June 2012 - Vol 9, No 6
COOKSON, Okla. - Lake Tenkiller, nestled amongst the Ozark bluffs of the Cookson Hills in both Cherokee and Sequoyah Counties, was created for flood control and hydro-electric purposes when construction began on the dam in 1947 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. It was named for a Cherokee family (the Tenkillers) who ran a ferry service across the Illinois River for many years. The 12,900 acre reservoir has a shoreline of over 130 miles. It is a place that humans travel to from miles and miles to enjoy its many natural, man-made and watery attributes.
Tenkiller has 10 marinas full of every kind of boat the lake can hold where you can store your watercraft, rent a boat and purchase everything a weekender might need like food and sunscreen. There are four floating restaurants to fill hungry swimmers bellies or to treat yourself with refreshing adult beverages. Campers will find ample campgrounds for overnight stays or a simple picnic in one of the two state parks or numerous private campgrounds.
If your legs are more suited to land than water, there are hiking trails surrounding the lake with many great viewpoints and opportunities for a foray into the woods and rocky bluffs.
Today it is a shining example of all the wonderful things we Oklahomans (and all other types of humans) like to do at our beloved mid-sized bodies of freshwater such as boating, skiing, swimming and, of course, it’s one heck of place for the fishermen and fisherwomen. But don’t take it from me, take it from local Tenkiller expert and hunting/fishing guide galore, Terry McDonald.
“Lake Tenkiller is known for its excellent white bass run in early spring as well as year-round large mouth, small mouth and spotted bass angling. The lake also provides excellent crappie fishing as well as an abundant catfish population. I personally enjoy Tenkiller because of the lack of buildings and houses near the shore making for a peaceful, scenic experience. Along with its natural attributes, it also has fine dining and top-quality resorts,” said McDonald before adding, “Tenkiller boasts amazing rock formations and some of the cleanest and clearest water in Oklahoma. Other activities include scuba diving in a dive park and, of course, guided fishing trips.”
Speaking of guided fishing trips, Terry MacDonald can hook you up (pun intended) if you head on down to www.oklahomahuntingandfishingadventures.com where you can rent his expertise for a reasonable rate.
The place to go on the web for tons of information about the lake and its many amenities is www.laketenkiller.com. Have fun, be safe and remember to wait 45 minutes to swim after eating.