Department of Fish and Wildlife
Ky Fish and Wildlife News: New Hatchery Creek to open next spring

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, April 22, 2015  
Contact Information:  Lee McClellan 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4443  

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Hatchery Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration project just below Wolf Creek Dam at Lake Cumberland is nearing the half way point to completion. The exceptionally harsh winter and wet conditions this spring prompted some delays in the construction schedule.

            The delays will push the opening of the Hatchery Creek project for public fishing to May 1, 2016. The upper part of Hatchery Creek, directly downstream of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, will open to fishing sporadically late this coming summer, depending on construction activity.

            “It is not unusual for construction projects to experience delays when conditions get too bad from the weather,” said Rob Lewis, engineer coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Unfavorable working conditions are more pronounced when your project is located near wetlands and waterways like the Hatchery Creek project.” 

            This project involves several public and private entities operating cooperatively. It is a complete redesign and construction of Hatchery Creek, which flows from the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery into the Cumberland River. The new Hatchery Creek will emulate a natural trout stream with runs, pools, shoals and wetlands. It will provide about one mile of restored stream to the public for fishing.

            The project has made good progress by completing much of the new channel and installing several of the rock and log structures before the weather conditions slowed the work.  

            A construction company under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working in the stream project area to obtain soil for other work associated with the repair of Wolf Creek Dam.    

            This is the phase of the project that has experienced delays due to the weather. The focus will return to the Hatchery Creek restoration when these contractors complete this part of the project.    

            “There will now be time for riparian and wetland vegetation to become established along the new project before it is opened,” said Eric Dawalt of Stantec, the engineering and construction contractor on the project. “The weather delays allow for that good spring growth next year before the public uses it.”

            This project marks a first for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We only get one chance to do it right,” said Ron Brooks, director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “This will also give us time to observe trout usage of Hatchery Creek from the Cumberland River.”

            For more information on the Hatchery Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration Project including construction progress reports and current status, log on the department’s website at and click on the “Fish” tab.