Enid Lake recreation season in full swing for summer
By Enid Lake Park Rangers
Currently, the lake level at Enid Lake is 258.60 feet above mean sea level, with the gates opened to a total of four feet.
Normal water level for this time of year is 250 feet above mean sea level. Enid Lake Personnel reminds boaters and visitors to Enid Lake to pay extra attention while operating boats on the lake, and operating vehicles on secondary roadways leading to the lake.
Boaters should pay extra attention while boating due to the possibility of underwater hazards including: embankments, stumps, trees, etc. Also, roadways leading into the Otoucalofa Creek, Robinson Crossing, Hubbard Creek, Lakeside, Mudline, and Dean Hill Wildlife Management Area at “Wildcat Brake” maybe submerged. Visitors need to drive slow and pay extra attention to all road signs and barricades.
With the school year coming to a close, warmer temperatures prevailing and the first major holiday of summer fast approaching, the recreation season at Enid Lake is in full swing. Memorial Day falls on Monday May 28 and is traditionally the start of the summer vacation season.
Whether you spend the long weekend water skiing, swimming, grilling, or just relaxing at home please remember to take the time to acknowledge the real reason for the holiday. Memorial Day was first observed May 30, 1868 under the name “Decoration Day” to honor fallen soldiers from the American Civil War by placing decorations on their graves.
Following World War I, the honor was extended to fallen soldiers of all American Wars. The name Memorial Day slowly became the preferred name for the holiday following World War II. Please take time this busy holiday weekend to remember those who have died to secure the rights we have and enjoy, and to thank those who have or are currently serving in the military.
While boating on area lakes remember, the lifejacket mandate is still in place at Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada Lakes. All must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved type I, II, or III life jacket at all times in boats less than 16 feet in length and on non-powered boats.
The same applies to all persons swimming outside of designated swimming areas. Enid Lake has five designated swimming areas including: Hickory Ridge, Persimmon Hill, Long Branch, Chickasaw Hill and Plum Point.
These designated swimming areas are marked by orange cylinder floats and also have a variety of safety features including: depth poles, rescue stations, signs with safety messages, and Hickory Ridge and Persimmon Hill designated swimming areas provide loaner life jackets. On boats 16 feet to 26 feet in length a type I, II, or III life jacket must be worn by all occupants while the boat is under power of the main propulsion unit.
While lifejackets are required under these circumstances, it is never a bad idea to wear them anytime you are participating in water-based recreation.
If water skiing, wake-boarding, or tubing is part of your plans, remember a spotter over the age of 10 is required in addition to the person being towed and the driver. Also be sure to check all of the equipment on your boat to ensure that it is still in good and operable condition after being stored over the winter. While towing someone behind a boat, pay extra attention to boats in the surrounding area and avoid operating in close proximity to them.
Maybe swimming or relaxing at one of our beaches is more your style. If this is the case a few simple precautions will help to ensure your trip is an enjoyable one. The most important is never swim alone regardless of your swimming abilities.
Accidents can occur at anytime to anyone, having a swim buddy could save your life. Never swim outside of designated swimming areas unless you are wearing a lifejacket. Always be mindful of young children and ensure they do not get in water too deep for them. Remember to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, always drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
While participating in an outdoor recreational activity you should always take the weather into consideration. Always check the weather forecast when planning outdoor activities. Even a well planned trip can be ruined by rapid and unpredictable change in the weather, so be prepared to take action.
If you are in or around water and you hear thunder you should get away from the water immediately and seek shelter in a building or vehicle. If thunder is close enough for you to hear then you could be in danger of being struck by lightning. High winds can also occur unexpectedly. If you are boating and high wind occurs, you should head for the nearest shore immediately. Point the bow of your boat into the wind and head into waves at a 45 degree angle.
Bridge/Outlet Works Closures
The Enid Lake staff reminds all visitors that the north access bridge located just off of exit 233 from I-55 is currently closed for repairs. Due to the nature of the deficiencies, all traffic is being detoured onto Leslie Road and Enid Dam Road until further notice.
The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery is also open for business as usual and is accessible via the detour. Enid Lake’s Outlet works will be closed May 29 – June 9, 2018 for scheduled maintenance and repairs.
Enid Lake Volunteer, Gretchen Tumelson, has been recognized for her extraordinary services by The Corps Foundation. Tumelson is a recipient of the 2017 National Volunteer Award. Tumelson serves as a volunteer/camp host at Enid Lake’s Ford’s Well Wrangler Campground. She has helped maintain an 18-site Class A wrangler campground, a 26-mile equestrian trail, and four historical buildings within the recreation area.
She has been instrumental in supporting and promoting all of Enid Lake’s special events. Tumelson leads the way in taking initiative to ensure Enid Lake and Ford’s Well Recreation Area exceed visitor expectations.
Tumelson’s concern for the general public exemplifies her values and dedication to the communities she serves. Through the efforts of Tumelson, Ford’s Well has become one of North Mississippi’s premier wrangler campgrounds.
For more information on water safety contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571 or visit http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/EnidLake.aspx.