Salt fork river

Discussion in 'OKLAHOMA RIVERS TALK' started by capt theory, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. capt theory

    capt theory New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    oklahoma
    just read about a huge sewage leak thats causing a fish kill on the salt fork near tonkawa. check ktul.com and they have a story on it. just plain bums me out.. sorry to hear about one of your holes there riverbunny. hopefully theyll actually clean it up and make a recovery leaving the fishing how it was pre-leak. ugh..:sad2:
     
  2. rivrbunny

    rivrbunny New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Capt.

    To my knowledge the only clean up was to turn up the Arkansas River for a few hours that night to try to flush it downstream. I have several friends with land along the Salt Fork and they said it was pretty bad.
    We wondered why the Arkansas got so green so fast-now we know (yuck). I had decided I wanted to go noodling for my birthday - hopefully it was diluted out by the time it got to the Arkansas - we were in the water for 5 days. No one has gotten sick yet so thats a blessing! I even got chewed up a little by a catfish so it was still fun. Wish companies would take better care of our rivers-if EPA made the fine high enough, they might be more careful.

    Rivr
     

  3. brian89

    brian89 New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Oklahoma
    dang that sucks, did it get to the chikaski river..?? we were gonna try noodling up there but never got around to it..
     
  4. rivrbunny

    rivrbunny New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Oklahoma
    It got to the Arkansas so way past the Chikaskia. Went noodling again today on the Arkansas but no luck. Just shower as soon as you get home!
    Luckily our swimmin hole is upstream from the mouth of the Salt Fork. There was a big fish kill from the sewage on the Salt Fork but have not seen any evidence of a fish kill on the Arkansas. I don't think it could have gotten up the Chikaskia just down to the Arkansas.
     
  5. hangemhorns

    hangemhorns New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    oklahoma
  6. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Th sewage spill at Tonkawa was a result of a lift station pump that failed causing the sewage to over flow into the river. The city officials were not happy with the spill either. They did everything they could to correct the problem ASAP. Things just happen though.

    The ODWC and my office are receiving fish kill reports almost daily. Salt Plains Lake has lost over 1,000 fish including a flathead estimated at 80 pounds since Saturday. The cause is poor water quality due to no rain and not enough wind to keep the dissolved oxygen up in the water. The fish kills will continue all summer until okla gets sustained rains to raise the water levels. Watch out for high algae levels too in the lakes and rivers particularly blue-green algae it is a sign of poor water quality and this type of algae will produce toxins. Be safe and stay out of extremely green water.
    catman George
     
  7. rivrbunny

    rivrbunny New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Thank you Catman for the reply. Is there anyway the problem can be avoided in the future? A really large pit around the sewage plant? A back up system that kicks in if the primary system fails? There has to be a way to prevent such an event in the future. I work at a hospital and we have 2 generators so if 1 fails we have a back up. They are tested monthly to make sure they will both kick on if the power fails. There were a bunch of us on the river that day but no one learned of the spill until the next day when the paper came out. I routinely donate blood and now I am afraid to because there might be something I would pass on to a sick patient that couldn't fight off an infection. I am going to wait a couple of months so that if I was exposed to something I will be the only one sick from it and no one else. I know Tonkawa didn't mean for the spill to happen but I would like something to prevent it from happening in the future. I swim in the river and eat the fish from the river probably 3 or 4 days every week so it is upsetting that this might happen again. There has to be a way to catch the sewage before it gets into the river affecting wildlife and humans.
     
  8. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I don't know that we need to worry about an epidemic due to the human waste in the river. In Asia, they fertilize with human waste and spend about every day wading in the water applying the waste to the rice. They also eat the fish there. I know its not very apetizing from our view point, but the Good Lord gave us a pretty remarkable body. I also know there are little bugs that can destroy the strongest body. I believe, as a country, we are a pretty health species.
     
  9. rivrbunny

    rivrbunny New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Oklahoma
    You are correct-the human body is pretty tough- and it hasn't deterred me from swimming in the river. I figured since I had already swam in it 2 days before I found out- why worry now?
     
  10. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Riverbunny- There is little more that can be done regarding keeping the sewer system from overflowing. Typically the cities have backup pumps but, apparently something failed. I am not familiar with Tonkawa's collection system. The Okla dept of Environmental Quality has regs, in place, to try to deter future problems but accidents do happen. You should have no concern about picking some thing up from your recent dip in the river. You should be fine to donate your blood. My office is receiving reports from various quadrants of the State almost daily. Salt Fork River had a reported kill today east of Hwy 156 between Marland and the mouth of SFR with the Arkansas River below Ponca City. It probably has not hit the paper yet. Great Salt Plains lost over 1,000 catfish last weekend in 1 weir structure. Flatheads to 80 pounds died, many,many 10-20 pounders died too. The scavengers are having a field day. The ODWC personnel are responding swiftly and contacting the Corps of Engineers to start or increase releases to raise the dissolved oxygen content in the water. I talked to GRDA today and checked on their release and DO levels. Salt Plains gate has opened, Canton Lake opened 1 of their gates from 20% to 50%, at the detriment to the Lake. Keystone, I believe, is now open. I, ASSUME, Eufaula has opened a gate (s). Lake Texoma has now opened a gate, approximately, 3 weeks to a month early. These lakes are, collectively, trying to save the fish due to no rain and hot water does not retain dissolved oxygen very well. The next 30 days, I know will be the most critical time for the rivers. If we have no sustained rains within the next 30 days you will see an unprecedented fish kill, state wide, the proportions of which, I cannot begin to estimate. There is nothing ODWC can do that they are not already doing.WE JUST NEED RAIN!!!!!!!! There is no need to call the Wildlife dept to complain. It just needs to rain and keep raining. This summer will be the worst I hope I ever see as far as fish kills. A friend of mine drove over a river today and looked down and saw several flatheads with their backs out of water. He went down and picked up 3 50 pound range flatheads and left the 10 to 25s go. They may get picked up by a lucky fisherman or become food for the buzzards. Things are critical and getting worse. Sorry for the doom and gloom, but this is the truth. BTW I am not an employee of the wildlife dept. Catman George
     
  11. rivrbunny

    rivrbunny New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Oklahoma
    We all better start praying for rain if it is going to be that bad. It will take a long time to replace those big catfish. Thank you for sharing the information.
     
  12. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    any time. I am sorry the news was not good news. The wildlife department biologists are super people who do not get much praise when they truly deserve it.
    Catman George
     
  13. Bill D Curtis

    Bill D Curtis New Member

    Messages:
    252
    State:
    Blackwell Oklahoma
    Went to the river bridge south of Tonkawa yesterday none of the rain must of hit the salt fork watershed still almost dry and hundreds of dead fish everywhere :too_sad:
     
  14. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    The Salt Fork River from below the Great Salt Plains Dam to the confluence with the Arkansas River near Ponca City is virtually dead. All of the large fish are dead. Some small fish may be alive in potholes,but they will die soon due to the extreme temps. I would suggest if you see any fish that are still alive and worth harvesting....take them because they will be dead soon anyway. We just need rain and lots of it. The Salt Fork will re populate from the Arkansas Rver as soon as sufficient water returns. If any one wants to wade in the remaining water be especially aware of blue green algae, it has a unique touquoise appearence to it. It produces a toxin that wil cause skin irritation among other things.
    We have not seen the last of the fish kills. there will be more until we see sustained rains.

    Catman George