KAW LAKE, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Corps of Engineers is releasing hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from lakes across the state.

They are trying to get water levels back to normal in time for Memorial Day. The water is up 33 feet at Kaw Dam. William H Lowery Jr. says he’s been fishing since before he could walk. 

“I’m retired so I ain’t even been home yet,” said Lowery.

 He’s been out on Kaw Dam for the last week, taking in the scenery and catching some big fish.

“It’s one of the few places in Oklahoma you can see pelicans,” said Lowery.  “The day before they opened the gates I caught a spoonbill that was like, he was 80 plus,” said Lowery.   

The dam is releasing hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a second, all in an effort to control the lake level.

“We basically hold water upstream to protect life downstream. That’s our goal. So this dam believes it or not is helping people downstream by holding water as much as possible. If it weren’t here the situation along the river would be a lot worse,” said Brannen Parrish, Army Corps of Engineers, “We are doing what we can to protect life. That is why we are here.” 

While most people are dealing with the negative impact of high water levels, there is one positive for fisherman like William.

“Now that you’ve got all this water and it raises the water level up then they can migrate further upstream. Once they hit the dam that’s it so they just stack up,” said Lowery, “It will be better in a week than what it is today.” 

It is going to take some time to get the lake levels down. 

To check water levels or to see what campgrounds are closed CLICK HERE