By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Editor
Oologah Lake is in great shape for the Memorial Day Weekend—if the rain will stay away for a couple of days.
“Oologah Lake will be approximately three to four feet above its normal elevation of 638′ for the holiday weekend,” Allen G. Ryan, Oologah Lake project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said.
“Water releases through the Oologah Dam are approximately 5,000 cfs. Water releases will likely be sustained into the month of June (weather permitting).
“The slightly above normal level is due to heavy rainfall received over the drainage basin earlier this week.
“All recreational features at Oologah Lake including all boat ramps and swimming beaches will be open and available for public enjoyment during the weekend.
“At press-time, the majority of the campsites with electrical services are occupied and/or reserved through the busy weekend. There are, however, still some nice non-electrical campsites available in most Corps campgrounds,” he added.
Now the big question mark is the weather.
National Weather Service forecasts issued Tuesday afternoon called for a chance of showers or thunderstorms from Friday through Monday. However, that is at the very end of the forecast window when pinpoint accuracy is lowest.
The forecasts offered no hints of severe weather. Indications Tuesday were that any rain storms during the weekend will be spotty.
Ryan said opportunities for both boaters and fishing enthusiasts will be plentiful:
“Redbud Marina is of course open for business for the Holiday weekend. They have an array of facilities available including camping, cabins, boating and other recreational opportunities.
“Visitors to the lake office have indicated (that) the fishing at Oologah has been good thus far this year especially for Crappie and Catfish. Hopefully, this positive trend will continue well into the summer months.”
Officials also urge visitors to take a few precautions to ensure a safe weekend.
“Always watch children very closely around water and ensure that everyone wears a properly-fitting lifejacket.
“Lifejackets are again available for free use at all major recreation areas. Just ask for one at the park entrance or visit the lifejacket loaner board positioned near the designated swim beaches and return it when leaving.
“Please remember, above normal lake levels can sometimes create hidden hazards in the lake including, floating debris, partially submerged structures, and unfamiliar drop-offs,” Ryan concluded.
Marina information is available by calling 918-341-5190. The Corps office can be reached at 918-443-2250 (if a Corps ranger or employee is in the office).
The gate house numbers are: 918-443-2319 for Hawthorn Bluff; 918-341-4244 for Blue Creek, and 918-341-3690 for Spencer Creek.