Lake Cumberland is a beehive of activity, and the first holiday weekend of summer is just around the corner.
It has been a long time since Lake Cumberland is near normal. For six summers the lake has been operated about 40 feet below pool stage to facilitate repairs at Wolf Creek Dam.
It’s all better now, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The lake is not completely full, but about 20 feet higher than last year; higher than the year before, and seemingly ad infinitum.
Best of all, everything is nothing but up from now on. The dam is fixed, permanently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assures. There is a Lake Cumberland in your future, and for your children and grandchildren. There are new residents in the area who have never seen Lake Cumberland in all its glory.
Normally a lull in activities is noticed during days leading to a summer holiday. Not this year.
At midweek, the parking area at General Burnside Island State Park was crowded with boats and trailers. Parents and children walked along shorelines, looking at the water. A fisherman intently sought crappie among willows and growth on banks that have been bare for more than six years. More specifically, Bob Dalton was headed toward the still-unusable boat ramp behind the former Lakeview Restaurant with an armload of rods and tackles.
“I haven’t been down here for several years, but I decided to give it a try,” said the Somerset resident. Surely lunkers lounge in the sea-like depths.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources experts say Lake Cumberland has a new lake effect for fishermen now that bare banks are covered with water. Six years of growth provide new cover for the lake’s teeming fish population.
Even though all of its more than 1,200 miles of shoreline won’t be washed until next summer, the 20-foot rise makes General Burnside Island State Park an island again, and Pulaski County Park is surrounded by water.