Skiatook Lake Goers Hope Forecasted Rain Raises Low Water Level

Wednesday, June 11th 2014, 7:17 pm
By: Craig Day

Images from Osage SkyNews 6 show the lake level is still far below normal. That's been the case for several years because of Oklahoma's drought. It's a deep lake, so there are plenty of places to enjoy the water, but one popular swimming area is still closed.

Some lake visitors hope more rain in the forecast will make a difference. Recent rain has helped, but it's not nearly enough.

Sonya Moore comes to Skiatook Lake with family and friends every week this time of year. So, like many, she's always monitoring the lake level.

"It's been low, very low," she said.

It may sound strange for a lake person to want rain, but Moore is keeping her fingers crossed for at least enough to raise the water level at Skiatook Lake.

"We need a lot of rain, I'm glad of the rain," Moore said. "Even though people get tired of it, it helps the lake."

Recent rain has helped, but just a little, raising the water level only half a foot, so Skiatook is still about eleven feet below normal.

Park Ranger, Jeff Walker said, "We are confident that it will take just one or two good rains over our watershed to get it back up where it needs to be."

The Tall Chief Cove swimming beach is still closed as a precaution.

Walker said the lake would have to come up quite a bit before the corps would consider reopening the beach.

"We probably still need to come up five or six feet for us to determine if the beach is safe to open back up," Walker said.

Since Skiatook Lake's watershed is so small, rain has to fall in a specific area northwest of the lake in Osage County near Hominy for enough runoff to make a difference.

"This lake is fed by a creek where most is fed by rivers, so it takes a little bit more rain to get us up to normal," said Walker.

Most other lakes in our area, because of the recent rainfall are at normal lake levels, or are a foot or two above normal.