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#1502307 - 09/15/09 01:49 PM Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!!
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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This is technically Kentucky water, but it has implications for Tennessee since the same thing could happen on the Caney.

I saw the news today that Lake Cumberland is pretty much out of cold water, and KDFWR has implemented an "emergency measure" allowing people to keep twice the normal limit of rainbow trout from the tailwater. I assume the logic is that it's better to let people take them home than have them die. The water coming into the hatchery intakes at the Dam is 70 degrees now.

The river's not completely dead yet, and the slot limit is still being kept in place in the hope that some larger rainbows might survive until cooler temps reach us in the fall. But the Cumby is clearly on its last legs, and one good rain may do it in.

For now, the Caney seems to be holding on with tailwater temps staying in the mid-to-high 60s. But Center Hill Dam is undergoing similar repairs to the ones at Wolf Creek, and the situation is precarious.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Caney continues to hang in there. Maybe they'll make enough progress on the repairs to bump the lake levels back up a little before too long and give us a little more "margin for error."

bd


Edited by Brian Dunigan (09/15/09 01:52 PM)

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#1502308 - 09/15/09 01:49 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: B.D.]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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Press release:

Emergency measures implemented on Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam



Sept. 11, 2009 Contact: Lee McClellan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4443

Frankfort, Ky. – Anglers may now keep an additional five rainbow trout for a total of 10 rainbow trout daily on the Cumberland River from Wolf Creek Dam to the Tennessee state line. This measure includes Hatchery Creek and all tributaries up to the first riffle. The 15- to 20-inch protective slot limit on rainbow trout remains in effect. One of the 10 rainbow trout in the daily creel may be 20 inches or longer. The 20-inch minimum size limit and one fish daily creel limit on brown trout also remains in effect.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ Commissioner Jon Gassett authorized these emergency measures on the entire 75-mile stretch of the Cumberland River in Kentucky, downstream of Wolf Creek Dam.

Trout stockings will also be moved up to ease pressure on trout production at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery.

The hatchery uses cold water from deep in Lake Cumberland in normal conditions to produce rainbow and brown trout for release in waters across Kentucky. Due to ongoing repairs at Wolf Creek Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is keeping the water level in Lake Cumberland at elevation 680 feet above sea level to relieve pressure on the structure.

The wet spring and summer prompted the Corps to release a great amount of cold water from Lake Cumberland to maintain that water level.

“Basically, there is little cold water left in the lake,” said James Gray, manager of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. “The water coming to the hatchery from the intakes in the lake is 70 degrees, with little dissolved oxygen. The continued decline in water quality coming from the lake prompted this decision,”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s fisheries division recently stocked 20,500 rainbow trout at Wolf Creek Dam, Helms Landing, Winfrey’s Ferry and Crocus Creek.

“We are trying to reduce our numbers a little bit to help out things,” Gray said. “The less fish you have at the hatchery, the more it helps maintain production with these water quality issues.”

Rod Middleton and the staff of Minor Clark Fish Hatchery near Morehead brought 18 blowers to Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery to help inject air into the water.

Trout stockings scheduled for October will be moved up to mid-September, when about 21,000 fish will again go into the four upper release spots.

“We want these fish available to our license holders and not ship them off somewhere else,” said Ron Brooks, director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We need to reduce the numbers of trout in the hatchery, but had no other place to put them at this time of year due to warm water temperatures.”

Later in the fall, these fish could be stocked in lakes and streams across Kentucky. “In October, we could load up the small lakes in Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing in Neighborhoods program and the smaller streams,” Gray said. “When you look across the state right now with the water temperatures where they are, the Cumberland is about the only place you can put them.”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife also implemented emergency measures on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam in 2007.

“The growth and condition of the larger fish in the Cumberland River is rapidly deteriorating,” said Dave Dreves, fisheries research biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We want anglers to take advantage of these early stockings. Conditions will likely worsen before they get better.”

The new creel limit on rainbow trout will remain in effect until normal conditions return. Anglers fishing the Cumberland River must possess a trout permit in addition to a valid fishing license.

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#1502319 - 09/15/09 01:55 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: B.D.]
Carlos Viagra
16 Point


Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 13688
Loc: Cumberland Plateau

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Too bad.
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#1502407 - 09/15/09 02:51 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: B.D.]
rsimms
10 Point


Registered: 09/08/02
Posts: 2676
Loc: Chattanooga, TN

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Wow! That really is bad news. Although I haven't been there in a while, that is an outstanding fishery.
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#1502545 - 09/15/09 04:24 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: rsimms]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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Or was an outstanding fishery, anyway. Eventually, it will come back, but the repairs won't be complete until 2012 (assuming a government project comes in on time for once) and then it'll take some years after that for the trophy fishery to rebound. Maybe it will be back to what it was in 10-15 years, but it's going to be a while before I have need of a Kentucky trout license again.

bd

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#1502687 - 09/15/09 05:48 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: B.D.]
Anonymous TnDeer Old Timer
Unregistered



That stinks. I fish/camp below dale hollow a lot. Its usually around 40 degrees in that water year round. Not sure about this year though. They released a lot in the spring as well.
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#1502692 - 09/15/09 05:51 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: ]
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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Call me crazy...but with a pretty harsh winter precariously around the bend...wn't that help the caues somewhat?...
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#1502716 - 09/15/09 06:04 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: Tubakka]
stillinscrubs
4 Point


Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 351
Loc: nashville, tn

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Sad news that the fishery is going to take a hit.

However, the KDFWR has shown a solid track record of utilizing the resource wisely. They did something similar last year and reversed it as soon as water temps dropped. Some fish will likely be lost both from anglers and more so from environmental conditions, but with the solid regs in place with no expectation of them changing, once the dam gets fixed, the past results of many large fish can be reasonably expected.

I would wager this will be a blip that will be forgotten in just a few years.

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#1503345 - 09/16/09 05:48 AM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: stillinscrubs]
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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Let's hope...I've heard some great anglers speak on what it used to be...and there is a hush in their voice when they talk about the old Cumberland trout fishery. Amazing the record isn't bigger than what it is...
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#1503776 - 09/16/09 09:57 AM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: Tubakka]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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 Originally Posted By: Tubakka
Call me crazy...but with a pretty harsh winter precariously around the bend...wn't that help the caues somewhat?...


Don't count your harsh winters before they hatch. \:\)

Even a mild winter will get water temps down to a survivable level though. It's the time between now and then we've got to worry about.

bd

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#1503779 - 09/16/09 09:58 AM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: ]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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 Originally Posted By: Marvin Wafflehouse
That stinks. I fish/camp below dale hollow a lot. Its usually around 40 degrees in that water year round. Not sure about this year though. They released a lot in the spring as well.


Dale Hollow is in much better shape - Dale isn't drawn down for repairs, so they've got a whole lot more cold water supply to work with.

bd

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#1505109 - 09/16/09 09:30 PM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: B.D.]
shorefisherman
6 Point


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 608
Loc: West SSiiide Putnam Co.

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sad news indeed, this river was almost identical to the caney earlier this year as of water conditions, but they have been dumping 20,000+ cfs for a long time, i think the caney dodged the bullet this year.
u know the larger browns being so mobile they should move down here to colder tn waters (upper c-hull) as how our rockfish(stocked in c-hull lake) move up there. i feel that if u have a tn. fishin license u should be able to access our fish in the upper cumby,minus the trout.
i was real close to buying a year ky. fishing license+trout stamp earlier this year, good thing i didnt.
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#1505816 - 09/17/09 10:18 AM Re: Wolf Creek/Cumberland Tailwater - Bad News!!! [Re: shorefisherman]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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Unfortunately, Shore, I have a feeling the browns will instinctively try to move upstream when the warmer water hits them. They have no way of knowing the influx of cool water from the Obey Tailwater 30 miles downriver would make things cooler.

Besides, the volume of water from the Obey is comparatively small, so I don't know how much it will help anyway.

 Quote:
i think the caney dodged the bullet this year.


The biggest bullet the Caney has faced all year is raining on us right now. We'll know in a few weeks whether we've dodged it or not.

bd


Edited by Brian Dunigan (09/17/09 10:20 AM)

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