Helping hands for Hudson habitats

Ecosystems enhancement efforts …. Cadets from Pryor’s Thunderbird Youth Academy (TYA) at work building artificial fish habitats on the shores of Lake Hudson on Friday, June 9.

Ecosystems enhancement efforts …. Cadets from Pryor’s Thunderbird Youth Academy (TYA) at work building artificial fish habitats on the shores of Lake Hudson on Friday, June 9.

Thanks to the many helping hands of the cadets at the Thunderbird Youth Academy (TYA, Pryor), as well as Custom Metal Works, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Grand River Dam Authority, there are even more artificial fish habits in the waters of Lake Hudson today.

On Friday, June 9, the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department led a special habitat-construction effort, along with these partners, on the shores of Lake Hudson, in Salina. The goal? To build 450 artificial habitats, place them in the water near the Highway 20 Bridge, and thus help fulfill some important requirements for operation of Robert S. Kerr Dam and Lake Hudson.

While GRDA built the dam and the lake in the early 1960s, it must maintain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate those assets. One of the requirements of the current license is to enhance the fisheries. That is something GRDA has been working at for many years now and many anglers who visit Hudson each week will tell you that those enhancement efforts have been successful.

What was also successful was the effort of the TYA cadets, who actually have a great track record of partnering with GRDA. In past years, they have also helped with other GRDA hydro-related projects at the Salina Pumped Storage Project (W.R. Holway Reservoir). Their work will benefit area anglers for many years to come.

For GRDA, this particular form of building artificial fish habits is now in its 11th year, with many structures already in Hudson, Grand Lake and Holway. Such efforts help fulfill the GRDA mission to always practice environmental awareness and promote conservation and reclamation of the natural resources under its control.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.