Boaters Fishing Below Dams – BEWARE!
July 26, 2012 Share

Boaters Fishing Below Dams – BEWARE!

JAMESTOWN, Ky – Take special precautions when fishing below a dam by boat.  The water will “boil up” suddenly, trapping or capsizing unprepared boaters.  The generators of many hydropower dams start with little or no warning.  The following tips are friendly reminders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning fishing below dams.  
  1.  ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.  Wearing your lifejacket while on the water is always a smart decision.  It’s also a mandatory regulation for Life Jackets to be worn while boating below Wolf Creek Dam, from the Kendall boat ramp upstream to the dam.  Failure to wear a life jacket in this area could result in citation and/or possible court appearance before a U.S. Magistrate.
  2. Always leave the boat motor running.  A stalled or hard-to-start motor, as well as an overloaded boat, can result in disaster.
  3. NEVER anchor or tie off your boat below a dam!  A sudden surge of water can pull a boat under, sinking it before you have a chance to pull up the anchor and move to safety.
  4. STAY OUT of all restricted areas.  For Wolf Creek Dam, the restricted area begins 500 feet below the power plant only during generation start-up.  However, during sluicing operations and/or spilling from the flood gates, the restricted area applies at all times.
  5. Some dams are equipped with warning sirens and strobe lights which sound off or flash just prior to generation.   Move to a safe area immediately when these warning devices are activated.  Wolf Creek Dam, in particular, sounds an alarm before generation.  Daily generation schedules can be obtained by calling 270-343-0153 or 606-678-8697 or visiting or by visiting our Facebook page at
For more information concerning fishing or boating below Wolf Creek Dam, speak to a Park Ranger by calling the 
Lake Cumberland Natural Resource Management Office at 606-679-6337.