Save the Illinois River, Inc.
24369 E 757 Rd.
Tahlequah, OK 74464-1949
(918) 284-9440

[Archived] Tenkiller Lake BUMP report released

| News | January 10, 2018

In summary, Tenkiller Ferry Lake was classified as eutrophic, indicative of high primary

productivity and nutrient levels (Plate 113). Water clarity was excellent at this lake primarily due

to the absence of inorganic turbidity levels that are commonly seen in Oklahoma reservoirs.

The lake was fully supporting its Aesthetics beneficial use based on trophic status and true color

values. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is currently being developed for the lake to

mitigate the effects of nutrients to the system. A high level of total nitrogen in the lake was

documented which should be mitigated. Tenkiller Ferry Lake was supporting its FWP beneficial

use based on nephelometric turbidity and pH. The lake was partially supporting its FWP

beneficial use based on low D.O. concentrations in the water column. The very low D.O. values

seen in both the summer time in the lake are a cause for serious concern. Any time a larger

portion of the water column has D.O. less than 2.0 mg/L you have a serious problem that should

be further addressed. Bacteriological samples were also collected to assess the Primary Body

Contact Recreation (PBCR) beneficial use. All sample results were at or below the detection

limit, therefore the PBCR beneficial use is considered fully supported. The United States Army

Corps of Engineers constructed Tenkiller Ferry Lake in 1953. The lake was authorized to serve

for flood control and hydroelectric power. Today the lake serves many other purposes and is

one of the most heavily used recreational lakes in Oklahoma. Tenkiller Ferry Lake is one of the

lake jewels of Oklahoma and it should be managed and maintained in that fashion.