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OKC suspends boating season at Lake Hefner

OKLAHOMA CITY – The persistent drought is prompting city leaders here in Oklahoma City to limit boating at Lake Hefner.

Not long ago, most boats at the lake were left wedged into the mud.

The controversial release of water from Canton Lake lifted Lake Hefner’s levels from 17 feet below normal to just 5 feet below, but it’s still far from perfect.

“Even though we got a release from Canton,  the levels at Lake Hefner are too low to have a good boating season,” said Oklahoma City utilities spokesperson Debbie Ragan.

That’s why the city council gave the OK not to send out renewals for those who rent boat slips at Lake Hefner.

“We’re suspending the boat slip rentals at this time because of low lake levels.  It doesn’t seem right to charge a fee if they can’t use what they pay for,” said Ragan.

“They aren’t going to charge us that’s the bottom line.  We didn’t get to use the boats much last year, so that’s fair,” said boat owner James Brand.

While the city won’t charge for the slips, they’re also not evicting boats that refuse to move.

In fact they can’t legally keep boats out of the lake.

The city does have the option of changing course.

If the lake levels improve, the city said it can reinstate the slip rentals.