Both Grand and Great…

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

It’s not only Grand, it’s also great.

Good news: Grand is “Great” … Contestants and spectators gather for an early morning launch from the Wolf Creek facility during the Bassmaster Classic, held on Grand Lake last February. The lake’s reputation as a premier fishing destination continues to grow. Grand was even listed among “10 Great Places to Go Bass Fishing” in  a recent USA Today article, and also featured among the “Top 100 Bass Fishing Lakes” in a recent Bassmaster magazine article.

Good news: Grand is “Great” … Contestants and spectators gather for an early morning launch from the Wolf Creek facility during the Bassmaster Classic, held on Grand Lake last February. The lake’s reputation as a premier fishing destination continues to grow. Grand was even listed among “10 Great Places to Go Bass Fishing” in a recent USA Today article, and also featured among the “Top 100 Bass Fishing Lakes” in a recent Bassmaster magazine article.

Add that to the description of Grand Lake, now that it has been listed among “10 Great Places to go Bass Fishing” in the United States.

That was the title of a recent USA Today article in which Bassmaster magazine editor James Hall detailed some of the best places in the country to cast a line and take part in the rapidly growing sport of bass fishing.

According to Hall, the 46,500 surface acre lake – created when the Grand River Dam Authority constructed Pensacola Dam nearly 75 years ago – is in a “very healthy moment of its life cycle, so the bass fishing is really, really good right now.”

Hall added that the lake is “very generous” even to new anglers. “You don’t have to know a great deal to be able to have the day of your life fishing,” he said.

Of course, you do not have to tell the competitive fishing world about the benefits of Grand Lake. After all, it has only been six months since the 2013 Bassmaster Classic visited the lake for the sport’s biggest event last February and brought a whole new level of attention to Grand’s waters. The Walmart FLW Tour also brought plenty of pro anglers and even more attention with its Grand stop in June while dozens of other tournaments, with hundreds of other competitors, have also tested their bass fishing skills on the lake this summer.

According to GRDA Fisheries Coordinator Brent Davis, many of the tournaments that have been coming to Grand for several years saw increased participation this year, thanks in large part to lake “buzz” created by the Classic. Meanwhile, that increased attention means an increasing economic impact around the shores of Grand Lake. Better fishing means more tournaments and more lake area visitors, which in turn means more dollars spent in Grand Lake communities.

Every day, at no cost to Oklahoma tax payers, GRDA does its part to continue that process by protecting and preserving the waters and the fisheries of the Grand River system, including Grand Lake and Lake Hudson.

“We work closely with all tournaments and tournament directors to make sure we return as many fish as possible back into the lake alive,” said Davis. “That has been really important to tournament success and fisheries preservation.”

There are other efforts too, including shoreline enhancement, water quality monitoring, public outreach and other programs that help GRDA to be a good steward of the natural resources under its control. As that occurs, it is good not only for the waters, but also for the thousands of Oklahomans who live, work and play around the shoreline.

It’s all part of a grand plan to impact the Oklahoma economy in a great way.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

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