Department of Fish and Wildlife
Ky Fish and Wildlife News: New Hatchery Creek to open next spring
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
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 fw.ky.gov
and click on the “Fish” tab.