Small Drainage Basin Contributes To Low Levels At Lake Murray - - No One Gets You Closer

Small Drainage Basin Contributes To Low Levels At Lake Murray

ARDMORE, OK -- Weekend showers brought some much needed rain to Southern Oklahoma.

But officials at Lake Murray state park say more is needed due to the lake's small drainage basin.

Park rangers say Lake Murray is about 7 feet below where it should be.

But that's not deterring some boaters from taking to the water.

"I mean we're seeing water still 90 feet deep out here so, there's still plenty of water in the lake," said Colton Saunders, a boater from Oklahoma City.   

Marty Grisham who has worked at the lake for more than 14 years says the lake's only hope to fill back up rests on it's small drainage basin

"Until these ponds are full between us and Ardmore our lake levels will probably not come up very drastically in the near future," said Grisham, with OHP Lake Patrol.

Assistant park manager Richard Keithly says Lake Murray sits in a small geographic pocket.

Just a small portion of land, about 50 square miles, will funnel run off into the lake.

Anywhere else and it's washing away.

"It's not raining in the right spot and what rain we do get here it's just not enough," said Grisham.

The four lakes owned by the city of Ardmore are located north of Lake Murray but little-- if any--runoff from the four lakes will make it there.

"We're not in the same drainage basin," said Shawn Geurin, utilities director for the city. "Our lakes aren't in the same drainage area as Lake Murray."

There are dozens of gate systems like the one at Mountain Lake which let out thousands of gallons of water to help maintain lake levels. But the water from the four lakes operated by the city of Ardmore isn't headed for Lake Murray. It's actually going to end up in Lake Texoma.

Geurin says it was discussed sending the city's runoff to Lake Murray but was not deemed feasible.

"Just internally we were looking at to see what the impact would be and the impact was just so minimal it wasn't worth the expense," said Geurin.

Park rangers say they received about three inches over this past weekend, but of course more is needed.

"That's just not enough water to run in and bring this lake up where it needs to be," said Grisham

Park rangers say 6 out of 8 boat ramps at the park remain closed.
They say it would take about a four foot increase in lake levels to open all boat ramps.