Times Staff Report
June 11, 2013
FRANKFORT - The emergency trout regulations on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam will be eliminated June 15.
The temporary regulations on Cumberland went into effect in September, 2009, in which anglers could keep an additional five rainbow trout daily.
The drawdown of Lake Cumberland and its subsequent creation of high water temperatures in the Cumberland River prompted the implementation of the emergency regulations nearly four years ago. Trout stress and lose body condition when water temperatures grow too high.
“With improved water quality from the raising of water levels in Lake Cumberland, we should have better conditions for trout in the Cumberland River,” said Dave Dreves, fisheries research biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We will revert back to the existing regulations before the temporary regulations went into place.”
On June 15, 2013 and later, anglers may keep five rainbow trout daily, but those caught between 15 and 20 inches in length must be immediately released. Only one rainbow trout in the five trout daily creel limit may be longer than 20 inches.
Anglers may keep one brown trout daily with a 20-inch minimum size limit and they may keep one brook trout daily with a 15-inch minimum size limit.
During the drawdown, the lack of water cold enough for trout in the lower stretches of the Cumberland River in Kentucky pushed trout upstream, resulting in high trout densities in the river miles just below Wolf Creek Dam.
“With the return to normal densities, there is no need to harvest 10 trout anymore,” said Jeff Ross, assistant director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “A five fish limit is optimal to allow for adequate harvest, but still allow for trophy size potential.”
Roughly 10,000 rainbow trout 15 inches and longer will be stocked this fall to bring back the quality rainbow trout fishery in the river in faster fashion. Later in the fall, fisheries crews will stock an additional 10,000 to 12,000 rainbow trout ranging from seven to nine inches in length on top of the normal rainbow trout stockings in the river.