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Lake Hudson Shoreline Management Project
By
Jerry Corbett

A project recently on the agenda of the Grand River Dam Authority is the Lake Hudson Shoreline Management Project. It is the Federal Energy Regulating Committee’s policy to encourage that a shoreline management plan is in place.  The basic concept of the shoreline management project is to allocate uses for the lake.  During public meetings held this January, OBF.com was present to participate in discussions regarding this and a number of other issues.

GRDA officials have established a target date of August 2004 to establish a plan to present to FERC for the re-licensing project.  These public meetings have been conducted in order to get the shareholders and other interested parties together to establish a plan of attack and develop a contact list for future information dissemination.  GRDA officials also mentioned that the shoreline management process for the Grand Lake of the Cherokee’s is also in its beginning stages.

Many of the issues discussed included permitting and construction methods of boat docks and marinas, habitat improvement and water quality.  The water quality issue has been brought to the forefront due to the logistics of Lake Hudson being down stream of the Tar Creek Superfund Site.  The soil in that area is contaminated with lead left from years of lead and zinc mining.  Lawsuits against eight mining companies have accused the companies of concealing their knowledge of the severity of the health effects of the lead contamination.  So far, the federal government has spent $100-million on the clean-up project.  Testing for heavy metals down stream and possible sampling of fish and soil may be required.  Some of the possible problems that may be presented besides the obvious health related risks, are during dredging projects around the lake, soil samples may be required before any work could begin.

In addition, the concerns over inadequate river channel markings and underwater hazardous for the boating public were addressed.  A possible plan of lowering the lake pool level down five feet in order to destroy old cement railroad embankments, and then leaving the pile of rubble for fishing structure is being considered.  The pool level would then be raised back up to 619 and stay at that target level.  It was also brought to our attention that the target level for Grand Lake would be 744.  The GRDA officials also pointed out that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages 11 other lakes in this system, functioning together including the Navigation Channel, so at times they are at the mercy of the Corps.

And finally, the lack of public facilities and fishing tournament activities were discussed.  Ramp crowding and fishing tournament permitting are hot topics.  As many of you know, recently a dispute between a bass Tournament Director and a Grand River Dam Authority Lake Patrolman was resolved by the Oklahoma Anglers Unlimited.  The unfortunate incident took place at Snowdale State Park, which is located two miles west of Salina on SH-20.  Snowdale is the only major facility located on the 12,000 acre lake.  The park is approximately 15 acres with around 80 campsites and limited parking for a major bass tournament’s activities.  The park is basically not equipped or designed to launch large tournaments.  GRDA stated their commitment to improving the situation while asking for suggestions to expand and develop a more suitable area for tournament activities.  Any input from the public has and will be considered.

   Another public meeting will be held with the dates announced soon and they encourage all interested parties to attend.

Here’s a few helpful links:

“Hydroelectric Dams Subject to FERC Relicensing—1998-2010”< - from Positions on Property, Vol. 4, No. 1 (PRFA, Nov. 1998)

The Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
http://www.prfamerica.org/DamRelicensingNatlIndex.html<

Snowdale State Park
http://www.touroklahoma.com/Pages/stateparks/parks/sdspbig.html<

Lake Hudson
http://www.grda.com/Water/hudson.html<

For questions or comments you can contact:  bsullivan@grda.com

And a special thanks is in order to the Oklahoma Anglers Unlimited and Doss Briggs, the district 2 & 3 director for his attendance and concern for our angling future.

Take it easy, and good fishing!
Jerry Corbett

 

 

 

 

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