Park Rangers Say Lake Murray Water Levels Below Normal - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Park Rangers Say Lake Murray Water Levels Below Normal

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LAKE MURRAY, OK -- Park rangers say low water levels are causing problems at Lake Murray, impacting boaters and the shoreline.

Frequent lake-goers out at Lake Murray are noticing a drop in water levels.

"It's dropped drastically," said Janie Ellis. "It's to the point where you can almost see weekly where it's declining."

Park rangers say levels at the lake are close to being six feet below normal.

"In the past, two foot up, two foot down was big," said Richard Keithley, assistant park manager. "And so to be what would be somewhere between five and half and seven foot below, that's significant."

Keithley says Lake Murray is mainly supplied by runoff water from surrounding areas.

One factor that has hindered the lake's water levels, despite the amount of rain, is the area where the lake is located.

"The problem is such a limited drainage basin," said Keithley. "And that's why it's taken a lot more in one area."

Ellis says the changes have been easy to spot.

"Especially if you keep tabs on the marina," Ellis said. "You can see it's dropping."

"That's where it's causing a little frustration," Kethley said.

The assistant park manager says when lake elevation is good, Lake Murray has seven boat ramps and slipways available.

"But it doesn't take much to put those out of service and currently we're down to three," said Kethley.

Another challenge the lake is facing, because of low levels, is the amount of trash uncovered by the receding waters.

Bottles, cans, tires and barrels dot the shoreline.

A cleanup is scheduled this Saturday.

"You get a large crowd they pick up a lot of trash especially in a short amount of time," said Keithely.

Park rangers say over 300 volunteers will participate in the cleanup.

Keithley says despite the low levels, the park doesn't expect a drop in the number of visitors to the lake for the summer.