The Red River Basin, including Lake Texoma, is currently experiencing an exceptional drought.
Monthly inflows into the lake have been well below average, resulting in a pool elevation that is also below normal, reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In fact, June and July inflows were less than 10 percent of average.
Low lake levels also impact recreational users and boaters can expect more water hazards and exposed sand bars.
B. J. Parkey, assistant lake manager, said larger vessels may have difficulty navigating in marina areas and all
vessels may experience extremely shallow water conditions in various locations of the lake.
Vessels equipped with a depth finder are strongly encouraged to closely monitor the water depth.
“And as always, please wear your life jacket in case you strike an underwater obstacle and are ejected from the vessel,” Parkey said.
At this time, two Corps boat ramps are closed, Juniper East and Preston Bend. Other ramps within various marinas may also be inaccessible. Hot water temperatures along with limited inflows also increase the risk of harmful bacteria.
The Tulsa District office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has increased the drought severity level on Texoma under its management plan.
In the plan, drought levels are numbered 1 through 4 with 4 being the most severe.
Drought Level 1 is considered an alert phase in that drought conditions are developing but operations are otherwise normal.
Texoma dropped below pool elevation 612 on Aug. 17 and the lake is now operating at Drought Level 2, meaning the lake storage has fallen to 77 percent of its full conservation pool storage.