History of Kentucky Lake

April 22nd, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Kentucky Lake has a long and varied history as the largest man-made lake in the Eastern United States. The lake stretches across the western tip of Kentucky and nearly the entire width of Tennessee covering 160,300 acres.

The Kentucky Dam help control floods on the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and is a major generating plant in the (TVA) Tennessee Valley Authority power system.

Building the Kentucky Dam took six years to complete in 1944. During the peak of construction, the dam had 5,000 men working on it while preparing the reservoir area. The Kentucky Dam required 1,356,000 cubic yards of concrete and 5,582,000 cubic yards of earth and rockfill to complete. It is more than one mile long and 206 feet tall, and cost approximately $118 million to create.

The Kentucky Dam is 22 miles upstream from Paducah, Kentucky, where the Tennessee River meets the Ohio River. Water from the Tennessee Valley passes through the dam, and the Kentucky Dam makes it possible to reduce or temporarily shut off the flow of water from the Tennessee River.

While attempts to improve navigation along the lower Tennessee River began after the Civil War, it was the Kentucky Dam that provided a channel for towboats and barges to travel the 650-mile-long Tennessee River year-round. The impoundment of Kentucky Lake in 1945 completed the waterway and linked the Tennessee Valley with the 21-state inland waterway system to allow more than 31 million tons of freight traffic on the Tennessee River.

Today, Kentucky Lake is sought-out by some 17 million vacationers and fishermen from across the United States who are drawn to its peaceful recreation. Travelers will find boat docks and resorts lining the nearly 2,400 miles of shoreline, as well as two state wildlife management areas, 10 group camps and clubs, 92 commercial recreation areas, and 3 small wildlife areas.


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