About one half of those people lived here full time, the other half were week-enders and summer folks, but 350 homes, trailers and campers were spread throughout the four camps.
This was a big impact to the businesses around town. So meeting with the Supervisors to see if some economic impact grants were available, since it was Tunica’s only source of tourism to the county at that time, just made sense.
The attorney for the Board suggested I start making plans and do a study. I was chosen to do the study and collect data. I started with a topographical map of the lake a fisherman did, it was quite accurate and I based my data mainly on his work.
We had always used the Memphis river gauge because Tunica didn’t have one with easy access. Memphis area folks knew to check the river gauge to see if the river was falling or rising; if the level was at 15’ or 6’ etc. Folks knew fish bit on fall levels best around 12’ for all fishing.
So, taking the topography map the fisherman did, I knew the lake was 13 miles of open lake and about 30 miles of shore line with an average depth of 15’. My ole well drilling buddy told me that 15,000 gallons of water put 1 inch on one acre. Taking these facts and some study of flow, which had cubic feet to gallons, I designed the dam we have today. The Army Corps of Engineers changed the thickness of the structure, and the tow for and aft to make it durable to Old Man River’s whims.
Still trying to get funding, four years later Casino gaming came on the scene.
Well that’s another story, but the weir dam was completed and works, holding water in our lake so the fishies are happy and can hop in my skillet anytime.
Below is a picture of some of our local youngsters informing our friend, Steve Kriese, all about the proper method for fishing. Because of the weir they can give their lectures year ’round now, if they like. The credit for the photo goes to Steve’s wife, and another of our friends, Kathy Kriese.