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

[Archived] Lake Level Update -- Corps of Engineers

| News | January 18, 2018

Lake Tenkiller water levels continue to fall

TULSA, Okla.-- The water level at Tenkiller Ferry Lake has reached its lowest level in several years and is expected to continue to recede through the holiday weekend. The lake is predicted to be below elevation 622.75 within the week – more than nine feet below the seasonal pool level. Evaporation, hydroelectric generation, and less-than-normal runoff in the Illinois River basin have contributed to the lake’s low level.

Many boat ramps are now unsafe to use. Ramps in the public use areas at Pettit Bay, Elk Creek Landing, Cookson Bend, and Chicken Creek have been closed to the public.

Boat ramps at the Chicken Creek South Complex, Snake Creek, Strayhorn Landing Day Use Area, Carters Landing, Standing Rock, Blackgum Landing, and Cato Creek are still useable, but boaters are advised to launch at their own risk.

Boaters and visitors to Tenkiller Ferry Lake are warned to beware of hazards associated with the low lake levels. Objects that previously were well below the lake’s surface are now either exposed or are much nearer the surface, causing dangerous conditions.

For updates on lake conditions, call 918-487-5252 or 918-669-7132. 

Work on Boat Ramps -- Corps of Engineers:

We were fortunate enough to receive a little bit of extra funds for use here at Tenkiller as a result of an end of the year budget review. Some Tenkiller funds were released by other offices and we were given those funds so that we could do some work at a few of the many boat ramps which need work around the lake.

During the week of 22 August, we started work at Chicken Creek on both the ramps in the South Area and in the campground.

At the South Area we removed the broken and buckled side sections of the ramp at the Chicken Creek South Area. We placed some 8 to 12 inch stone along the sides of the remaining ramp. This will serve two purposes, to protect from undercutting and to assist ramp users in identifying the sides of ramp as they back down it. This is only a temporary fix for a few months since we should see this ramp rebuilt this winter when the lake is drawn down for the final work at the spillway. The new ramp and some other work in this area will be done as mitigation for the loss of park facilities at Damsite Recreation Area where the new spillway is now located. Hopefully we will also see some new vault toilets and some improvement of roads and parking. All of this is contingent on availability of funds but we are optimistic that funding will be available and we will see some much needed improvements by next summer.

At the campground ramp we removed the damaged side sections and replaced them with new sections that extended down to the lake level at that time.

We hope to receive some additional funding and be able to do more work at other parks.