Lower Mountain Fork Beavers Bend Broken Bow – EPIC DESTRUCTION

| May 26, 2015

broken bow flooding epic floods beavers bend oklahoma lower mountain fork floods

Courtesy - Rob Woodruff Guide Services
Broken Bow Spillway.

Courtesy - Rob Woodruff Guide Services
Cold Hole crossing and parking area.

Courtesy - Rob Woodruff Guide Services
Bridge and Beaver’s Bend Fly Shop.

REPORT & PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY ROB WOODRUFF

On Sunday, May 24, 2015, a rainy spring, very poor scheduling of routine maintenance on the Broken Bow Hydroelectric Facility and an outdated water release protocol by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all combined to push Broken Bow Reservoir to a historic level of 628 feet above sea level.  With the water beginning to top the Spillway Gates the Corps of Engineers opened all 8 flood gates 2 feet. This resulted in a release of around 22,000 cfs traveling down Spillway Creek and the Lower Mountain Fork River, flooding much of Beavers Bend State Park and damaging some roadways  and park buildings . This release is combined with an additional 5,800 cfs from the hydroelectric plant to give a total release of 27,800cfs and is causing unprecedented flooding along the Mountain Fork and Little River in Southeastern Oklahoma and Southwestern Arkansas.  For perspective normal release through Spillway Creek is about 90 cfs.  The 2009 flood event was a release of 6,000 cfs from the Spillway and a total release of just over 11,000 cfs.  This release will continue until the lake is down below the flood pool level.

You can monitor lake and release levels here:
http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/BROK.lakepage.html

Please note that Beavers Bend State Park is officially closed.  In addition the release has flooded the pumps that supply drinking water to the area and Hochatown and Broken Bow do not have a public water supply.  Most, or all, restaurants, restrooms, etc. are closed until the supply is restored.

I will provide an update and an assessment of the river and the Trout fishery as soon as the gates are closed.

Lake Fork and the other lakes I guide on in East Texas are in great shape and I will be offering guide trips for Bass and Bream until I can get back on the Lower Mountain Fork in a few weeks.

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Category: Science and Environmental

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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