Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kayaking the Lower Illinois River in Oklahoma

The weather forecast for mid eighties and no rain was all I needed to hear for me to decide to take a kayak trip down the lower Illinois River at Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It is 68 miles of crystal clear water and class 2 rapids. It has been several years since I visited this river but it was still very nice. The water temps were perfect for paddling with my feet in the water.

On this trip I noticed that there are very large fish in this river. I mean really big; at least 2 feet and several different kinds, but I am not a fish expert so I don't know which ones I saw. I looked up some propaganda on the river and found out that it is stocked every other week in July and the listed fish were: rainbow and brown trout, record stripers (those were probably the huge ones I saw!), walleye, crappie catfish and bass. I was amazed that I saw only two fishermen during my 12 mile trip!

I was using a sit on top kayak, something I have never done before. If you are on a very calm river they are fun, but I would not want on if the water were just a deeper or rougher.

The only complaint that I have is that the river banks were littered with pop bottles and the like. It was very discouraging to see that people come to enjoy the river and leave their garbage strewn all over. If I had a bag I would have picked some of it up, it was truly disgusting. Maybe I will ask the outfitters to give bags to the folks who float so they can help put it back to its pristine condition again...

here are a couple of shots I got along the way; my camera is not waterproof, so I only got a couple.

I did not get any shots of the fish, but the turtles were nothing to sneeze at either...Here are three huge ones in and among the fallen trees, click for larger views

When I got home I noticed that my sunflowers finally bloomed!

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