AREA lake levels down

Saturday, August 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

July in Oklahoma means hot, dry weather. The drought is dropping lake levels around the state. KOTV's Emory Bryan went to Lake Keystone and says any boater can tell you when the levels drop, they have be extra careful on the water.

This time of year, it's especially dangerous, since the hazards in the water are still hidden. Some good advice might be, if you find deep water, just go in circles. The levels at Lake Keystone - and almost every other lake in Oklahoma - are dropping. Keystone is five feet below normal and expected to drop another three feet by Labor Day. Michael Kisler, Boater: "It can make a difference on lake levels if you don't know the lake very well." Michael and Steve Kisler have spent weekends on Keystone since childhood. They try to be careful, especially when the water begins to drop. Steve Kisler, Boater: "We know the lake very well and know the deep areas and the shallow areas and knowing the lake is one of the biggest parts I think." With the levels dropping, underwater hazards are surfacing. Those are easy to avoid - it's the one's just underwater that are the most dangerous. Michael Kisler, "This particular lake has some areas you have to be careful of, it's not hard to recognize the bad points. They show up pretty quick, but if you're not well aware, you can drag a skier or your boat over a certain area that is only a foot or so deep." Steve Kisler, "Last year I was out here when it was pretty low like this and saw a jet ski tear up the hull of it one time hitting a stump put a pretty good size hole in it, had to be towed in by a boat." As the Kislers head out for the weekend, they believe they'll be safe because they know the lake - but they worry that others won't pay attention, they'll head for shallow water - and get into trouble. Before long, some boaters might not be able to get out here. The end of the ramps isn’t far from being exposed, which can make it difficult if not impossible to get a boat into the water.