NEW! 2015 Update! NEW!
In spite of 2 flooding events on Cave Run Lake in the spring and summer of 2015, the Fish Habitat Project pressed on. The Zilpo Flats and Scott’s Creek sites were both completed this year adding another 1000+ units of structure to Cave Run Lake. Due to angler comments, this year’s phase was done a little differently… 15 large sites were created in addition to the half-mile long reef off of the Twin Knobs Campground. These sites should be large enough for multiple boats to fish on them at once and concentrates the habitat a little more than the reef structures. Additionally, this approach allowed us to cover more ground than the reef structure would. We were also able to add a couple of new sites that should be fishable from the bank: one directly in front of the Lakeview Vista viewing area off of Highway 801 and the other accessible through Twin Knobs Campground in between the I-Loop and the entrance to Scott’s Creek. Finally, to answer everyone’s big questions…. YES we have an UPDATED Fish Habitat Map …. Just click on this link Cave Run Lake Attractor Map.
We are officially half way through this project. Please stay tuned to this website and the KDFWR Cave Run Area Twitter account (@kyfisheriesne) for updates on this project!
NEW! 2015 Update! NEW!
Cave Run Lake, like most flood control reservoirs, has been losing natural fish habitat since its impoundment in the 1960’s. In 2013, KDFWR established the “Cave Run Lake Fish Habitat Project”; a multi-year large scale habitat project aimed at create new fish habitat in the lower portions of the lake. This will serve to give anglers places to target their fishing as well as potentially increase food sources for fishes.
Pallet structures are basically 2 shipping pallets nailed together in a cube. Some of these were stacked and nailed together.
A view of the material used on the Adam’s Point site from the dam. The trucks in this picture should give a good scale to the amount of material sunk in this location.
A view of the material used on the Zilpo Flats sites
Goals for the Cave Run Lake Fish Habitat Project
1. Establish partnerships between government agencies and private users to achieve the goals of the habitat project.
2. Complete a large scale habitat project on several portions of the lake.
3. Monitor and evaluate the habitat placed into the lake.
Department boats heading out with material to be sunk, while several more load up at the Adam’s Point site.
The habitat barge is loading up with large cedar trees. Most of these were dropped in bundles around 16-20 feet, depending on the size of the bundles.
- Established a Committee to coordinate the efforts of the habitat project.
- Completed the Adams Point Site in July with around 500 individual units of habitat.
- Completed the Clay Lick Site in August with over 500 individual units of habitat.
In total for 2014, over 1,000 Christmas trees, around 800 pallets, 200 bucket stake attractors, around 100 large cedar trees, around 50 large cable spools and 50 plastic pallet trees were added to Cave Run Lake.
- Completed the Zilpo Flats site in July creating 11 new large sites with around 500 units of structure.
- Completed the Scott’s Creek Site in August with over 600 individual units of habitat. This created one - ½ mile long reef and 4 new large sites in and around Scott’s Creek.
In total for 2015, around 1,200 Christmas and cedar trees, 800 pallets, 150 bucket stake attractors, 50 large stumps, 50 concrete culverts and 25 wooden cable spools were added to Cave Run Lake.
Fish and Wildlife employees prep a load of stumps and culverts to head out on the barge in the Zilpo Flats Area.
Members of the Rowan County High School FFA Chapter assist with loading boats at the staging area for the Zilpo Flats.
Fish and Wildlife employees load up trees and pallet structures on Cave Run Lake.
The link below is to a PDF map of all the brush attractors KDFWR maintains on Cave Run Lake, (including the new habitat reefs at Stoney Cove/Adams Point and at Clay Lick) and some fishing information, lake information, as well as the GPS locations for all habitat sites.
A note about GPS coordinates: Please keep in mind that these GPS coordinates should get you close to the structure, but you still may have to look a little depending on the model of your GPS and the weather on the day you are looking.
Department boats heading out with brush to be sunk at the Clay Lick site.
Fish and wildlife boat loaded up with stake buckets.
Looking towards the future
In 2016 we plan on completing 2 more habitat sites (potentially Ramey’s Creek and Warix Run) on the lake in the summer.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Material is needed! If you have massive amounts of environmentally friendly material you wish to donate to the project give us a call. We can coordinate figuring out if it meets our needs and delivery. Examples include: wooden pallets, tree stumps, cedar trees or plastic pallets; but we are not limited to that! If you think it could work give us a call, if it is concrete, wood or a safe plastic we usually can come up with a purpose. Please note: we are not accepting pressure treated lumber for this project.
Volunteers are needed! If you are interested in assisting with this project, we have a place for you. Please give us a call to be added to the list-serve for the Cave Run Lake Habitat Project, through that you will be able to keep up with our project and when or where volunteers are needed.
Suggest a site! These 8 locations we have picked are intentionally general, but if they are near a spot you know has pretty healthy numbers of fish but not much habitat, let us know. We are looking for fairly flat areas that are 8 – 20 feet deep at summer pool, near ledges or drop offs and without natural cover.
Northeastern Fishery District
KDFWR Environmental Section
502-564-7109 ext. 4473
United States Army Corps of Engineers at Cave Run Lake
United States Forest Service, Daniel Boone National Forest Morehead Ranger District
Muskie’s Inc: Scott Smalley and Scott Sallchi
Friends of Cave Run Lake: Billy Hough and Mike Combs
Volunteers from the Department of Juvenile Justice at Woods Bend, Ashland and Frenchburg Group Homes.
Volunteers from the Frenchburg Job Corps and Brad Adkins.
The many local businesses who allowed us to pick up their trash and turn it into valuable fish habitat.
KDFWR Fisheries staff including: Northeastern Fishery District, Northwest Fishery District, the Central Fishery District, the Eastern Fishery District, Lake Fisheries Investigations, Black Bass Investigations, Stream Fisheries Investigations, the Urban Fisheries Program, the Environmental Section, the FILO program, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, the Forks of Elkhorn Transportation Section, our statewide Fisheries Coordination office and the Fisheries Directors Office.
KDFWR Wildlife staff from the Northeastern Region.