Anglers get an unexpected Easter weekend gift: open gates at Tecumseh access
Fishermen got an Easter weekend surprise as the gates to the Tecumseh access on Norfork Lake were opened late last week and left open throughout the weekend, allowing fishermen and boaters to access Norfork Lake there. As of Monday morning, the gates remained opened. The access, which is in its final stages of a $1 million renovation project, has been mostly closed to boat and vehicle traffic since 2017.
The large graveled parking area and newly poured concrete boat ramp on the south side of the Highway 160 bridge were especially well used as fishermen with few other options for nearby lake accesses put in boat after boat.
The access area also features a smaller parking lot on the north side of the bridge, along with a pea-graveled canoe and kayak ramp. Large boulders line the parking lot, restricting driving access to what was once a campground area; however, those interested in accessing the lake by foot can fish and walk alongside the bank in that area.
The new poured-concrete boat ramp on the south side of the bridge is steeper than the former ramp that washed away in the historic flood of 2017. It’s also angled differently than its predecessor.
Mark Case, project manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers, told the Times Monday that the gates were opened “so some temporary access might be used for fishermen.”
He said the contractor is “waiting on the asphalt plants to start producing product so we can pave this area and finish the job.” With the asphalt plants expected to start any day, Case said his “best guess” is that the project will be completed in “a month or less after the plant is up and running.”
Then he added, “This is of course out the window if we get another flood.”