Oct. 3 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
Corps of Engineers announces process to consider higher future lake levels at Lake Cumberland
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, announced today that a decision-making process has been developed to consider higher future lake levels at Lake Cumberland (Wolf Creek Dam). This process will be used for the first time in early 2008 when the upstream grout curtain is completed. The process allows for an incremental change at the lake depending on the continued satisfactory results of performance indicators and structural improvements to the dam's foundation. The incremental raise being considered will be in the range of five to ten feet.
"Future lake level considerations for Lake Cumberland will be based on the completion of specific structural remedial measures such as grouting and validated by performance indicators and the continued overall stability and improvement in the project,” said Lt. Col. Bernard Lindstrom, commander of the Nashville District. “Conditions at the project are improving, wet spots are subsiding, and the dam is becoming safer every day as we work on it.”
“There is still a big lake and lots of recreational opportunities out there,” added Brig. Gen. Bruce A. Berwick, commander of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, “I encourage folks to go and enjoy Lake Cumberland.”
With over 154,907 gallons of grout pumped into the foundation since the grouting began in January, the stability of Wolf Creek Dam is improving every day. The project is responding positively to remedial measures. As grout is pumped into the dam's foundation, the instrumentation readings are improving and wet spots are diminishing.
As stability increases and risk of failure decreases, the Corps will look for opportunities to make decisions on incremental lake level changes. The first of these decision points will be the completion of the upstream grout curtain scheduled for early 2008. The Corps will review the performance indicators at the project which include: piezometers, wet spots and settlement on top of the dam. If these performance indicators show the dam is safer, more reliable, and that risk has been reduced, Corps officials will decide on an incremental increase in the level of Lake Cumberland.
The Corps' primary consideration remains public safety. The completion of the structural measures reduces the likelihood of failure of the project. With the increased reliability of Wolf Creek Dam, the Corps will consider an incremental rise of five to ten feet for Lake Cumberland, which allows the project to operate and to realize the benefits for which the project was originally constructed.
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR FLETCHER REGARDING CORPS OF ENGINEERS ANNOUNCEMENT ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
“We are pleased to know the safety and stability of Wolf Creek Dam is improving due to the work performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The commonwealth looks forward to continuing to work with the Corps as it considers higher water levels at Lake Cumberland. Our citizens can be assured that the state’s first priority continues to be the public health and safety of the residents of the Lake Cumberland area. Even at a lower level, Lake Cumberland is our third-largest lake and still provides outstanding recreational and tourism opportunities.”
GRIDER HILL DOCK ADDS TWO MORE WEB CAMS
Grider Hill dock now has a total of three web cams available for viewing on their website. You can access all three at the following website: http://www.griderhilldock.com/webcam/
Corps asks public for input on proposed relocation of Alligator 1 Marina
As part of the required process in the proposed relocation of Alligator 1 Marina to Cave Springs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lake Cumberland, is in the detailed process of performing all the required environmental, cultural and ecological assessments involved in the possible major restructuring of the Cave Springs launch area. Part of this process involves looking at other potential means to alleviate the problem encountered by low water at the current site of the marina, caused by the seepage repair on Wolf Creek Dam, which may last until 2014. A major environmental assessment (EA) document has been assembled which details the findings of a lot of work that has been done on the process for the past several months, and the public is currently given the opportunity of submitting their comments about the proposal.
The link is at: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/WolfCreek/
And the documents to review and consider are:
Alligator 1 Marina Relocation (all files listed below are in PDF format)
GOVERNOR FLETCHER BREAKS GROUND FOR JAMESTOWN WATER INTAKE PROJECT ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
Guards against further threats to drinking water for 5,000 people
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today broke ground on a new water intake system for the city of Jamestown – a $3.3 million project the Governor authorized with emergency funding to ensure uninterrupted water service for 5,000 people.
“This project is a vital part of our plan to be ready in the event Lake Cumberland is lowered even further by the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Governor Fletcher. “Our actions now will ensure that citizens, businesses and industries have a safe, reliable source of water.”
The Corps lowered Lake Cumberland by 43 feet in January to begin a seven-year repair project on Wolf Creek Dam. Jamestown was among several public water suppliers forced to modify intakes after the Corps warned that the lake could be lowered 30 feet more by the end of the year.
“While it is our hope that repairs can be done to Wolf Creek Dam without any additional lowering of Lake Cumberland, we must be ready and heed the Corps’ warnings to have intakes that will function at lower levels,” said Sen. Vernie McGaha (R-Russell Springs).
“When talking about a resource as vital as drinking water, we can’t take any chances that the lake can remain at its current level,” said Rep. Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown). “This project assures that the citizens of Jamestown will have water service in the worst case scenario the lake is lowered even further.”
The project consists of a new floating intake with three turbo pumps, 9,000 feet of 18-inch transmission line, an electrical/controls building, power cables and telemetry controls.
Jamestown’s new intake will float on a barge to allow for water level fluctuation.
It will allow withdrawal of water at an elevation of 620 feet above sea level – 60 feet below the current level of the lake.
On April 12, 2007, Governor Fletcher signed Executive Order 2007-298, authorizing the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), in coordination with the Office of the State Budget Director, to fund projects to ensure the continued public health and safety of counties in the Cumberland River basin. GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the funding for this project.
Slot limit for rainbow trout, trophy limit for brown trout return to lower Cumberland River Sept. 24
Frankfort, Ky. – A protective slot limit on rainbow trout and trophy regulations on brown trout will return Monday, Sept. 24, to the lower Cumberland River. The affected section includes the Cumberland River from the Burkesville boat ramp in Cumberland County downstream to the state line.
Beginning Sept. 24, anglers will no longer be able to keep 10 trout of any size or species in this section of the lower river. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources liberalized the creel limit for trout in the lower river earlier this year due to increased water temperatures.
“The water temperatures have dropped, resulting in better water quality for trout in the lower Cumberland River,” said Gerry Buynak, assistant director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “The regulations governing trout fishing on this section of the Cumberland River will revert back to what they are on the rest of the river.”
The riverwide regulation, which covers 75 miles of the Cumberland River from Wolf Creek Dam to the Tennessee state line, requires the immediate release of all rainbow trout between 15 and 20 inches. There is a five fish daily creel limit on rainbows; only one may be 20 inches or longer. For brown trout, anglers may keep only one fish, which must be 20 inches or longer.
To help restore fish numbers in the lower river, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will stock this area more heavily this fall. The fisheries division will stock 9,000 rainbow trout roughly 9 inches long and approximately 50,000 fingerling-sized brown trout in the lower river. Stocking locations will include the Burkesville boat ramp, the KY 61 bridge over Cumberland River, Cloyd’s Landing and McMillian’s Ferry. Normally, only 4,500 rainbow trout are stocked at this time of year. The 3-inch brown trout fingerlings are a special stocking. The 50,000 extra fish will be a bonus for anglers fishing this section of river in the future.
Trout stocking dates are not announced for the Cumberland River.
Repair work on Wolf Creek Dam combined with the drought conditions in the state restricted the normal flow of cold water through the dam this past spring and early summer. This prompted the enactment of the special regulations on the lower Cumberland River because trout stress and eventually die when water temperatures reach 75 degrees or higher.
“The water temperature was 76 degrees in this section of the river in July and August,” said Dave Dreves, fisheries research biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “It is now in the high 60s.”
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife received no reports of fish kills in this section of the Cumberland River over the summer. “They must have moved upstream or found refuge somewhere,” Buynak said. “With the return of good water conditions, fish should over time return to the lower river.”
Although low water makes accessing the river a challenge, anglers report great fishing in the river this year. “Trout fishing remains exceptional for anglers who wade, or who are fishing from small boats and canoes,” Dreves said. “We don’t recommend fiberglass or deep-V style boats because of the lower than usual water levels that remain on the Cumberland River.”
Corps’ WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORT – 9/26/07
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND FROM GRIDER HILL DOCK
Near the Waitsboro Recreation Area
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND FROM KEY REALTORS
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND FROM CONLEY BOTTOM
Jamestown Resort Marina, from the motel island looking ESE out to the main lake.
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND