No campsites available, but you can still enjoy Okemah Lake this weekend
By Ken Childers
Memorial Day weekend often marks the first big exodus to the outdoors, and judging by the campsite reservations taken by Okemah Lake Ranger Bryan Prince, this year is no exception.
All RV campsites at the lake are booked for the weekend, leaving only a couple of “primitive” camp sites open, but at press time Tuesday, there was a waiting list for those.
Even though there are no campsites available for the long weekend, a day trip to the lake for fishing, hiking or just lounging lakeside may be just what the doctor ordered, especially for those with a case of “cabin fever” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Come on out to our beautiful lake this weekend and join us,” Prince said. “You can put your boat in the water, or just fish from the bank. This would be a great time to get out of the house and get outside. We’d love to see you here.”
While many restrictions have been lifted, the playground at the lake remains closed as a precaution against the coronavirus. “Caution tape has been placed around the playground equipment as a reminder to keep children off the equipment for the time being,” Prince said.
If you’re planning on boating at the lake, whether it’s this weekend or in the future, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Boat fees are payable in advance at the Lake Ranger’s Residence. Daily fees are $5.00 and annual fees are $30.00.
All boats must travel in a counter clockwise direction. All boats and other personal water craft (PWC) must have a current Okemah Lake Permit attached. No boats/PWC are allowed within 150 feet of the swimming area.
All boat/PWC operators must be 14 years of age or older. Operators under the age of 16 have to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Wakes are not allowed within 150 feet of any boat ramp or when passing through the area of the old dam from either direction.
A distance of 150 feet shall be maintained from any dock, raft, boathouse, anchored or moored vessel except when proceeding at no wake speed.
Finally, for everyone’s safety (including your own) don’t operate a boat or other water craft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.