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Lake Texoma Officials: lowest lake levels since '70s

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

LAKE TEXOMA -- The Lake is down to 609 feet - which is the the lowest it's been in more than 40 years.

And with Lake season slowly approaching, businesses are getting concerned, since drought conditions don't appear to be getting any better.

Jimmy Bishop works on Lake Texoma as a striper guide. He said the lake is starting to get dangerous.

"You can run up on sandbars, you can run up on stumps, if you're not familiar with the lake and stuff," Bishop said.

He said many boat ramps and launches - like the ones at Cardinal Cove - are unusable because the water is so low. And he said these boats here have been grounded for weeks.

"People like to jet ski and ski on the lake and everything. I wouldn't advise that as low as it is," Bishop said.

B.J. Parkey, with the Army Corps of Engineers, said the lake is 7 feet below average for this time of year.

"It's looking horrible right now. Lot of exposed shoreline, lot of sandbars coming up," Parkey said.

The Corps is closing boat ramps where the water is too low and are steadily patrolling for safety, Parkey said.

"There's a lot of underwater hazards that are new, coming up daily, weekly," he said.

And Parkey doesn't see any relief forecasted for the near future.

"We need the rain out west. We need it in our watershed. Our watershed is 40,000 square miles. So that encompasses the western part of Oklahoma, northwestern part of Texas," he said.

Meanwhile, business owners like Bishop are just praying for a wet spring.

"We hope for them spring rains to come and everything, so we just shoot for that," Bishop said.

The Lake Texoma Association recently passed a resolution spurred by these low lake levels. And they're working with Texas and Oklahoma legislators to amend laws dealing with water districts and hydropower generation.


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