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Lake Permitting

It is the boundary between GRDA owned property and privately owned property around the lake.  It is determined by a metes and bounds survey description, not an elevation. 

A Flowage Easement allows the property covered by the easement to be flooded with water.  If your property is subject to a Flowage Easement, the easement will be found within your property abstract.  The terms of the easement will dictate how the easement affects the property, but generally you are NOT allowed to place a structure within the Flowage Easement that would impede the flow of water over the property.  The same principle applies for adding fill material to GRDA property or the Flowage Easement.  Before doing any construction work, check the construction guidelines for Flowage Easements found under the Lake Permits tab. 

GRDA and federal regulations may restrict the cutting of trees, building structures, or digging, so please contact the GRDA permitting office at 918-782-1743.

Contact the GRDA Permitting Department for assistance with the dock transfer at 918-782-1743.

With each dock transfer, GRDA requires a new Electrical Certification Form, in the name of the property owner.  This is to ensure continued safety to you and neighboring docks.

Yes, payments can be made by typing in the search bar and following the prompts.

With an approved permit, work may be performed August 1 through March 31.  No vegetation management activity can be performed between April 1 and July 31 to minimize the impacts of the maternity season for the northern long eared and grey bat. However, if a tree is hazardous (dead, dying or diseased), it may be removed, with an approved permit, any time of the year. 

The boundary between GRDA owned property and privately owned property around the lake is determined by a metes and bounds survey description, not an elevation. The boundary is commonly called the GRDA Taking Line.

If you have a structure built on GRDA property it may qualify for a License to Encroach. A license allows the structure to remain in place for up to 30 years. See for details and application.

Basically, a flowage easement allows the property covered by the easement to be flooded with water. If your property is subject to a flowage easement, the easement will be found within your abstract. The terms of the easement will dictate how the easement affects the property, but generally you are not allowed to place a structure within the flowage easement that would impede the flow of water over the property.

Additional FAQs

These documents govern how the shoreline around Grand Lake and Lake Hudson will be managed. They can be found under the “Important Documents” tab.

Fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased at Wal-Mart. They can also be purchased online from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The Kyle Williams Boating Safety Education Act prohibits kids between the ages of 12 and up to 16 years old, without a valid drivers license, from operating any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower or a sailing vessel 16-feet or longer without first completing a state approved Boater Safety Course.

They must also have a certificate documenting their completion of the course. Fines for violating this new law range from $50-$500. Our goal is to help you make sure your family is safe while having fun and in compliance with the law.

As a service to recreational boaters on our lakes, GRDA is offering Boater Safety Courses, FREE of charge.

Classes will be held at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center located at 420 Highway 28, Langley OK 74350.

More Information

Every floating structure on the lake must be permitted by GRDA or be subject to removal. Private dock permits are based upon the calendar year and have an annual permit fee. A new owner MUST transfer the permit for an existing dock by completing a private dock application. A new owner will not receive notifications regarding their dock unless such application is completed and approved by GRDA. The private dock application can be found under the “Resources” tab.

FERC stands for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC issued GRDA a license to operate its hydropower facilities (Pensacola and Kerr dams and the Salina Pumped Storage Project). When the license was issued, it was determined that certain property was needed to operate the hydropower facility. This area is called the Project Boundary. The FERC has jurisdiction over management of lands within the Project Boundary and over project operations such as the lake reservoir levels.

GRDA may allow dredging of its shoreline in certain areas around the lake if no contaminants are present in the area to be dredged and the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) classification allows for such activity. An Application for Dredging can be found at

Flood Control

When water levels exceed or are anticipated to exceed 745 feet on Grand Lake, the Corps ofEngineers takes control and determines how much wateris released through the floodgates.Once the level drops to 745 feet, GRDA once again assumes control over releases

There are times when the water must be brought down slowly to not cause any more adverse effects on all the reservoirs downstream that may also be in flood stages. The Corps works to move water as quickly and safely as possible, but when it has been widespread, stretching across the Grand, Verdigris and Greater Arkansas system, into Arkansas and on downstream, there may not be anywhere for the water to go.

GRDA and the Corps do work closely with the National Weather Service, but because a storm system can change paths and/or rainfall amounts may differ greatly than what was predicted, floodgate changes will rarely be made in advance.

In the event of downstream flooding, opening all of the floodgates would not result in a natural flow, but could result in excessive flows in the channels below. Grand Lake is a much larger reservoir than Hudson Lake. A foot drop in Grand puts roughly three feet into Hudson, which may already be at maximum storage. 

In the Flood Control Act of 1944, the United States Congress mandated that the Corps of Engineers direct the operations of GRDA’s Pensacola Dam and Robert S. Kerr Dam for flood control. The Corps orders release rates that are consistent with downstream conditions and projected river crests. All the lakes along the Grand River, in the Arkansas River system, are operated to minimize downstream flooding, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and Fort Gibson Lake.

At times of elevated lake levels, the GRDA Police Department encourages boaters to take extra precautions. Be mindful of any floating debris that may be in the lake. The higher lake levels can mean more driftwood and debris floating in the water. Please be on the lookout as you are boating. Also, be mindful of your neighbors and watch your wake. Due to elevated lake levels, wakes can roll up onto property that is normally above the water causing additional damage to structures. All vessel operators are responsible for their wakes. It is crucial to remain mindful of the changing lake shoreline topography and the possibility of now-submerged structures. Things like stumps, picnic tables, retaining walls and other structures typically located along the shoreline may now be submerged due to the lake levels. Use extreme caution and avoid unfamiliar areas of the shoreline and please stress the importance to all in your party to wear a life jacket, regardless of age, anytime on or near the water.

We urge people to use caution in the water and understand that even in normal conditions, it is “swim at your own risk.” Included are some tips from ODEQ that may also be helpful:


  • Do shower with soap and water after swimming
  • Do wash cuts and scrapes with clean water and soap after swimming
  • Do hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into water
  • Do wear ear plugs
  • Do wear swim goggles
  • Do take children to the restroom frequently
  • Do use swim diapers on infants
  • Do stay away from any area that floating debris, oil sheens or dead fish


  • Don’t swim in water with a temperature greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water does not feel cool when you first enter, then it is likely greater than 80 degrees.
  • Don’t swim if you have cuts or scrapes
  • Don’t swim after a heavy rain
  • Don’t swim near storm drains
  • Don’t swim in stagnant (unmoving) water
  • Don’t swim in water with a green surface scum

No, GRDA is not able to provide a schedule for releases/hydroelectric generation.