The Edmond Sun

State News

January 14, 2013

Canton Lake's water-level drop impact: $160,000

ENID — In 1968, Canton began a fishing tournament that has proven to be a major economic boost for the community: the Canton Walleye Rodeo.

That economic boost is threatened with the recent announcement by Oklahoma City that it is planning to take 34,000 acre-feet of water from Canton Lake.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Manager Kathy Carlson said during a Tuesday night meeting in Canton the loss of water would bring the lake level down about 7.3 feet from its present level, which is about 9.6 feet below the normal level — 1,615 feet above sea level. She said Thursday she has not heard anything about when the water will be released.

If the lake is drawn down to the level predicted by the Corps of Engineers, Canton could lose more than $160,000 in economic impact from the Walleye Rodeo, set for May.

The Walleye Rodeo is a weeklong activity and corresponds with the fish’s spawning season. The Chamber of Commerce chose to call the event a rodeo, because the schooling Walleye resembled herding cattle. All prizes initially were provided by Blaine County merchants.

Stan Ralstin, of Enid, was part of a team that conducted a survey by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service during the 41st Walleye Rodeo in 2009.

He said more than 20 percent of the people that completed it were from outside the state. One hundred thirty surveys were from people outside the state, representing 312 people.

Survey participants were asked to estimate their expenditures for the duration of their stay in several categories, including registration, lodging, food and drink, groceries and boating, along with any additional expenses for recreation, souvenirs and other services.

Visitors to the Walleye Rodeo came from as far away as Guymon, Tulsa and Great Bend, Kan.

The survey concluded visitors to the event have a specific impact on the community, Ralstin said. Visitors from outside Canton and Blaine counties spent about $386,000 at the rodeo.

“That’s new money coming in,” Ralstin said. “That’s a $161,000 payroll income generated from $386,000, just from one weekend.” Many times, the campsites were full every weekend, until the tornado. We know some people stay with friends and relatives, and it’s hard to check them.”

The money is spent primarily on food and drink, totaling about 17 percent. Groceries is the largest retail sector.

Ralstin said the survey was done conservatively.

“I’m not an expert on how drawing down the lake will affect (us) ... the water is already low enough you can’t get boats on the lake,” he said. “People who had houses there probably won’t be back, and the fish hatchery.”

Canton officials catch walleye and take the eggs for stocker fish, but Ralstin said if the water is down below the docks, there will be no spawning area.

Donnie Jenkins, owner of the Canton Hotel, said the situation is a burden on everyone.

“If you let the water out, it will be so low; nobody’s ever seen it that low. This is more serious than ever, because of the drought,” he said.

Jenkins said (the lake) also was low last year. There were only four or five rooms taken at his hotel during the Walleye Rodeo last year, when there normally are 20 taken.

“It’s every weekend, too. It tore us up last year, too. If we didn’t have workers staying here, we couldn’t operate,” he said.

Jenkins once had repeat customers who stayed with him every year because he is located on the lake, but they are not returning now. Every holiday last year, his business was hit, he said.

“It affected the whole community,” he said. “Since the tornado, it seems like that was the stopping point for everything. We’ve seen changes the last two years.”

Business is down for everyone. Jenkins said he knows the lake very well, and people would come to him to get his recommendation on good fishing spots.

“It’s pretty sad. If the lake is taken down 7.3 feet more, it could be devastating,” Jenkins said. “So far, they haven’t pulled anything down; it’s probably a last resource. It has been a burden on us here; we’ve seen so

much, and I know so many people who come to the lake.

“They aren’t coming like they used to.”


Text Only
State News
  • GooGooDolls.jpg Coming in August: The Goo Goo Dolls

    Enid Event Center books yet another big-name music attraction.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War the theme at Heritage Center Family Saturday

    The event will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday and is free with admission to the museum.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

  • History_Tour_5_BH.jpg History tours begin May 17

    Downtown Enid will be the scene of Chisholm Trail Coalition Walking Tours

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • brisket2.jpg Food Network show visits Guthrie for ’89er Days

    Guthrie’s annual ’89er Days Celebration provides a variety of activities for people to enjoy including a carnival, rodeo, parade and lots of food vendors.
    This year, visitors at the 84th annual event, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, will notice an added bonus when a film crew from the new television series “Carnival Eats” will be in town filming for its inaugural episode.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCSP-Family and Treasurer-04-15-2014.jpg Treasurer Miller awards ‘Tax Day Baby’ with college savings plan

    April 15 is commonly known as the day many will spend in line at the post office or finishing final preparations for tax returns. This year, one Oklahoma family spent April 15, tax day, welcoming their new son, born at 2:07 a.m. and was recognized as the first Tax Day Baby at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. 
    As the first Tax Day Baby, State Treasurer Ken Miller, R-Edmond, awarded, Quan Ta, with an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan worth $1,529. Miller, who serves as board chairman for the OCSP, reminds parents and grandparents that any contribution made to an OCSP account by April 15 qualified for a 2013 Oklahoma income tax deduction.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candidate filing period ends

    From the U.S. Congress to the Oklahoma House, several incumbents are hoping to hold onto their jobs in the 2014 elections.

    April 15, 2014

  • SPICER.jpg 5 suspects face charges in Edmond home assault

    A resident was silent while he was kicked repeatedly in his ribs and head during last week’s assault in an Edmond home, court records show.
    Jenny Monroe, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, said five individuals arrested in recent days appear to be the extent of the suspects in the incident. Monroe said the victim, 64, is back at home after he was transported to a metro hospital.
    The five suspects according to the Edmond Police Department and Oklahoma County records are:

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos