Popular Keystone Dam Fishing Spots Get Upgrades

Tuesday, June 16th 2009, 4:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

SAPULPA -- Flooding over the past few years has caused damage to public fishing spots on the Arkansas River, just below the Keystone Dam.

The Corps of Engineers will begin work soon to fix that damage.

Like many people, Gary Jones of Sapulpa loves to fish below the Keystone Dam.

But starting next week, access to the fishing spots just below the dam along the Arkansas River will be limited.

The Corps of Engineers will temporarily close those areas to make repairs.

"What we've got is a lot of damage from the last two years when we've had major flood releases," said Kent Dunlap, Keystone Lake Manager.

Those releases have caused erosion and other damage. The Corps of Engineers will replace and repair concrete sidewalks and move rock around to reinforce the banks.

"When you step down it used to be real even, but when you step down it's almost a foot and a half step down now," said Gary Jones, a Sapulpa resident.

"There's rocks piling over, some of the river has washed them out. If you go further down, you can see all the rocks that are washed over," said Steve Thompson, a Sapulpa resident.

In the long run, the upgrades will mean improved safety and better access for anglers, especially disabled ones.

In the short term, it will be a minor inconvenience while the fishing spots are closed.

"We're going to have a lot of big equipment moving, a lot of rock. It's a construction site at that point. We want to make sure we're keeping the public safe and our contractors safe at the same time," said Dunlap.

While work is underway on one side, the other side will remain open.

Each part of the $900,000 project will take at least a few weeks to finish.

An off-road vehicle area on the south side of the river, just below the dam, will also be closed during the construction work. But the lake manager says there are several other off-road areas on the lake that will remain open.