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VOL. 36 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 30, 2012

Corps considering boat restrictions near dams

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PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering restricting boating near its dams on the Cumberland River.

The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/UFxWzK) reported officials at the Corps' office in Nashville, Tenn., are not discussing the plan publicly, but said a document on it will be released in the coming months.

The newspaper reports the likely restrictions would affect fishing both above and below the dams on all sections of the river, which rises in eastern Kentucky, flows through Middle Tennessee and then turns northward into Kentucky again.

Sgt. Garry Clark of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources said fishing is good because smaller fish get stuck around the dam and larger fish congregate to feed on them. However, the tailwaters of near the dams are dangerous because power generation causes turbulence that can capsize or capture fishing boats.

"It's almost like being in a car and driving on ice," Clark said. "You can't get any traction. And most boaters don't know when the generators are going to come on, so it's unexpected."

Signs at Kentucky and Barkley lake dams say boaters should not fish within 500 feet of the structures, but the limits aren't consistently enforced.