President Barack Obama signed the Freedom to Fish Act into law today, placing a two-year moratorium on restricting fishing access to the tailwaters of dams on the Cumberland River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted to install signage and a line of buoys separating fishermen from what they characterize hazardous waters. Legislators like Sen. Mitch McConnell felt that the economic impact on tourism outweighed any potential dangers.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from restricting fishing access around Corps dams, specifically along the Cumberland River.
Sen. Mitch McConnell sponsored the bill.
The Corps of Engineers wants to install signage and a line of buoys separating fishermen from what they characterize “hazardous waters.” Legislators like McConnell felt the economic impact it would have on tourism outweighed any potential dangers.
Politicians and Anglers are teaming up to stop the U-S Army Corps of Engineers from installing barriers next to its dams on the Cumberland River which will keep boats from accessing the dam’s tail waters. Senators Mitch McConnell, Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul, and Congressman Ed Whitfield took part in a “Freedom to Fish Rally” this weekend at Barkley Dam to protest to Corps’ plan.
U.S. Senators from Kentucky and Tennessee along with Congressman Ed Whitfield are holding a “Freedom To Fish” rally this weekend to gain support for a bill that prevents the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from imposing restriction on fishing near Corp dams on the Cumberland River.
Saturday’s rally, which includes Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, is at Barkley Dam. Whitfield’s “Freedom to Fish Act” promises to prohibit the Corps of Engineers from taking any action to restrict public access to waters downstream of a dam.
Senators from Kentucky and Tennessee have introduced legislation to preserve tailwater fishing in the dams of the Cumberland River. The legislation, called the Freedom to Fish Act, would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from installing barriers along portions of the river that would block fishing access to tailwaters.
Dams are popular fishing spots because small fish get trapped and attract larger ones like catfish and bass. Corp officials say boating too close to the spillways at the dams is a safety risk and that barriers will go up this year. Anglers in both states have been voicing outrage over the plan.
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.