If you didn't know, occasionally, the state will survey area lakes to estimate the health and vitality of their hard conservation work. Not only to monitor the fish populations, but to also check the water chemistry, and habitat. This is the information these hard working biologists need to gauge how many and which species to transfer into a lake from their fisheries.

Lake Lawtonka has long been a storied trophy lake for large and small mouth bass, but it isn't just by accident. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has put in a ton of time, effort, and science to develop lakes like Lawtonka. Adding the preferred species at the correct time, in the correct numbers... It's mind-boggling, but things are paying off. There are huge fish constantly being caught in our own back yard. It was monster smallies a few weeks ago, largemouths this week, and even a state record caliber spotted gar last week.

As with anything the state does, these efforts do not come cheap. That's why you're supposed to purchase a fishing license. That money goes towards the direct improvement of your fishing experience. More bites, a bigger catch, and plenty of other species that balance the needs of your trophy targets. Now, don't get me wrong. I called foul the year they raised a license from $12 to a flat $25+fees... But that yearly cost shrinks considerably when you buy in bulk. A five-year license will only run you $88+fees. If you're here for the long haul, a lifetime is only $225, and it's good for life even if you become a non-resident later. (at least that was the selling point that hooked me)