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April 24, 2019, 08:02:40 pm
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Author Topic: Zink Lake recreation  (Read 9524 times)
TurismoDreamin
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« on: April 27, 2009, 12:11:52 am »

Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the city's ordinances on what you can and can not do on Zink Lake as far as recreation goes. I understand that "primary body contact" and motorized recreation is prohibited. I'm curious, because me and my girlfriend are thinking about taking a paddle boat out on it during the 4th of July.
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waterboy
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 06:29:39 am »

Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the city's ordinances on what you can and can not do on Zink Lake as far as recreation goes. I understand that "primary body contact" and motorized recreation is prohibited. I'm curious, because me and my girlfriend are thinking about taking a paddle boat out on it during the 4th of July.

I think ordinances are available online at the city's website. But I'll clue you in on a couple things. Primary body contact is not prohibited. It is a warning that  primary contact may be unhealthy. They are put around the lake primarily because there are no lifeguards and no regular water testing. IOW, you're on your own out there. Honestly, those signs could be put on lakes and rivers all over Oklahoma. They are meant to discourage use because there is no budgeting for security, safety and rescue on a regular basis along the lake.

You may not take a paddle boat on the lake during the 4th of July fireworks celebrations. They put a fire dept. "rescue" boat on the lake that night to make sure no one does. You could locate your paddle boat north of the 11th street bridge but the water will be high and fast. I would not recommend doing that with a small boat. However, on any other date you make put your non motorized, paddle boat in the lake and enjoy. I have done that many times. Make sure you have it registered and tagged or one of the zealots may call a cop. Also, stay off the islands, they are off limits.

I hold the distinction of having been the only person to have had boats on the lake during past fireworks displays. Did it two seasons. I had a pontoon with a private party of 20 people and an airboat with 6 people. It was fabulous. Inept and/or lazy management keeps people off the lake during such events. They are more interested in land based activities. A very good example of why new dams are not as good an investment for water users as they are for land development.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 06:36:36 am by waterboy » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 07:26:08 am »

Well, don't forget the tricky part for those w/o experience on the river, Waterboy- the flow rate and level.  I gather most people think of the current as pretty benign when the water level is 7-9 feet because it's so full-looking and the current isn't that apparent until you get near one of the islands or a bridge.  At 8ft. on the 11th St. gage, it equates to 30,000 CFM which is swift.

The last couple of 4th of Julys, if there'd been a bunch of paddle boats out on the river, it would have been a total disaster.
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waterboy
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 07:35:28 am »

Well, don't forget the tricky part for those w/o experience on the river, Waterboy- the flow rate and level.  I gather most people think of the current as pretty benign when the water level is 7-9 feet because it's so full-looking and the current isn't that apparent until you get near one of the islands or a bridge.  At 8ft. on the 11th St. gage, it equates to 30,000 CFM which is swift.

The last couple of 4th of Julys, if there'd been a bunch of paddle boats out on the river, it would have been a total disaster.

Absolutely. That's why I counseled him against such. Underestimating the power of water is deadly. They usually have plenty of water to release around the fourth and do so. Paddle boats were available back in the eighties by a concessionaire but were limited to the protected Amphitheater area. Unfortunately that wasn't a very appealing backwater and it didn't survive. My paddle boat had a backup trolling motor.

You rowing guys are pretty brave to be out there during releases. Not like that OKC slow flow.
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mjchamplin
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 08:02:31 am »

Yeah walk down the pedestrian bridge this time of year just to get a feel for the raw power of the current. It's kind of scary.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 10:10:49 am »

Yeah walk down the pedestrian bridge this time of year just to get a feel for the raw power of the current. It's kind of scary.

I love walking across the ped bridge when they are releasing a lot of water and seeing all the rapids.  This time of year is great for that with lots of rain falling in the watershed and snowmelt from the Rockies. 
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 11:42:20 am »

Zink lake pictures I thought were cool:


* P4170059.JPG (30.79 KB - downloaded 450 times.)
* P4170057.JPG (72.76 KB - downloaded 429 times.)
* P4170053.JPG (46.45 KB - downloaded 420 times.)
* P4170031.JPG (78.14 KB - downloaded 422 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 12:05:34 pm »

Well, don't forget the tricky part for those w/o experience on the river, Waterboy- the flow rate and level.  I gather most people think of the current as pretty benign when the water level is 7-9 feet because it's so full-looking and the current isn't that apparent until you get near one of the islands or a bridge.  At 8ft. on the 11th St. gage, it equates to 30,000 CFM which is swift.

The last couple of 4th of Julys, if there'd been a bunch of paddle boats out on the river, it would have been a total disaster.
Indeed, it's pretty wild. Water Current has power. Hey there's a water intake station on Lake McConanghy in Western Nebraska not far from where you can go into the water- but keep clear of that water intake it's real powerful, you can hear the roar of it from shore- there are no signs warning people not to swim, I'd guess the intake was located just about 100' feet from shore. I would not go in that water any deeper than knee deep - Another wild place is Vermilion, South Dakota on the Nebraska border, there's a Clay County Lakeside use area, actually it's all part of the Missouri River and that place if full of whurlpools, there was a large one about 30' from shore. I went in the water knee deep just to wash up and rinse off after a hard day of laying pipe in town and I kept clear of that wherlpool-  There was also a little wooden dock that went up to about 15' away from that thing and it was a bit to the left of it- the water made a slurping like sound as it spun around, I don't know what was in the water to make that spinning pool, it was a weird thing.. There were other wherlpools farther out in the water..  this was around 1992, I dunno if everything is the same or not.
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TurismoDreamin
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 12:08:22 pm »

Thanks for the replies everyone. I am aware of the risks and have never underestimated the speed of the water flow for that river. I frequently run a few miles around the Zink Lake area and have noticed that at times, the water moves faster than me. And it becomes even more apparent near the low water dam. But I wasn't aware of them preventing people from using it during the 4th. I just thought that no one ever thought of the idea since i've been out on the river every year for the fireworks and have never seen anyone out there. I guess that's why, lol. Title 26 is very broad and didn't zero in on Zink Lake specifically so I didn't know if there was another place I wasn't looking that had more information. Nonetheless, I suppose I will have to enjoy Zink Lake at other times around the 4th.

Anywho, to clarify, I suppose I should have called it a "pedal boat" instead of a paddle boat. To give you an idea, here is what they look like:

« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 12:11:19 pm by TurismoDreamin » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 12:53:24 pm »

It would be pretty terrifying to be in that thing and get caught in the current heading for the low water dam..  Not sure if I would just bail out and try my best to swim to shore or hunker down in the boat and hope for the best. 
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waterboy
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 01:45:21 pm »

That's very similar to the one I had except that I had the option of kicking in a 24volt trolling motor when my legs got tired. It might be okay at low levels (below 7500cfs or about 4ft at the bridge) but keep it off above that.

River water speed is about 5-8mph depending on release, depth, width etc. First, carry some sort of anchor and rope. If you find yourself heading towards the dam throw that anchor out and pull yourself towards the shore. Keep throwing it out till you get to slower water. If that fails, snag the cable that runs across  the river with bouys on it and pull yourself to safety.

Best plan is just don't go any farther south than the skate park without a power source. Beautiful pics btw.
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 02:24:33 pm »

That's very similar to the one I had except that I had the option of kicking in a 24volt trolling motor when my legs got tired. It might be okay at low levels (below 7500cfs or about 4ft at the bridge) but keep it off above that.

River water speed is about 5-8mph depending on release, depth, width etc. First, carry some sort of anchor and rope. If you find yourself heading towards the dam throw that anchor out and pull yourself towards the shore. Keep throwing it out till you get to slower water. If that fails, snag the cable that runs across  the river with bouys on it and pull yourself to safety.

Best plan is just don't go any farther south than the skate park without a power source. Beautiful pics btw.

Have you ever known anyone who has successfully gone over the low water dam in a kayak?  The fall itself doesn't seem bad, it's the hydraulic below that can be a killer.

I believe those that kayak the 'Tulsa Wave' put in below the dam.
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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 02:59:14 pm »

All I know is we are taught a very healthy respect for the current and the LWD in the Tulsa Rowing Club.  To date, we've never had a serious accident, that dates back to the early 1980's.  Our "traffic pattern" is modified for different flow rates.  Even at 10,000 CFS, if you row out or motor out in a powered craft and cut the engine, it's impressive how fast you float downstream. 
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PepePeru
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 03:19:33 pm »

Have you ever known anyone who has successfully gone over the low water dam in a kayak?  The fall itself doesn't seem bad, it's the hydraulic below that can be a killer.

I believe those that kayak the 'Tulsa Wave' put in below the dam.

Yeah, that water below the dams just seems to "roll", I've watched debris just sit there caught in the current.  I'd imagine if you went over that, you'd get caught in that undertow & you're probably not going to get out of it.

 
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 03:45:40 pm »



"I think we're going to need a bigger boat" comes to mind here.

Unless the flow rate is essentially static or a bit above I believe you will be asking for trouble in a simple pedal-powered (pond) boat.  If you do venture out I would suggest you immediately attempt to proceed upstream from your launch point and consider any ground gained to be a victory. 
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 03:54:00 pm by Vision 2025 » Logged

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