Lake Cumberland Drawdown Threatens Hatchery, Fishing

January 29, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

Worried about a possible breach, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is planning to lower the level of water behind the Wolf Creek Dam, which creates a popular tailwater on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. The effect would be to almost halve the amount of water above the lower intakes, likely raising the temperature of water coming from the base of the dam. If that happens, the Wolf Creek Hatchery, which provides many of the trout that are stocked in North Carolina and northern Georgia, could be adversely affected, and the very popular tailwater could see a big drop in fish numbers. “The Corps of Engineers’ drawdown of Lake Cumberland to 680 feet above sea level almost certainly will have an adverse effect on the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the 1 million rainbow and brown trout it produces annually.” Gary Garth in the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal.