The federal government shutdown has prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District to close all of its campgrounds and day-use parks at noon Friday. The district had announced that it intended to keep these areas open as scheduled, but they say support to the recreation areas can’t be sustained.
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.
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.
Several barge companies that operate on the drought-stricken Mississippi River have asked Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to call for a presidential disaster declaration. The companies, including three based in Paducah, say doing so could be a first step in getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to improve the Mississippi’s flow. Crounse Corporation, James Marine, Ingram Barge, Marquette Transportation, and AEP River Operations made the appeal in a letter sent late last week.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning a series of public meeting in January to solicit opinions on restricting access in hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of all Corps-owned locks and dams in Kentucky and Tennessee. Dates for the meetings have not been set.
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.