Wednesday, 15 June 2022 16:16

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department Celebrates Oklahoma Fishing Trail Anniversary with Giveaway Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Three years after its launch, the Oklahoma Fishing Trail continues to boost popularity of fishing in the state.  

In 2021, Oklahoma had more than 108,000 first-time fishing license holders. A total of 362,924 fishing licenses were sold. However, a total of 837,113 licenses were held by anglers, accounting for fishing licenses that carry longer fishing privileges, such as lifetime or five-year licenses. Fourteen percent of fishing license holders in 2021 were from outside of Oklahoma. 

June 18, which is also National Go Fishing Day, marks the third anniversary of the Oklahoma Fishing Trail. 

“I am thrilled with the success of the Oklahoma Fishing Trail in its first three years,” said Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. “We set out with the goal of increasing tourism and generating additional tax revenue for the state, and we’ve done just that. Last year alone, the $150,600 we invested into our Fishing Trail campaign generated $10+ million in projected lodging revenue and a 67:1 return on investment. I look forward to more growth in the years to come.”

The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department is celebrating the Oklahoma Fishing Trail’s three-year anniversary with a giveaway. Anglers can visit the Facebook page to enter to win a guided fishing trip with Pinnell and J.D. Strong, director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The prize package also includes Oklahoma Fishing Trail gear and an Oklahoma State Parks annual parking pass.  

The Oklahoma Fishing Trail was introduced in June 2019. The trail is a joint venture between the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. It is designed to make Oklahoma the No. 1 fishing state in the nation and increase tourism revenue. OTRD also partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, which installed 791 Oklahoma Fishing Trail signs in locations across the state.  

According to the Department of Wildlife’s database, fishing license sales were 20 percent higher in 2021 than they were in 2018. These two years represent the first full year before the Fishing Trail started (2018), and the last full year to pass by since the Trail was launched (2021). 

"The Oklahoma Fishing Trail has been a great way to showcase some of the best fishing opportunities in the nation, right here in Oklahoma,” said J.D. Strong, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “People from all over the country have heard about Oklahoma’s great fishing opportunities, and we want them to come experience it first-hand! The Fishing Trail is a great way to draw them in, and we are looking forward to keeping the success going strong.”  

One popular component of the Oklahoma Fishing Trail is the Grand Slam Challenge. To complete the Grand Slam, anglers must catch five different species from Oklahoma fishing destinations and submit photos to Those who complete the challenge receive an exclusive decal. 

In the Fishing Trail’s first three years, the department has received a total of 123 completions. The Grand Slam’s biggest month was in June 2020, when 22 anglers completed the challenge.  

107 Jasper Terry

Jasper Terry of Edmond shows off a half-pound crappie he caught at a Guthrie pond. Terry is among the anglers who has completed the Grand Slam Challenge.

97 Phillip Curtis

One of the fish Phillip Curtis caught for his Grand Slam Challenge submission was this 2-pound rainbow trout that came from the Lower Illinois River, which is one of Curtis' favorite places to fish.

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