Commonwealth Journal


March 22, 2012

Water Hazard

Trout stream below Wolf Creek Dam poses hidden danger

Somerset — Money is in the federal budget for continued normal operation of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued safety guidelines for hundreds of fishermen who enjoy trout fishing in the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam.

James Gray, project leader for the hatchery, said there have been no recent accidents below the dam. However, last summer, sudden opening of a sluice gate overturned a boat and a man and woman had to be fished out of the water, he said.

Fishing from the bank and from boats is highly popular immediately below Wolf Creek Dam. The often turbulent waters are teeming with rainbow trout stocked from the nearby hatchery.

Continued operation of the nearby trout hatchery was in doubt last year because $6.3 million to operate the facility at Wolf Creek and eight other national fish hatcheries was left out of the FY12 budget. The money has since been restored, Gray noted.

The hatchery at Wolf Creek produces 1 million trout each year with an annual budget of $907,000. “We’re operating normally,” said Gray.

 The Cumberland River below the dam and through Cumberland and Monroe counties attracts trout fishermen from all parts of Kentucky and the region. Gray said 160,000 rainbow trout were placed in the river from the dam downriver to Monroe County between April and November last year.

The rainbows, between 9 and 10 inches long, were placed immediately below the dam, and at Helm’s Landing, Winfrey’s Ferry, Crocus Creek at Burkesville, Ky. 61 ramp at Burkesville, Cloyd’s Landing and McMiallians Ferry in Monroe County. Also stocked in the Cumberland River were 40,000 brown trout in March and 40,000 brook trout in February.

In addition to stocking trout in the Cumberland River, the hatchery also supplies trout to tailwaters of Laurel River Lake,  Buckhorn Lake, Carr Fork Lake, Nolin River Lake, Rough River Lake, Barren River Lake, Licking River Basin, Cave Run Lake, Little Sandy River Basin, Grayson Lake, Yatesville Lake, Big Sandy River Basin, Dewey Lake, Fish Trap Lake, Martin’s Fork Lake, Brookville Lake, Kentucky Lake and streams, Paintsville Lake, Whitewater River Basin in Indiana and Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina.

The Corps in a recent news release from its Nashville District office, warns boaters that fishing below Wolf Creek Dam or any dam with hydroelectric generators can be dangerous. Generators can start without warning and water may “boil up” suddenly, capsizing an unprepared boat.

Following safety tips for fishing below a hydropower dam were issued by the Corps:

1. Always wear a life jacket.

2. Always leave the boat motor running. A stalled or hard-to-start motor as well as an overloaded boat can lead to disaster.

3. Never anchor a boat below a dam. A sudden surge of water can pull a boat under before the anchor can be pulled up and the boat moved to safety.

4. Stay out of restricted areas. At Wolf Creek Dam, the restricted area starts 500 feet below the power plant during generation start-up. However, during sluicing operations and/or spilling from the flood gates the restricted area applies at all times.

5. Move to a safe area immediately when warning devices are activated.

Text Only
  • Cory Paints.jpg Autistic man expresses himself through art

    Take a walk down the main hallway of the Stoner Building on the campus of Somerset Community College starting in April, and you might think you’re surrounded by a gorgeous array of storyboards for Disney Pixar films: Brightly colored animals romping about in lavish jungle scenes, the kind of thing likely to bring a smile to any child’s face.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN FOTO.jpg Memories of how things used to be in 1960s Somerset

    An old photograph of shoppers in downtown Somerset revived sweet memories of how things used to be. Best we can tell by car models, the photograph was made about 1962.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briston and mom Becca.jpg American Idol hopeful has local connection

    If you’ve been following the journey of this year’s crop of “American Idol” contestants, you’re probably familiar with the name Briston Maroney.
    But did you know that the talented young vocalist has a local connection?
    A resident of Knoxville, Tenn., Maroney was featured in the Salt Lake City, Utah, auditions, which aired on January 29.

    February 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lucas 3.jpg Northern Middle student gets to perform with country star Brad Paisley

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski seniors remember blistering cold temperatures in 60s

    Senior citizens around here don’t get as excited about the current cold snap as do youthful meteorologists who give forecasts on television.
    The temperature dropped to 4 below zero early Tuesday morning but this is really small potatoes compared to the 28 below on January 24, 1963, or 32 below on January 19, 1994.
    Charlene Cundiff well remembers that cold January morning in 1963.

    January 7, 2014

  • 1481856_676865655666965_1727818411_n.jpg Beach Buckets to host Platters singer Friday

    December 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Local woman donates kidney to member of her church

    This Christmas has a very special meaning to one local woman who received the gift of life itself from the most unlikely of places.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • Peppermint Pole Suspension.jpg Center’s ‘Spirit of Giving’ event on Dec

    November 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • KENNEDY NEWSPAPER foto .tif JFK assassination remembered

    Pulaski countians are joining millions today as they pause to remember one of the blackest moments in this nation’s history. This is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • Northern Middle Reality Tour 1.jpg Northern Middle students get a reality check on life

    It’s hard enough for adults to learn the ins and outs of car payments, mortgages, bills, health care costs, and child care expenses.
    So imagine how difficult juggling the necessities of everyday life looks to 12- and 13-year-olds.
    “I won’t be able to do a whole lot that I wanted to do,” said student Rachel Blevins, 12, during Northern Middle School’s popular “Reality Town” program. “I learned I will have to spend my money wisely.”
    Blevins and the rest of Northern Middle School’s 7th grade population on Wednesday underwent a reality check of sorts, thanks to a program that has been offered to the students for 15 years now.
    “We’re just giving them a dose of reality,” said Kathy Sampson, youth services center coordinator with Northern Middle.
    When the students step foot into the school gym, they leave middle school and enter a very adult-looking world of banks, car payments, child care, health care costs, unexpected expenses, mortgages, groceries and utility bills, and even “Uncle Sam” himself — think taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide