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
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • police car.jpg Enid man injured following pursuit

    Larry Lynn Edwards was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center following the 11:32 p.m. crash on 30th Street, just north of Fox Drive, with head and internal body injuries.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas man critical after ATV crash

    Edward Alan Bourland, 37, of San Angelo, Texas, was taken from the scene of the 3 p.m. collision by Eagle Med and flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

    July 26, 2014