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Tenkiller Newsletter December 2005

In this issue
-- GTAA Praises Edmondson On Ensuring Future of Lake

-- Lake Levels Still Low, Dam Project Update

-- GTAA Christmas for Kids

-- Hunting & Fishing Report

-- Tenkiller Events

-- Water Watchers Report

-- Burn Ban Continues at Tenkiller and Entire State

Greetings from Lake Tenkiller,

Lots of things are happening in the Lake Tenkiller area, and we would like to share a little of it with you. Thanks so much for being one of the 800+ subscribers! We Love Lake Tenkiller!

GTAA Praises Edmondson On Ensuring Future of Lake


John Ellis, president of the association, wrote Edmondson that the association "applauds your efforts to ensure that this generation and those to come may enjoy the beauty of Tenkiller Lake and the many benefits of our scenic rivers."

The letter said thousands of Tenkiller area families depend on the lake, the Illinois River, Flint Creek and Barren Fork Creek for clean drinking water.

The suit alleges violations of state and federal law through runoff caused by improper land application and storage of poultry litter.

Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe contends Oklahoma is trying to impose water quality standards that could harm the state's $2 billion poultry industry.

Lake Levels Still Low, Dam Project Update


Attorney General Drew Edmondson released a letter Tuesday in which the Greater Tenkiller Area Association's board praised his efforts to protect state waters from poultry pollution.

feet for the completion of the spillway. We would have started this about the first of November but we were already below that level. The current plans are for the lake to be held at 9 feet below normal for the spillway work. Therefore if we receive sufficient rain and inflow to bring the lake up, the level will increase about 2.5 feet and we will try to hold it there until the construction is complete. As I understand it the contractor will soon begin the final excavation and upon completion of that and some associated work we should be ready for the lake to begin the return to normal level. This should occur with the spring rains. With a normal spring we should be back to normal well before summer

The dropping pool level continues to cause problems with boat ramps. More of them are becoming unusable as the lake drops. Safety should be used when launching and boating on the lake due to the many safety hazards that now exist due to the low lake level. The other side to this is that we have been able to take advantage of the low lake levels and make some much needed repairs to many of the boat ramps around the lake. Additionally our Construction Division has a contract ready to award for boat ramp rehabilitation work and road improvements at Chicken Creek South. As soon as the budget appropriation for FY 06 is received, they plan to award this contract.

GTAA Christmas for Kids


Every year, the Greater Tenkiller Area Association (GTAA ) and Tenkiller Area Community Organization (TACO) sponsor a Christmas for Kids campaign. We take donations from people who want to provide toys and clothing for underprivileged children for Christmas. We work with a grade school in the Tenkiller area to get the names and ages of children who are needy and find out exactly what they need. Then, with this information, volunteers go to Wal- Mart to buy toys and clothing for these children.

Last year TACO and GTAA together raised over $2000 for this campaign and with your help hope to do even better this year. TACO will purchase and deliver the items to the parents of the children.

Many of you last year donated $100 each and we put that money to good use. Any amount will help, however. There were more than 100 children in 35 different families who were needy last year, and we expect about that many this year, too. Please send your checks to:

GTAA Christmas for Kids, PO Box 10-K, Cookson, OK 74427

Pictured is Tenkiller Women's Club Treasurer Terri Ussery handing a check to GTAA Executive Director Don Nowlin for $150 from Tenkiller Women's Club for the GTAA Christmas for Kids campaign (first donation for the season)

Hunting & Fishing Report


Greenleaf: Elevation 1 ft. below normal and clear. Largemouth bass fair deep diving lures along brush structure and creek channels. Channel catfish fair on bottom with cut bait. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around fishing docks. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, state game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

Webbers Falls: Elevation 2 ft. below normal and murky. Largemouth bass fair on jig and pig combos along rip rap. Channel catfish good around brush structure and at bridges on minnows and jigs. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

Waterfowl Report

Webbers Falls: Lake level is 2.49 ft. above normal. Habitat condition is fair, with smartweed, barnyardgrass, bidens, cut soybeans, corn, milo and wheat in area. Duck numbers are low. Goose numbers are low. Hunter activity is slow, with low success. Bird movement in the area is slow

Tenkiller Events


The Corp Reports: The current level is 620.51. This is about 11.5 feet below the normal pool level of 632.00. This is not of our design. The schedule called for the lake to be brought down 9

Got a Tenkiller Fishing or Hunting Picture? e mail it to me

Pictured is our 2005 office Christmas photo. Nope, we are not quite part of the "wildlife" of the area, but sometimes it may seem that way! Merry Christmas!

Tenkiller: Elevation 11 3/4 ft. below normal and clear. Crappie good around docks on minnows or jigs at 15 ft. Catfish fair around docks on minnow, worms or chicken livers near the bottom. Sunfish good in docks on worm-tipped jigs 10-15 ft. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson Village Resort.

Compiled by Pam Wemhaner-- Holiday Festivities abound around Lake Tenkiller. Thanksgiving is over, the turkey and dressing leftovers are gone, the mad holiday shopping rush of the day after Thanksgiving is done, now it is time to start the Christmas parades and other events of the season.


Dec. 5th entry deadline. Dec 7th Judging - First Annual Residence Decorating Contest All who live in Gore's School District can participate

Decorate your home to the hilt and get your application turned into the Armstrong Bank in Gore or to the Municipal Building by Dec 5th. One $100.00 grand prize will be announced on the day of the parade, December 10th.

Dec. 9 thru Christmas - 10,000 Lights will adorn Ray Fine park. Drive by after dark to enjoy the spectacle of lights

Dec. 10 - Annual Christmas Parade beginning at 11:00am. The theme for this year's parade is "Back to the 50's, Celebrating 50 years of Christmas". Gather along main street, the parade will travel as far west as the Nursing Home. For more info contact Judy at 918-869-0707 or Larry at 918-489-2072

Dec. 17 - Arrival of the Geese at Tenkiller State Park 10:00 am. Come wonder at the thousands of Snow Geese that visit this refuge every year. Arrival of geese depends on weather conditions, so please call before the tour day to check on geese numbers. 918- 489-5641


Dec 3 - Poker Run Benefit Ride and Fish Fry for Albert Cato. Everyone welcome. $10.00 per hand. 50/50 drawing. Best hand wins $50.00, worst hand $25.00 All donations accepted. First vehicle out from the Gazebo in Vian at 10am. This benefit ride has 5 stops around Lake Tenkiller; starting at the Gazebo in Vian, Fin 'n' Feather Resort, Juicy Pig, Snake Creek Resort and back to the Gazebo in Vian.

December 8 - Annual Christmas Parade at 6:00pm. This year's theme is "Songs of Christmas". The parade route will leave Railroad Park travel north past the nursing home a little east back down to Hwy 64 west to 82 then South again to Railroad Park. Of course, Santa will be riding high on a Fire Truck at the conclusion of the parade and will be passing out candy to the children at the gazebo when the parade is over. Line up begins at 5:00, judging at 5:45. Cash prizes and trophies will be given for Grand Prize Float and Honorable Mention Float. Plaques will be given for best in class: Band, Car or Truck, 4 Wheeler, 2 Wheeler, Animal and Clown. As usual Santa will be the Grand Finale riding on a Fire Truck.

In anticipation of Vian HS Football victory in the Semi- finals there will be a pep rally the day of the Vian Christmas Parade. Details yet to be determined

Dec. 17 - Parade of Homes Participants will pay $15.00 to join the tour. Details will be posted in the Vian News.


Dec 1 - Lights on at Seminary Hall at 5:30pm. Crowds will begin gathering around 5pm at NSU's campus in front of Seminary Hall for this annual event. President Williams' wife Pam will be reading the Night Before Christmas to the crowd, then the lights will be illuminated at 5:30. Following this tradition, join the throngs in Tahlequah's 3rd annual Christmas Stroll.

Dec 1 - 3rd Annual Christmas Stroll Following the "Lights on at Seminary Hall" event the public is invited to join in this new "tradition". Businesses will remain open late and invite the public to stop in and visit, patronize their business as well as get in the spirit of Christmas. Some businesses will offer drinks and snacks. Morgan's Bakery will have their new expresso/cappacino machine ready to warm the tummies of their patrons. During this event sponsored by Tahlequah's "Main Street Association", there will be free horse and carriage rides for those who'd like to participate.

Dec 2 - Annual Christmas Parade will proceed down Muskogee Ave. from NSU to Chickasha. Bring the kids out to see Santa and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. If you'd like to enjoy the excitement of live broadcasting of the parade, this year's announcer will be located outside the NET building at NSU.

Dec 2-4 - Thompson House Victorian Christmas This historic home located at the corner of College and Choctaw in Tahlequah will be decorated for the season. Arts and crafts will abound with Christmas goodies available for sale as well. Check out their famous Jalapeno Pepper Jelly.

Dec 11 - Murrell Home Open House another historic site. located in Park Hill just south of Tahlequah is having an open house from noon until 5pm.

Dec 11 - Tour of Homes in Tahlequah sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Contact your local AAUW member for tickets. Kate Miller's optometry office also has tickets.

Dec 13 - A Hometown Christmas, is presented by the Sequoyah Institute at NSU. This holiday spectacular stars Jack Daniels and the original Silver Cornet Band. The play begins at 7:30pm contact the Sequoyah Institute at 918-458-2075.

Water Watchers Report


The Tenkiller Water Watchers have all successfully been re-certified to conduct their volunteer water sampling and analysis program on the lake. This is an annual requirement to meet EPA data quality requirements.

The surface water temperature has dropped significantly and is now around 60 degrees at the lower end of the lake. The thermocline is all but gone and there is sufficient oxygen to sustain fish in all but the deepest portions of the lake. This is a normal seasonal change that occurs when the surface water temperature drops to near or below that of the deeper water. The cooling causes the surface water to become more dense than the deeper water. As a result the surface water, which is laden with oxygen, sinks toward the bottom of the lake, carrying the oxygen with it. This phenomenon is referred to as "lake turnover".

Sand bass fishing has slowed some from the really hot fishing in late September and October. The sandies were "schooling" heavily in the late evening around Skunk Island and were easy to catch. Now the best bet is fishing for crappies over brush piles and under the docks that are over at least 20 feet of water.

Burn Ban Continues at Tenkiller and Entire State


Extended dry conditions and high winds have increased the fire danger in all Oklahoma counties. Dry vegetation will ignite easily and burn with surprising intensity. Oklahoma is again facing low rainfall, high temperatures, drying winds and increasing fire activity. It is unreasonable to presume that those affected by a ban on outdoor burning can proceed without extraordinary fire prevention measures in place. If the activity cannot be safely conducted in such a way as to eliminate the risk of accidental wildfire or to provide for immediate suppression of any accidental fire, the activity should be delayed until more favorable conditions exist.

Outdoor grilling or charcoaling is not prohibited under this proclamation, however, caution should be used and glowing embers should not be dumped onto grassy areas. Campfires are not prohibited under this proclamation as long as attended and a noncombustible ring with a five-foot clearance to wildland fuels is present. However, any fire resulting from the use of a campfire, grilling, or smoking is still an illegal fire.