Okatoma Outdoor Post still ‘afloat’ despite low river levels due to drought

Despite lowered river levels, Okatoma Outdoor Post doing business
Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 3:20 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - While water levels in Pine Belt rivers are low due to drought, it has not put a stop to Okatoma Outdoor Post’s canoe and kayak rental business.

“The level is down, so it gives you more sandbars and stuff for people to get off and enjoy,” said lead driver Tony Ward of Okatoma Outdoor Post. “It’s a little bit of a struggle with the canoes because they kind of drag a little bit, but the kayaks have not had any problems.”

Ward said the lower water levels are not as much of a concern for safety than higher water levels.

“If the water level is above 10 (feet), it’s a fast current and it will wedge you under trees, stuff like that, or flip you, and the current will drag you under,” Ward said.

Kayaker Derrick Legg, of Sumrall, who went on the Okatoma River Sunday, said it’s the perfect time to get out on the water.

“It’s been really beautiful out here, and I kind of wish there was more clouds to provide a little bit more shade, but that’s it,” Legg said.

He said the water level has not been a problem on his trip.

“It’s not really much a of a concern, except one spot that we had to walk,” Legg said. “That’s about it.”

Ward said for those thinking about coming out on the river, the water levels should not keep them from having a good time.

“Water level is great,” Ward said. “It’s a slow current. There’s plenty of sandbars to goof off on, have fun and have picnics with your kids and stuff.”

Okatoma Outdoor Post’s canoe and kayak rental season ends Oct. 31.

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