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Thread: Trout Limit Changed on Cumberland River

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Trout Limit Changed on Cumberland River

    Trout Limit Changed in Lower Cumberland River;
    Dam Repair, Drought Raise Water Temperatures

    Jun 14, 2007

    Frankfort, Ky. – Beginning Saturday, June 16, anglers may keep 10 trout of any size taken from the lower Cumberland River from the state line to a point 100 yards upstream of the public boat ramp at Burkesville in Cumberland County. A fishing license and a trout permit are still necessary to fish this section of river.

    Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett authorized an emergency measure liberalizing the limits on this 40-mile section of the state’s premier trout river due to high water temperatures. Because of the Lake Cumberland drawdown and the ongoing drought, water flows are lower than normal and temperatures are increasing.

    Water temperatures are becoming too high in the lower section of the river to support trout, which are a cold-water species. “Under the current conditions, the odds of trout surviving in the lower river are not good,” Gassett said. “We decided to make the best of a bad situation by giving anglers an opportunity to keep more fish.”

    Fisheries Director Benjy Kinman said he expects the department to rescind the special limit once water conditions improve in fall.

    Under the emergency measure, anglers fishing downstream of the Burkesville location may keep a total of 10 trout, regardless of the species. Anglers are encouraged to keep all the fish they catch, as practicing catch-and-release in this section may put too much stress on the trout and result in their death.

    Regulations for the river upstream of the Burkesville location remain the same: Anglers may keep only one brown trout measuring 20 inches or longer. Anglers must immediately release all rainbow trout between 15-20 inches. Anglers may keep a daily limit of up to five rainbow trout, only one of which may exceed 20 inches.

    The lower half of the 75-mile trophy trout river, which extends from Wolf Creek Dam to the state line, has steadily grown warmer this spring due to restricted flows coming from the dam. Lake Cumberland, the source of the tailwater’s cold water, is being held 43 feet below normal summer pool while repairs to the dam are underway. The project is expected to take up to seven years to complete.

    With no rain occurring in the lake’s headwaters for several weeks, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has severely restricted the amount of water being released by the dam. The lake cannot be lowered much further without affecting water intakes for local communities.

    With less cold water moving through the river and air temperatures rising, water temperatures in the river continue to climb. “With no break in the drought on the horizon, we’re concerned about lethal water temperatures for trout in the lower river,” Kinman said.

    Both rainbow and brown trout become severely stressed and eventually die at temperatures of 75 degrees and higher, said Fisheries Research Biologist Dave Dreves. This week at McMillan’s Ferry, located near the state line, Fisheries Biologist Eric Cummins measured a water temperature of 75.6 degrees at 10:30 a.m. Hundreds of trout were concentrating in the mouths of two spring-fed tributary creeks with 70-degree water.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working closely with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife to decrease water temperatures in the river, although the federal agency cannot increase the amount of water flowing through the dam each day.

    At the request of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the Corps halted the use of the dam’s generators. Instead, the agency is releasing water through sluice gates located at the bottom of the dam. The gates, which are located 50 feet deeper in the lake than the intakes for the generators, release colder water into the tailwater. Dreves said the sluice gates helped drop the water temperature an average of 5 degrees at Winfrey’s Ferry, located 16 miles downstream of the dam near Creelsboro.

    Temperatures in the upper section of the river currently are suitable for trout. “We’re hoping the modified flows from the dam will protect the upper river, but there’s still the potential for crisis in the lower river through October,” Kinman said. “We need rain in the Lake Cumberland headwaters.”

    Dreves said the quality of the trout fishery in the upper section of the Cumberland River is the best in a decade or more. Anglers report outstanding fishing in the river this year.

    “Hopefully, our collective measures will allow anglers to utilize a fishing resource that is imperiled, and simultaneously provide adequate protection for trophy fish in the upper reaches of the river,” Kinman said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    thanks for the report ,i will be fishin over the weekend. i will report back with my findings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    my findings from the weekend on the cumberland. on saturday lots of fisherman out. several wading at randalls pool and at rock house bar. fished from long bar down to willis bar caught fish all day most fish in 14 to 16 in size. water temps at long bar was 54 degrees and willis bar 62 degrees clean and clear water above randals pool ,lots debera on surface, below randals pool looks like lake turn over [looks like river bottom]. on sunday; same water condition very lite fishing pressure not many out only saw 2 other boats all day and one wading bait fisherman fishing was much better, better sulpher hatch, fish were feed deep better size and numbers 1 22 inch rainbow several 16 to 18 in. fish ,over all a great weekend trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Flys to use?

    What flies were you using to imitate whatever it is those Cumberland River trout are eating? I have done well with zebra midges and caddis emergers but I think the caddis hatch is done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    crapidans,prince rubber leg,ptn rubber leg,klinkheimer emerger,

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