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Lake Elmer open for business

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Lake Elmer in Kingfisher County. is full of water and the boat ramp is usable, according to fisheries personnel with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The 55-acre lake has undergone a slate of recent renovations since being drained in 2009 – including stockings of catchable-size bass, sunfish and catfish – but up until the most recent rains, its water level had remained too low to be usable for boaters.
Lake Elmer is one of 15 Wildlife Department-owned and managed lakes across the state, ranging from as small as 30 acres to more than 260 acres. It was last renovated in the late 1970s, but a 2009 fish kill all but ruined the lake as a fishery.
Using Wildlife Department personnel, the agency has since made many renovations at the lake including adding a courtesy dock near the boat ramp, removing more than 1 million cubic yards of organic muck, rebuilding existing fishing jetties and constructing new ones.
The Wildlife Department’s law enforcement division helped secure donations and transportation for over 100,000 tons of concrete that was used for rip-rap in the renovations.
Two silt trap ponds were constructed above the lake to prevent the need for future renovations, and upstream landowners are putting conservation measures into place to slow future erosion issues.
Additionally, new fish habitat was installed including 200 brush piles and 100 spider blocks built and delivered by Dover FFA students.
Spider blocks are manmade structures composed of polyethylene pipes that are concreted into cinderblocks, then placed at the bottom of lakes for fish cover. The Wildlife Department also built and installed its own artificial fish structures, called “tarantula blocks,” which resemble spider blocks but are much larger in scale.
After renovations were completed, the only thing that remained to do was to wait until the lake filled to accessible levels for boaters and anglers. As of last week, the lake completely filled up, making the boat ramp accessible and the lake ready to be used.
“There is a fishable population in there now,” said John Stahl, northwest regional fisheries supervisor for the Wildlife Department.
Stahl said the Department will continue monitoring the fishery. Plans are being made to electrofish the lake to check the overall status of the fishery, and that the Wildlife Department has been receiving good reports from anglers who have been fishing near the newly installed structure.

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Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›