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Tradewater River

Tradewater River headwaters are located in Christian county. From here the river flows 136 miles northwest through the communities of Dawson Springs, Providence, Blackford, and Sturgis and finally flowing into the Ohio River. Tradewater River is fairly remote with relatively long distances between access points and flows through an area that is a mixture of forested and agricultural lands. Tradewater River is a typical gentle rolling river with an abundance of woody debris, braided channels, riffles, runs and deeper pools. However, this river is extremely flashy and rain events can cause river levels to rise extremely fast. Tradewater River provides boaters and anglers an excellent opportunity to fish for bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, spotted bass, flathead catfish, redear sunfish, and many other species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tradewater River Access Site to Site Mileages

Put In Access Site

Take Out Access Site

Total River Miles

Dawson Springs Ramp Riverside Park Access 0.2
Riverside Park Access Towry Bridge Access 37.2
Towry Bridge Access Bellville Road Access 10.6
Bellville Road Access Montezuma Bridge Ramp 9.2
Montezuma Bridge Ramp Fishtrap Bridge Ramp 6.7
Fishtrap Bridge Ramp VFW Bridge Ramp 9.5
VFW Bridge Ramp Granger Landing Ramp 10.6

 

 

 

 


Recommended River Levels for Boating/Fishing*

Tradewater River @ Olney, KY
Rating Gauge Height in Feet (ft) Flow in cubic feet per second (cfs)
Low <1.8 ft <10.5 cfs
Good 1.8-5.0 ft 10.5-100 cfs
High >5.0 ft >100 cfs

Recommended River Levels for Boating/Fishing*

Tradewater River @ Providence, KY
Rating Gauge Height in Feet (ft) Flow in cubic feet per second (cfs)
Low <10.0 ft <5.0 cfs
Good 10.0-15.0 ft 5.0-50.0 cfs
High >15.0 ft >50.0 cfs
*These ratings are only recommendations. Skill and experience will dictate levels appropriate for each angler.

Resources for River Levels:

U.S. Geological Survey
(Provides real time stream flows on rivers and stream around the state)


Current Stream Levels On Tradewater River @ Olney, KY

Current Stream Levels On Tradewater River @ Providence, KY

 

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Tradewater River Public Access Site Descriptions

 

Dawson Springs Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This is a single lane concrete boat ramp located in Riverside Park at the southern end of Dawson Springs, KY just off highway 62. A semi-large gravel parking lot is available at the top of the ramp, however, no other amenities are available at this location. This site provides suitable access for john boats, canoes, kayaks, and bank fishing. Be advised that caution should be taken in boats and paddle craft as a low head dam is located 500 ft directly below the ramp.

 


 

Riverside Park: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

Riverside park access is located within Riverside Park directly below the dam and Dawson Springs ramp. A large gravel and grass parking area is available at this access site. This access site is best suited for canoes, kayaks, and bank fishing. Anglers should use caution when fishing near low head dams due to strong currents and “boils”. No amenities are available at this location.

 


 

Towry Bridge Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

 

This gravel/dirt access is located 11.0 miles south of Providence, KY and 20.7 miles northwest of Dawson Springs, KY. Parking is limited to the area between the access point, Towry bridge, and the entrance. However, there are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to just the access site and area around the bridge as the adjacent property is privately owned.

 


 

Bellville Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This gravel/dirt access is located just 2.7 miles outside of Providence, KY. From Providence, follow west main street for 0.7 miles then turn left onto bellville road and follow it for 2.0 miles and the access site will be on the left before the bridge. Parking is limited to the small gravel lot directly above the access point. There are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to just the access site and area around the bridge as the adjacent property is privately owned.

 


 

Montezuma Bridge Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete ramp is located 4.8 miles west of Providence, KY and 10.8 miles southeast of Blackford, KY directly adjacent to Montezuma Bridge. A small gravel parking area is available at the ramp site and has room for only a few vehicles to park at a time. There are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for john boats, canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to the area surrounding the ramp and directly below Montezuma Bridge.

 


 

Fishtrap Bridge Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete ramp is located 7.5 miles southwest of Clay, KY and 11.0 miles east of Providence, KY. A small, gravel parking area is available at the ramp site. However, there are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for john boats, canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to the area surrounding the ramp and directly below Fishtrap Bridge.

 


 

VFW Bridge Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete ramp is located one and a half miles south of Sullivan, KY and 5.7 miles south of Sturgis, KY near McGraw Hill road and Highway 60. A large, gravel and grass parking area is available at the ramp site. There are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for john boats, canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to the area surrounding the ramp and directly below the VFW Bridge.

 


 

Granger Landing Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete ramp is located on the west side of Sturgis, KY where Old Providence road and KY-1508 intersect. A large, gravel and grass parking area is available at the ramp site. There are no other amenities available at this site. This site is suitable for john boats, canoes, and kayaks. Bank and wading fishing is available at this site, although it is limited to the area surrounding the ramp.

 

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Fishing Tips

Bluegill
Focus around woody debris in areas that are pooled with little current. Try fishing a variety of live baits (worms, wax worms, crickets, etc.) under a bobber/cork or small tube jigs and curly-tailed grubs.
Largemouth Bass
Focus fishing effort around rocky banks and slower pools with woody debris. Anglers have good luck fishing crawfish imitating soft plastic baits Texas-rigged, medium running crank baits, spinners and a variety of top water baits. Match bait colors to the water conditions: natural patterns work best in clearer water (white, watermelon seed), while in muddier conditions use dark (black) or very bright (chartreuse) colored baits that produce vibration.
Black Crappie
Spring and fall are the best times to target crappie as these fish are moving into shallower waters to spawn in the spring and feed. Look for areas with still or slow-moving waters. Try to target areas with sunken logs, downed trees, brushy cover or any vertical structure. A variety of lures and baits can be used when fishing for crappie. Live baits (minnow, crickets, worms, etc.) or soft plastics such as a curly tail grub attached to a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jig head work extremely well. Small spinner baits work well when casting for crappie and small crankbaits resembling minnows work well when trolling.
Spotted Bass
Anglers have good luck fishing crawfish imitating soft plastic baits Texas-rigged, medium running crank baits, spinners and a variety of top water baits in areas with current breaks and woody debris. Match bait colors to the water conditions: natural patterns work best in clearer water (white, watermelon seed), while in muddier conditions use dark (black) or very bright (chartreuse) colored baits that produce vibration.
Flathead Catfish
Areas with large, chuck rock, log jams and around bridges are the best areas to target flathead catfish. Flathead fishing is best at night or during low light conditions either early or late in the day. Flathead catfish prefer live bait such as bluegill and sunfish, but can be caught on cut bait as well.
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Fisheries Overview

 

The following length frequencies are representative of the top 5 species sampled in Tradewater River.

Bluegill length frequency graph 

 

Largemouth Bass length frequency graph 

 

Black Crappie Length frequency graph 

 

Spotted Bass Length frequency graph 

 

Flathead Catfish Length frequency graph 

  

 

 

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