April 19 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
Below is a press release that the Ozark Mountain Region (Arkansas) tourism association put out nationally. Following the press release is a response form KY Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash AND contact info for the author of the release.
Lake Cumberland's Woes Equal Tourism Boost for Ozark Mountain Region
FLIPPIN, Ark., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ozark Mountain Region (http://www.ozarkmountainregion.com/ ) announced today that they are ready to absorb the estimated 2 million vacationers who may be displaced by the Wolf Creek Dam water shortage crisis that leaves Lake Cumberland boaters and fisherman high and dry for an estimated seven years. Check out all the reasons for Cumberland fishermen to select the Ozark Mountain lakes. (http://www.ozarkmountainregion.com/lakes-rivers/cumberland_lake.asp )
This will be a great relief to the Lake Cumberland sportsmen who were warned by Kentucky Commerce Secretary George Ward that as many as 90 percent of Lake Cumberland launching ramps will be unusable, while Corps engineers are predicting fish kills because of a rise in water temperature.
Kelly Linck, Executive Director of the Ozark Mountain Region tourism association, says, "Unlike Lake Cumberland, we have an abundance of water at our Ozark Twin Lakes, and it's crystal clear. We invite folks affected by the Lake Cumberland water shortage to come enjoy our world class fishing, white water adventures, boating, scuba diving, skiing and sailing."
Visitors to the Ozark Mountain Region will find "The Caribbean of the Midwest" as they discover the wonders of scuba diving and fishing in the pristine waters of Bull Shoals Lake. The largest of the Ozark Twin Lakes, Bull Shoals has more than 1,000 miles of beautiful mountain shoreline where visitors can enjoy more than 72,000 acres of glass-smooth water stocked with game fish from crappie to walleye.
And if that isn't enough, anglers are invited to try the fishing at Lake Norfork, famous for its lunker black bass and mighty ocean stripers, and home to walleye, crappie and catfish. Anglers can choose from 54 individual fishing areas which have been identified for game, bait, lake profile and seasonal factors. Night fishing with lights for white bass and crappie is available to those who wish to fish 'round the clock'. With its vast expanse of deep blue water, Norfork Lake has become a favorite location for scuba diving and spear fishing. Water sports enthusiasts enjoy the rare opportunity for clear water skiing, wake boarding and boating.
Response from KY Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash:
April 18, 2007
Ozark Mountain Region Tourism Association
503 MC 7065
Flippin, Arkansas 72634
Dear Mr. Linck,
I want to make you aware that someone in your office recently put out a news release (using quotes from you) that is totally inaccurate and very disappointing. As a professional courtesy, I wanted you to be aware of the many inaccuracies in this release so you can correct it on your Web site and refrain from using the erroneous information in the future.
The release, dated April 11, was entitled, “Lake Cumberland’s Woes Equal Tourism Boost for Ozark Mountain Region.” The release references a “water shortage crisis” at Lake Cumberland here in Kentucky. Even at its reduced level, Lake Cumberland still has nearly 38,000 surface acres for our visitors to enjoy. While it is less than the normal summer pool level, that hardly qualifies as a “water shortage crisis”. Our water experts tell us that the lake still has about two trillion gallons of water, and is still the third largest lake of its kind east of the Mississippi River.
Your news release writer also pulled a very outdated quote from Commerce Secretary George Ward about boat ramps. The fact is, access to Lake Cumberland still is very easy. As of today, nine ramps are open for business, and within a few short weeks, 21 will be available, including all of the ramps that handle the heaviest traffic. Millions of dollars are being invested in improving access and area attractions. One local marina has even adopted a new advertising campaign with the tag line: “Got water? Don’t worry, there’s no dam problem.” Again, no crisis here.
Your news release mentioned the fishing in the Ozark Mountain Region, but failed to mention the fact that even with less water, Lake Cumberland has the same number of fish, thus making the lake an angler’s paradise. The only crisis here is for the fish which have less room to hide!
Lt. Col. Steven J. Roemhildt, commander of the Corps’ Nashville District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer district in charge of the repair project, has been quoted repeatedly as saying that the lake has plenty of water to enjoy and suggestions otherwise are disingenuous. I’m certain you do not want to be accused of being disingenuous.
As Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism, I take great pride in promoting all of the outstanding events, attractions and natural beauty of my state. I’m sure that you, as executive director of the Ozark Mountain Region Tourism Association, feel a similar pride for your area. Having served as President/CEO of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB for five years before coming to Kentucky in 2002, I am very familiar with your area of Arkansas. Therefore, I’m confident that if someone spread inaccuracies about your region in hopes of discouraging visitation, you’d be highly insulted. As a fellow tourism professional, I’m sure you would never try to misrepresent the facts just to attract more visitors to your area.
So to ensure that you have all the facts about all the water at Lake Cumberland, let me direct you to our Web site, www.KentuckyTourism.com. Click on the Lake Cumberland icon, and you’ll have all the latest information, plus access to live Web cams. There are also dozens of new photos that you may choose to place on your own Web site, since you have taken such an interest in Lake Cumberland.
I also will share your news release with the good people at Lake Cumberland. Should you need more information, I’m confident that they will be happy to call, mail and email you with the facts about the lake. Between the webcams, the photo gallery and the correspondence you will soon receive from the people surrounding Lake Cumberland, you can see for yourself that the lake has plenty of water.
In fact, I would like to personally invite you and your news release writer to come enjoy Lake Cumberland and all 38,000 acres of water. I would be happy to give you a personal tour of the lake for you to see first hand all the water we still have. Feel free to call, write or e-mail and we will make it happen.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Randall L. Fiveash
Cc: Joe David Rice, Arkansas Tourism Director
Contact info for the Ozark Mountain Region tourism association:
CORPS’ WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORT – 4/17/07
lake Cumberland visitation numbers continue to increase
Lake Cumberland visitation numbers have increased for the first three months of this year. This March there were 247,539 visitors to the lake compared to 178, 525 visitors during the same month last year.
10TH BOAT RAMP NOW OPEN AT LAKE CUMBERLAND –
Fall Creek is available for use.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife takes action to help restore Lake Cumberland fish habitat, this weekend on “Kentucky Afield” television.
Frankfort, Ky. – “Kentucky Afield” cameras take you to Lake Cumberland this weekend, April 21 and 22, to see how fisheries biologists are revitalizing habitat and hiding places for fish.
Rarer still is the opportunity to bolster in grand scale the aquatic habitat for one of the largest lakes in the eastern U.S. Personnel with the fisheries division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are sinking trees, brush and other structure that fishermen call ‘snags’ to give fish, turtles and other lake life new places to feed, spawn and evade predators.
Elsewhere, white bass and crappie are running at Taylorsville Lake and that has host Tim Farmer and his father-in-law on the run. And in Clark County, turkey season provides hunters with a surprise ending.
“Kentucky Afield” is a production of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. It is the longest continuously running outdoor television show in the nation. “Kentucky Afield” airs Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern /7:30 p.m. Central and is repeated on Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Central on KET 1.
Front Page | I.C. Toowell | Contact | Subscription
In Apr. 19-25, 2007 issue
Money for water
The governor has reported that he signed an executive order allocating $25 million in grant money for local agencies.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher said the money will be used to insure that area residents have clean drinking water. A number of municipalities including Jamestown have been put on notice that they must extend their water intake systems.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has warned the it could decide to lower the water level in the lake another 30 feet to 650 feet above sea level in December if the grouting work underway isn't as effective as hoped.
Reversing themselves, the Corps has decided that the threat to those living below the dam posed by a lack of information outweighs any potential threat to national security presented by making inundation maps available.
The maps show the possible areas of flooding should Wolf Creek Dam fail. The Corps had refused first to release the maps at all, then parsed them out to the libraries in affected areas.
The information is now available to the public at the web site, lrn.usace.army.mil/WolfCreek then click on the Inundation Maps link on the left of the page then click on the Online Maps link.
Pricing sirens' song
Siren proposals are being sought by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.
Deputy Director Jason Keller said their office is seeking pricing information from the companies that make and sell the sirens to see if the state can install such early warning signs below the dam to warn people if the dam is about to fail.
No decision is expected until after the May 9 deadline for submissions.
Fishing for tourists
The Ozark Mountain Region, a tourism agency of Arkansas, is advertising itself as an alternative to being "high and dry" at Lake Cumberland over the next seven years.
"Kelly Linck, Executive Director of the Ozark Mountain Region tourism association, says, 'Unlike Lake Cumberland, we have an abundance of water at our Ozark Twin Lakes…'" according to the release.
The following Corps operated and Commercial Marina boat ramps are usable at or near the target elevation 680. (Ramps are monitored on a daily basis and conditions are subject to change.)
General Burnside Island State Park
Cave Creek (approx. 15' of concrete left, then mud)
Conley Bottom Marina
Grider Hill Marina
Halcomb's Landing (small boats less 20'approx.)
Lee's Ford Marina
Waitsboro (small boats less 20'approx.)
Ramps projected to be open by the start of the summer recreation season.
The list below is subject to change and is not final. It is for planning purposes.
Ramps expected to be open are:
Grider Hill Marina Conley Bottom Resort
Halcomb’s Landing Fall Creek Recreation Area
Beaver Creek Resort Lee’s Ford Marina
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park Slate Branch
Jamestown Marina Waitsboro Recreation Area
Lily Creek General Burnside Island State Park
Ono at Caney Creek embayment Cave Creek
Alligator II Omega/Buck Creek Marina
Cumberland Point Recreation Area
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
Jamestown Resort Marina, from the motel island looking ESE out to the main lake.
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past newsletters are available at www.commerce.ky.gov. Click on the “News” icon on the left side of the page to view them.