ODWC Northeast Region Fisheries Supervisor Josh Johnston will be giving a presentation on largemouth bass population dynamics in Oklahoma reservoirs.

Johnston will discuss the conditions of these populations using spring electrofishing data collected by ODWC from 2000-2015.

This presentation will also include possible ways to improve those populations and feedback on this subject, from workshop participants, is encouraged.

“We’re excited to join with ODWC to hold this workshop and discuss the fisheries of our lakes,” said Townsend. “We encourage area anglers to take part.”

For more information on the workshop, contact Janet Dellisanti of the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department at (918) 256-0852 or Officer Jason Littlefield of the GRDA Police Department at (918) 530-6138.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency. 

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Photo caption information: Anglers and spectators on the waters of Grand Lake during the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. Fishing is a popular sport on the lake and the Grand River Dam Authority wants to help educate anglers on proper fish handling techniques. It will do that during a special workshop at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley on February 24.

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