SWOK’s Last Pristine Lake Is Back To Normal Conditions
If you can think back to Spring, we had a pretty wet start to the year. For instance, some parts of SWOK has accumulated nearly five feet of rainfall since last years Summer drought broke in October '18. That's a lot of water, and it has been pretty balanced. Nearly half of the rainfall occurred within the last six months in some places, even though rain was practically non-existent in June and July. It seems we learn the same lessons every year.
In 2019, the casualty in SWOK was the dam at Doc Hollis Lake - AKA - the last remaining pristine body of water in Oklahoma. Battered by rain, it started to fail early this year. Luckily, the state was able to get equipment out there in time to fix it. Just in time for Fall bassin'.
If you're wondering why it's considered "the last remaining pristine lake," it's because people aren't really allowed to enjoy it. You can fish there if you like, so long as you do it from the bank. No swimming, no drinking, no fun explosive stuff, and no watercraft of any kind allowed. While that sounds like a huge bummer, upholding those rules has created, arguably, the prettiest body of water in the state. And to tell you the truth, I hate to even mention it, because the last thing I want to do is direct people to one of my favorite fishing holes.
So why mention it?
Well, it's in the middle of nowhere, and you'll need a vehicle with ground clearance and horsepower to get there. It's located out in the sticks, tucked neatly inside the Sandy Sanders Wildlife Management Area. It's not the blacktop paved accessible place the Wichita Mountains Refuge we're used to. It's 100% wild Oklahoma.
Is it worth the drive out into the SWOKBFE? Yes. It's a wonderful place to experience for a few hours. With trails around the lake, minor hiking and climbing, plenty of wildlife to spot, and one of the most scenic desert-ish drives you can make in the state. If you get the chance, gas is cheap right now, go check it out, but stay out of the water. Just do keep this in mind... The state has a goal of growing ragweed out there for the benefit of wildlife, so as ragweed season comes into its full Fall swing, you're gonna have a bad time if it affects you like it does me.