BENEFITING: FRIENDS OF RESERVOIRS
Lake Wichita is the third oldest reservoir in the State of Texas, completed in 1901. It has served the region proudly as the “Gem of North Texas”, as a recreation destination, as a social mecca, as a driving economic force, as a haven for the wise-use and conservation of fish and wildlife resources, and as a foundation for community growth by serving as a drinking water source. Having surpassed its expected 100-year life span, in its present state, Lake Wichita is no longer able to provide significant social, economic, ecological, or recreational benefits to the community. With your support, together we can return Lake Wichita to a state in which it provides significant economic, social, recreational, and ecological benefits to our community for another Century and beyond.
In order to enjoy all of the recreational pursuits the community desires we must start by fixing the lake. After 100+ years of siltation, habitat degradation, and the lowering of the spillway for flood control Lake Wichita has been left with an average depth of 4.5 feet and maximum depth of 9 feet, little structure, low storage capacity, and little aquatic vegetation. As the lake had nearly dried up completely in 2014 and all of the fish likely died in 2012 due to drought and toxic Golden Alga blooms we plan to drain the lake (utilizing as much water for other purposes as possible) and conduct a dry excavation. An excavation of 7-million cubic yards of sediment is much less expensive than a hydraulic dredge but it also lends the opportunity to sculpt the lake bottom in a way that is conducive to good fish and wildlife habitat. The ability to sculpt the bottom how we desire also means that we can make a lake that will recede quickly to deeper channels during droughts, lowering the surface acreage while retaining a greater storage capacity, ultimately lowering the evaporative losses and making Lake Wichita a more drought resistant lake.