Okhissa Lake soon to be fisherman’s paradise

Published 6:23 pm Sunday, October 21, 2007

BUDE — Okhissa Lake could very well be a fisherman’s paradise.

It is the first of Bill Dance’s Signature Lakes.

“When Bill Dance puts his signature on this, it legitimizes it,” President of Bill Dance Waters Robert Chandler said.

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Chandler said every detail was addressed in building of the 1,075-acre lake including the precise ratio of prey and predator.

“This lake was built as a fishery first,” Chandler said. “We monitor every aspect of the lake’s infrastructure.”

There are levels built beneath the water to allow fish to come accustomed to the varying depths of the lake Chandler said.

“The lake is structured just for a fish habitat,” Chandler said. “This lake is built to grow big fish.”

Head District Ranger Tim Reed said 80,000 bass, 300,000 blue gill bream, 200,000 Catfish and 300,000 fat head minnows have been stocked in Okhissa Lake.

“Right now we have bass up to six pounds and catfish between three-four pounds,” Reed said.

When the lake opens to the public on Nov. 7 the north and south boat ramps will be open for use.

Reed said there would be extra rangers on duty to assist boaters getting on and off the lake.

“We’re expecting a large crowd,” Reed said. “We will have extra staff to help collect fees and direct traffic.”

There is a $5 per vehicle charge for admission to the lake.

The lake is currently four feet below full pool so no water skiing will be allowed until next summer.

Reed said the lake wasn’t ready for camping of lodging.

“Not all of our facilities are ready yet,” he said. “We hope to get private companies to come in and manage campgrounds and cabins.”

Reed said he wanted people to know what to expect when they came to visit and to know there is still work to be done.