Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 7, 2007

Watered down

General Burnside boat ramp is now closed

The boat-launching ramp at General Burnside Island State Park was closed Monday because the lake water had receded about 10 feet below the end of the concrete.

Corps officials say as the water level falls three and a half more feet to the destined 680 feet above sea level by February 12, only one launching ramp in Pulaski County may be in the water.

But there’s hope that some of the ramps will be extended for use during the seven years while work is underway to repair ailing Wolf Creek Dam.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to get $2 million from the federal government in the near future to extend some 10 boat ramps and widen parking areas to make a drastically lowered Lake Cumberland more accessible to boaters and fishermen.

The lake level at 6 a.m. yesterday was at 683.63 feet. At this level, the end of the boat-launching ramp at the Burnside state park was high and dry. A yellow ribbon tied halfway across the launching area warned potential boat launchers of the sharp drop-off onto dry gravel at the end of the concrete.

“We’re trying to get a handle on that right now,” responded Craig Shoe, resource manager for Lake Cumberland, when asked about the number of boat ramps still usable when the lake level is lowered 43 feet below the tree line.

“It looks now as if Lee’s Ford (Marina and Resort) will be the only ramp usable (in Pulaski County),” said Shoe. Lee’s Ford spokesmen have expressed fear that their ramp will be overwhelmed with boaters trying to get in the water. They have asked for assistance in expanding their parking area.

The lake level is rapidly falling toward the 680 mark to ease pressure on Wolf Creek Dam, the massive earthen and concrete structure that has been classified as a high risk of failure.

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