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Arcadia Lake opens to personal watercraft Monday through Thursday

Edmond City Council members lifted restrictions at Arcadia Lake to allow personal watercraft all over the lake instead of in a designated 75-acre area. The change is on Monday through Thursday and temporary until Oct. 31.
by Diana Baldwin Published: June 11, 2014

Tuesday was the first day that personal watercraft riders could use all of Arcadia Lake on Monday through Thursday instead of remaining confined to a 75-acre designated area many refer to as a corral.

Personal watercraft owners Tommy Hannon and Rick Marshall have been trying for nearly five years to get Edmond officials to change the rules on the 1,820-acre lake. Hannon gave Mayor Charles Lamb a petition signed by 131 people in favor of the change.

Council members approved a new ordinance this week by a vote of 3-2. Councilwomen Elizabeth Waner and Victoria Caldwell voted against the change, which is temporary. Council members will re-evaluate after Oct. 31.

Friday through Sunday, personal watercraft users will have to stay in the corral because of heavy traffic on the lake during the weekend. The new rule excludes Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Craig Dishman, parks and recreation director, said the restriction should be lifted because of the low number of users on the lake on Mondays through Thursdays.

Arcadia Lake was the only U.S. Army Corps lake with any restriction on personal watercraft use.

“We have also seen that personal watercraft today are 75 percent quieter and up to 90 percent cleaner than pre-1998 models,” Dishman said. “The number of accidents and deaths using a (personal watercraft) are lower than in a standard motor boat, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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