The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Southwestern Power Administration are taking special efforts to save Trout in Lake Tenkiller.
In times of drought, the water temperature and the oxygen levels in the lake make it a hostile environment for Trout. This has been an issue for Oklahoma fisheries, an industry that generates more than $2 million dollars annually for the economy of NE Oklahoma.
On Monday, Commander, Col. Michael Teague with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the signing of a contract that would take measures to protect the trout fishery below Tenkiller Lake.
Those measures include the construction of two structures that would not only keep the water cool, but also add oxygen to the water.
The structures would serve as an interim step while the Corps of Engineers continues to search for a permanent solution that would sustain the fish.
"We are looking forward to getting these facilities in place to help give ODWC more options in utilizing the donated water storage for the benefit of the fishery below the dam," said Fritha Ohlson, Civil Engineer (Hydrologic), Southwestern Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. Ohlson added, "They also provide tools to conserve valuable water resources for all purposes during times of drought."