The summer may have been very wet for most of Oklahoma but not for those of us in the southwest quadrant. We’re still in a drought. Some are in an extreme drought while others are in an exceptional drought. Area ponds, stock tanks, reservoirs and lakes are all dropping.
However there is some good news on the lake front. Lake Altus-Lugert water has improved clarity. It has improved enough that members of the general public noticed AND commented favorably on it! Those same folks were amazed at the number of minnows they were seeing!
A great minnow base will supply food for sport fish that are stocked later. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is (and will be) continuing to monitor Lake Altus Lugert. When conditions are right they plan to reintroduce sport fish like Crappies and Bass.
If the lake level does not rise significantly with inflow of fresh water, Lake Altus Lugert will be susceptible to another Golden Algae attack this coming winter. Remember, Golden Algae is not harmful to humans, our pets/livestock or wildlife that does not have gills. Fish, clams and turtles are harmed by large outbreaks of Golden Algae called blooms. Golden Algae outcompetes the other algae when water temperatures are cold and the salinity is high.
So more rain is southwest Oklahoma would be really beneficial on many fronts. It would refill out stock tanks, ponds, reservoirs and lakes. A good rain would give our plants, lawns and trees a much needed deep soaking. That in turn will spur some late season plant growth that would help the wildlife as they prepare for a winter that the Farmer’s Almanac folks say will be a “real winter!”