Commonwealth Journal

News Live

January 29, 2014

Lake Cumberland vs. Duskytail Darter

Corps delays restoring lake level; blames tiny minnow


Jamestown —

Hudson went on to say: “We are working in close consultation with the (U.S. Wildlife) Service to ensure our actions are protective of the endangered species and its habitat as required by the Endangered Species Act.”
“A final decision about Lake Cumberland pool operating levels will be made after the Corps completes a biological assessment and the U.S. Wildlife Service prepares a biological opinion,” the news release said. Getty pointed out if the opinion doesn’t come until late spring there may not be sufficient rainfall to raise the lake to pool stage (723 feet at the tree line) for the upcoming recreational season. Of course, a final decision on returning the lake to normal operations has yet to be given by Brigadier General Margaret W. Burcham, commander of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the Corps.
“Our plan is to complete consultations with the Corps as soon as possible after we receive their biological assessment,” said Lee Andrews, field supervisor of Fish and Wildlife Service’s Kentucky Field Office. “This is our top priority.”
Construction on the Wolf Creek Dam cutoff wall to protect the electrical substation at the base of the dam is complete, the Corps said. Ongoing construction activities to remove the remaining shotrock fill on the upstream face of the embankment are expected to be completed by early March. Getty indicated the lake may be allowed to rise to 705 feet at that time. Lake level at noon yesterday was 687.05.

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