July 6, 2008

Skiatook Lake’s High Water Doesn’t Drench All Plans

By Lee Logan, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jul. 6--The lake's marinas were all open and reported normal holiday business.

SKIATOOK -- High water thinned out the crowds at Skiatook Lake on Saturday, but some residents still came out with their boats, fishing poles and picnic baskets.

Several area lakes had water levels higher than normal for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. According to Army Corps of Engineers figures, Skiatook Lake measured about 4 1/2 feet above average. Other lakes, such as Keystone and Kaw, were more than 15 feet above normal.

The high water closed about 90 percent of corps-operated campsites. At Skiatook, the sites at Tall Chief Cove and the swimming beach were closed. The town's Thursday fireworks display was also moved from the lake to Skiatook Municipal Airport.

But the high water didn't wash everyone away. Charles Harmon of Skiatook was fishing with his 7-year-old daughter, Christine.

"I like the water high," he said. "When it's low and there's a lot of people here, it gets kind of crazy sometimes."

Harmon, 34, said the closed beaches didn't bother him because he usually swims off his father-in-law's pontoon boat. He goes fishing with his kids about once a month. "She just learned to cast today,

so she's doing pretty good," he said.

The lake's marinas were all open this weekend and reported doing normal holiday business.

"Oh yeah, we're getting a lot of people," said Ron Miller, the manager of Cross Timbers Marina. "Just looking at the traffic we're getting; it's not hurting us any."

Those not in a boat weren't as lucky.

Frankie Ruff, 22, was getting ready for lunch at a picnic table near Tall Chief Cove. His family, which comes to the lake from Tulsa every few months, had planned on camping and taking a dip in the lake.

Even though the beach also was closed Saturday, Ruff's two sons had gone with their grandfather to scout for a shallow place to swim.

"That's the real reason we came out here, for my boys," Ruff said. "They love to play in the water."

Lee Logan 732-8103 [email protected]


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