Somerset Boat Club plans to move back to its original location at the end of Somerset Boat Dock Road, probably about the first of next year.
The dock and boats were hurriedly moved to deeper water in January 2007 when the level of Lake Cumberland was dropped 40 feet to facilitate repairs to Wolf Creek Dam. The club moved down Pitman Creek to deeper water at a point over the bluff from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ headquarters off Somerset Boat Dock Road.
“We’re moving back because we’ve got this (current location) leased from the Corps. We own property at our original location ... that’s the reason we’re moving back,” said Dan Burch, dock manager. He said the lease at the current location is temporary.
Rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam is nearly complete and the lake was allowed to rise 20 feet this summer. Expected normal operation of the lake next year should return the water at or near the tree line.
Access to the club’s current location is by shuttle pontoon. Burch took a reporter on one of his daily checks of the moored watercraft. Using a depth finder, he pointed out that the lake is between 35 and 65 feet deep at the club’s current location, while upstream at the former location the water is about 17-20 feet deep.
When the Corps draws the lake down this fall to about 690 feet above sea level, much of the area around the former location will again be dry, Burch said. This is the reason for waiting until after the first of the year when the lake returns to normal operation before moving to its old location, he noted.
Houseboat owners may join Somerset Boat Club for a fee of $2,000 a year. A $500 relocation fee is attached to help pay for relocating the dock. Boat owners who do not require water and electric service may join for $525 a year, Burch said. The club has about 60 members.
Somerset Boat Club had its beginning in 1939. It originally was located at Waitsboro but moved to Pitman Creek at the end of Somerset Boat Dock Road when Lake Cumberland was impounded in 1951 and a high lake level allowed the dock to be towed.