A 1,000 gallon tool to benefit catch and release

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

The new 1,000 gallon mobile water tank will be used to store fish caught during various tournaments on Grand and Hudson lakes, and then following the weigh-ins, transported to various locations for release.

The new 1,000 gallon mobile water tank will be used to store fish caught during various tournaments on Grand and Hudson lakes, and then following the weigh-ins, transported to various locations for release.

While programs like GRDA’s “Rush For Brush” and other fisheries enhancement efforts have helped to maintain the reputation of Grand and Hudson lakes as prime angling destinations in recent years, a new tool will boost that effort going forward.

That new “tool” is actually a tank: a 1,000 gallon, mobile water tank to be exact. GRDA will use it to store, then transport for release, the fish caught during various tournaments on Grand and Hudson lakes. Built in-house by the Authority’s Welding Shop, the all-aluminum tank is capable of holding 1,000 pounds of fish. According to GRDA Fisheries Coordinator/Tournament Director Brent Davis it will give GRDA more release options following tournaments, which in turn will support GRDA’s continuing effort to lower the mortality rate of tournament fish in Grand and Hudson.

“Over the years we’ve been able to lower the amount of fish that die as the result of tournaments,” said GRDA Fisheries Coordinator/Tournament Director Brent Davis. “Rules for weigh-ins have helped with that, so have the changes in our release practices. Having this new tank available will also be a big help going forward.”

After tournament weigh-ins, the tank can be transported to various locations for releases. Davis said that is important because it will prevent the fish from “stacking up” in one area of the lake.

“In the past, following a tournament, all the fish might be released back into the water from the same location,” Davis said. “That can cause an overpopulation problem and can affect the fishery in that area. By spreading the releases around the lake, we can eliminate that stacking problem and perhaps, help strengthen the fishery in some different areas.”

Of course, with the fishing reputation of both Grand and Hudson still on the rise, the sheer number of tournaments will prevent GRDA from being able to use the tank following every weigh-in.

“A lot of times, both Grand and Hudson may be hosting more than one tournament,” said Davis. “So we won’t be able to use the tank at all of them, but our goal is to certainly be at everything we can accommodate.”

A new tool — a new tank — but a longstanding goal, outlined in the GRDA mission statement: “on and around our lakes we will support recreational development, environmental awareness, and good safety practices to ensure the continued improvement of the quality of life for all of those who utilize our resources.”

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to 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.

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