cumberland river

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is warning swimmers and boaters to stay away from several streams and tributaries in Eastern Kentucky.

The waterways are contaminated with E.coli bacteria, which comes from human and animal waste.

The problem is so extensive that the swimming advisories have been expanded to include all of Kentucky’s lakes and rivers after heavy rainfall.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a new mobile website with real-time water information for the Cumberland River watershed, which could be useful for boaters this holiday weekend.

Two species of freshwater mussels have been designated as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The mussels are only found in portions of the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems.

The agency designated 24 critical habitats in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia for the fluted kidneyshell, while 13 were designated for the slabside pearlymussel in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have passed legislation to prevent the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from installing barriers in the tailwaters of Cumberland River dams.

The House passed the measure unanimously Tuesday.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield has introduced a bill to keep the Army Corps of Engineers from blocking fishing near dams on the Cumberland River, a plan that’s drawn outrage from anglers in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Whitfield met earlier with corps officials and said he was prepared to file legislation if necessary.  Whitfield says his Freedom to Fish Act allows continued boating access to river tailwaters for sportsmen and recreational fishermen.

Kentucky’s first district congressman Ed Whitfield demands that the Army Corps of Engineers consider solutions other than permanently closing areas around Cumberland River dams to fishing. Corps officials announced in December they would restrict access 700 feet downstream and 400 feet upstream of the dams because the area is dangerous.

Army Corps Sets Dates for Dam Restriction Meetings

Dec 28, 2012
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

The Army Corps of Engineers will hear public comment on pending Cumberland River dam restrictions Jan. 10, in Grand Rivers. The Corps announced earlier this month it would restrict all water access above and below 10 dams, including the one on Lake Barkley because it's a dangerous area.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers holds a public meeting in Paducah in January to talk about new restrictions above and below ten Cumberland River dams. The move sets up no access zones for boating, swimming or wading.

The proposed restriction for Lake Barkley Dam is 400 feet upstream and 700 feet downstream. The Corps previously had safety standards close to the dams, but Lieutenant Colonel James DeLapp says a recent review of Corps rules found the Cumberland River was not up to current standards.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers holds public meetings in January on new water restrictions above and below Cumberland River dams, including Lake Barkley Dam. The Corps is still finalizing details on the plan prohibiting fishing, swimming and wading near the dams.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is keeping tight lipped on plans to restrict boat access near hydroelectric power plants on the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The Corps released a statement today saying they would not give details until the plan is finalized. Spokeswoman Amy Redmond says the public will get more information later this month.