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Lake Excavation


Lake Excavation

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Lake Excavation


Lake Excavation

Lake Excavation 

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. 

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Fishing Habitat


Habitat and Fish

Fishing Habitat


Habitat and Fish

Underwater Photography by Eric Engbretson

Fishing: Fish habitat, fish stocking

The quality of fishing is directly attributable to the quality of fisheries habitat. The excavation will increase the storage capacity and provide the water essential for their survival. Aquatic plants like American Pondweed will be reestablished, rock piles that will both protect the shoreline from erosion will also provide quality fish habitat, development of brush piles and placement of artificial structures will also aid in increasing the quality of the fish population and help bring the fish to the angler by being placed strategically with the end user in mind. Florida Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, White Crappie, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Channel Catfish populations are planned to be reestablished through stocking by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The combination of fish restocking and diverse habitat types, strategically placed, will aid in making Lake Wichita a booming fishery again!

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Wetlands


Wetlands

Wetlands


Wetlands

Wetlands: Size, locations, wildlife viewing, fish habitat, waterfowl habitat, and hunting

Over 200 acres of wetlands and aquatic vegetation plantings are planned and will be strategically placed throughout Lake Wichita to maximize their benefits to water quality, wildlife viewing, the ecosystem, hunting, and fish and wildlife populations.

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Watershed


Watershed

Watershed


Watershed

Watershed 

A major factor that influences the quality of a lake is its watershed. The 134 square mile Lake Wichita watershed has two major issues that we will work with willing landowners to help address. The watershed simply does not provide the water to the lake that it traditionally has and when the water does flow it brings more sediment than it traditionally has. These issues stem from the invasion and expansion of non-native Mesquite and Salt Cedar that consume considerably more water and stabilize soils less effectively than native prairie. Thus this project will work with willing landowners to remove Mesquite and Salt Cedar and restore native grasses so that the Lake Wichita watershed will provide more water to the lake and less sediment, ultimately increasing both viability and longevity of the project.

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Circle Trail


Circle Trail

Circle Trail


Circle Trail

Circle Trail

The Circle Trail is an amazing resource for our community. As a part of the Lake Wichita project the Circle Trail will be connected from Barnett Road to Lake Wichita Park. A segment of which will be taken out over the water and include wildlife viewing and fishing stations ultimately diversifying the utilization of the trail.

The existing trail travels on top of the dam and runs down along the spillway. This project includes the addition of a pedestrian bridge over the spillway and an extension of the trail down the entire east side of the lake increasing the public accessibility to any commercial development that occurs and the portion of the lake in that area.

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Public Access


Public Access

Public Access


Public Access

Public Access: Boat ramps, jetties, floating fishing piers

Lake Wichita is built for the public and will be inundated with a plethora of public access options. The plan includes the development and refurbishing of four boat ramps, four jetties extending out into the water (which also serve to protect the shoreline from erosion), the floating fishing pier on the dam provides great access to the lake and we plan to add three more of these down the dam effectively ensuring the entire dam provides great and safe access to the water.

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Beaches


Beaches 

Beaches


Beaches 

Beaches

While the water is gone and we are excavating the lake it will be an excellent time to add two beach areas to further enhance recreation. One beach will be located in Lake Wichita Park and the other will be located near the emergency spillway off of Kemp.

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Paddling Trail


Paddling Trail 

Paddling Trail


Paddling Trail 

 
 

Paddling Trails

Plans call for the addition of a 2.4 mile paddling trail through Lake Wichita Park that connects to the lake. This trail will include two launch stations that are ADA accessible and also serve to break up the trail so that canoers, kayakers, standup paddle boarders can utilize the trail without being forced to traverse the entire 2.4 miles. We are proud to be partnering with Heroes On the Water to ensure that this segment of the project is developed in a way that ensures our wounded veterans from all branches of the military will be able to utilize it.

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Future Development


Commercial Development 

Future Development


Commercial Development 

Future Development: Pavilion, Camping Area, Wake Board Park

Future developmental plans are not being undertaken at this time but as we go through the initial phase of the project we are keeping these projects in mind in case there is anything that we can do now to make their completion later easier and more cost effective. Future development projects includes a Pavilion type structure being rebuilt at the old site on the dam, the addition of a tent camping area near Barnett Road, and finally the addition of a wake board park in conjunction with the beach area near the emergency spillway.

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Wakeboard Park


Wakeboard Park

Wakeboard Park


Wakeboard Park

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