Skiatook Lake's Clear Waters Get Reprieve From Flooding Closures

Sunday, June 21st 2015, 7:59 pm
By: News On 6

Flooding at lakes caused by Tropical Depression Bill forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close several of its campsites and recreation areas.

Skiatook is one of the few lakes in Northeastern Oklahoma open this weekend to boaters and campers.

Skiatook Lake is about 2 feet from its normal elevation, and because of that, some of the local boat ramps are filling up with boaters and swimmers.

A line formed at the Osage Park boat ramp on Skiatook Lake. Boaters haven't seen the lake this busy in a long time.

“It's fun, and the water is clear, and it's nice you know?” Tia Jefferson said. “We really enjoy ourselves over here.”

The Jefferson family brought their wave runners to Skiatook because Keystone Lake levels are too high for them, and they're worried about debris in the water there.

A month of rain and remnants of the tropical depression brought Skiatook Lake out of drought conditions.

"That water line, it was past the outer yellow rim, that's how bad it was, it was past the outer yellow rim, like we could walk all the way to the yellow rim," lake-goer Sky Bass said.

The higher water allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to reopen several boat ramps and swimming areas once closed because of low lake levels.

“It's been really sad,” Bass said. “We love coming to the lake. If we could, I'd come every day,"

That's great news for Andrew Pannhoff and his family, who came out to Tall Chief Cove to swim.

“We're actually really glad to be out here because this is one of our favorite places to go," Pannhoff said.

Getting back to their favorite beach beats the swimming pool on a nice weekend.

"This big ol' swimming area is amazing,” Bass added.

“Lakes are always better anyway,” Trish Bass added.