Webber’s Falls reservoir

Discussion in 'Oklahoma Flyway Forum' started by JP, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    Looks like the planting initiative is off as they expect the water level to be back up too quick for the millet to develop a stand.
     
  2. FriedPotatoes

    FriedPotatoes New Member

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    Looks like it could have been done, seeing as how long the river has been down and will remain so for a time. Do you think it's possible any grasses or vegetation attractive to ducks will have time to grow before it gets back up again? Hearing reports of the dried up riverbed starting to bloom lol
     
  3. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    There will be some habitat growth probably toothcup and other late emergents. Have observed some of it along with pigweed on parts of Eufaula as well. However, these plants are in the minority as noxious varieties such as cocklebur seem predominant.

    The missed millet planting was the lost opportunity of a lifetime. The millet planting on Eufaula is successful ~every fifth year as Southwest Power Administration controls the water level and more often than no the water level (as in the past three years) is too high to plant.

    Couple this with the ~92% reduction in acres under cultivation in the counties that touch her (the peanut subsidy ended ~2000) and its no surprise that Big E is in steep decline as a waterfowl hunting asset.

    Also, it appears the Greentree Unit in Bartlett Bottoms will be kept dry this season as the timber was flooded October for hunting but continued to be so until recently because of the high flood waters.

    If you’ve been following her water level on the COE website, they’ve pulled (power generation) her down 3’ in the last ~10 days and it’s still dropping. By opening day (as it was in 2016) she could be 3-4’ down making it a barren moonscape with no vegetation and the water ~1/2 mile (ie: Deepfork Arm) from the normal shoreline.

    Looking like another slim/grim season for her and coupled with the cancellation of the millet program on Kaw starting in 2016, no wonder Kansas is now getting hammered by OOSers.
     
  4. FriedPotatoes

    FriedPotatoes New Member

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    It’s a shame how many lakes and rivers are under the ODWC’s purview, yet habitat management/enhancement seems to be below them. The braggs reservoir has stayed dry now for about 5 years, it’s not like pumping it would be a huge effort. I guess if it doesn’t have antlers or gobble then they don’t care. I’ve seen so much habitat degradation and neglect in eastern Oklahoma it’s depressing. Just doesn’t make any sense.
     
  5. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    The Braggs refuge slough began leaking (which was repaired) but then the water intake area on the upper arm of Starr Lake silted in to the point it was unusable. ~$100,000 was invested last fall in building a wingwall structure out into the main channel for intake to pump the refuge slough. After much frustration with the loamy soil a pump pad was finally finished. The entire structure was lost in the June flooding.

    Also, the original pump tubing as well as the compressor was vandalized multiple times in previous years.

    As Paul Harvey would say, there’s always “the rest of the story”.
     
  6. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    COE has ultimate jurisdiction over all the reservoir systems. ODWC has a “lease” of the lands they manage that are COE holdings and that includes the COE (non WMA lands) land adjacent to them. Habitat management was being abandoned by the COE (back in the late 70’s) so ODWC stepped up to help the hunting public by management of those lands.

    However, the ultimate water management authority (SWPA) controls pool levels in the name of power generation needs for people in Texas. They have dibs on the water level to a certain point below normal pool although they have been guilty of grabbing even more. Remember when Eufaula was almost 7’ below normal (585.0) pool a few years ago?

    COE has designated waterfowl habitat management as an ancillary component in their policy. I think its number seven or eight on the list.

    Yet, ODWC is the front line entity that catches flack for circumstances that are totally beyond their control.
     
  7. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    Sen. Inhofe chairs the COE appropriations committee. If you want to vent, I suggest starting there.
     
  8. FriedPotatoes

    FriedPotatoes New Member

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    I stand corrected then, thanks for the info. And if Inhofe is who’s in charge, then we’re in a bad spot.

    I was aware that efforts were made at star lake but did not know they were that extensive.
     
  9. JP

    JP Elite Refuge Member

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    Inhofe’s fingerprints are all over the Carlton Landing development on Eufaula. Former OKC politicians are running that deal. Almost 900 acres of former COE public hunting/recreational land on Longtown Creek was given to them with the stipulation the developer would mitigate this (replace with comparable property) yet in ~15 years nothing has been mitigated.

    Next, they now want another tract of COE public land (~800 acres) across the way on the east side of Longtown Creek. Also, there has quietly appeared a ~$800,000 grant (taxpayer money) to go in and cut all the standing timber in the water at that locale as it is an impediment to Carlton Landing residents’ recreational boating.

    If you’ve been following the news stories on channel 6 the fact emerged that Carlton Landing management has been busted 3X by ODEQ for dumping raw sewage into Longtown Creek. The first two incidents were smoothed over by alleged forces inside the beltway in D. C. . The last incident has ODEQ officials calling for a criminal investigation on the dumping practices.

    Just downstream from C. L. is a older upscale development that are the first recipients of C. L. poopy water. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a cause of action arose and if C. L. loses, the residents might have a huge assessment levied against them.

    C. L. is another of a lakeside “bubble” development designed for urbanites as a place to go to the great outdoors but in reality is a microcosm replica of the environment they just drove from. In other words, it’s a sort of “safe space” environment for them yet marketed as a outdoors type experience.

    DATS (dumb arse texans) are the primary buyers there (as they are in the Broken Bow reservoir area) with a sprinkling of urban denizens from OKC and Tulsa.

    There have been other failed attempts at such a development (Canadian Shores & Sam’s Point come to mind) on Eufaula but none with such a scale of taxpayers land so grabbed in the process.
     
  10. FriedPotatoes

    FriedPotatoes New Member

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    That’s depressing. I don’t know why people get some power and feel the need to do whatever they want. I met Inhofe once while a student in college. I’ll just say the interaction was unusual, and it was obvious how sleezy he is.
     

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