The Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been reminding visitors to be careful in and around the water.
Though many reservoirs remain above normal elevation, Lake Office staff and volunteers are working hard to make repairs to open make recreation available as quickly and safely as possible.
“We are encouraging people to come out to the lakes and enjoy the nice weather but as we reduce the lake levels, we want to remind everyone to be conscientious and cautious,” said Steve Nolen, chief of Natural Resources for the Tulsa District. “With so much flooding, many lakes still have debris and submerged, or partially submerged, structures and vegetation that present a hazard to navigation.”
Whether boating, swimming or fishing from the banks, visitors should to take proper precautions by wearing well-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Visitors should also hydrate with water or sports drinks and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while boating.
“Alcohol and boating don’t mix,” said Abby Gaydusek, recreation specialist at the Tulsa District. “Exposure to the sun and summer temperatures increases the effects of alcohol. Boating while intoxicated threatens others’ lives and it’s illegal. ” After nearly two months of rain-induced recreation limits, many people will be ready to take advantage of nice weather and a long weekend and Ken Weiner, chief ranger at the Lake Tenkiller Project Office, is advising visitors to be careful in the reservoirs and the channels below the dam.
“When we are releasing water from the dam the currents are swift and people need to be really careful when wading or boating below the dam,” Weiner said. “The currents are stronger than they look. Parents should keep an eye on their children and make sure they are wearing life jackets.”