Grand Lake's Loss Is Keystone's Gain

Sunday, July 3rd 2011, 8:54 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

KEYSTONE LAKE, Oklahoma -- Families are staying away from one of Green Country's most popular summer hot spots this holiday weekend.

7/2/2011 Related Story: Few Boaters Brave Grand Lake Waters On Holiday Weekend

A toxic algae outbreak at Grand Lake prompted health officials to warn families to avoid the water. Families are instead flocking to other area lakes for their fun in the sun.

Locals call Keystone Lake a quick getaway. Lately, they've noticed something in the water, not algae - it's traffic.

"Oh yeah, oh yeah. A lot busier. I've never seen this many boats out here before," said Mike Fowler, lakegoer.

"You can't even hardly launch down here at this ramp, it's been so busy," said lakegoer Anita Harp.

Employees at Pier 51 Marina say this is the busiest 4th of July weekend in years.

"I think so. With some of the issues on other lakes I think a lot of people are staying close," said Justin Hershberger, Pier 51 Marina employee. "Obviously not a normal weekend on Grand Lake."

But at Keystone Lake, the water level is high and the water's cleaner, so people can jetski, swim, all the things they've been warned not to do at Grand Lake.

"It's safe, and I think that's the main reason. They wanted to make sure their kids were safe this weekend and didn't have to worry about them getting sick," Harp said.

But more people on the water means problems for lake officers. They're pulling boats over if kids aren't wearing life jackets or if there's simply too many people on board.

"Lot of people don't have the equipment required for boats," said Trooper Ricky Hundy.

Locals say the bigger picture is a boom in business. Proving one lake's loss is another's gain.