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Cedar Creek Lake



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Cedar Creek Lake project represents a "model" project of cooperation between the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Kentucky Department of Transportation, and the Lincoln County Fiscal Court to create a 784-acre lake in Lincoln County. The construction of Cedar Creek Lake, located 5 miles southwest of Stanford, Kentucky was conceived in the 1980's as part of the planning of the new U. S. Route 150 road alignment by the Kentucky Department of Transportation. Dam construction cost of $4 million was provided by the Kentucky Department of Transportation ($3.5 million) and Lincoln County ($0.5 million). The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources agreed to pay for purchase of all land needed to complete the project ($4.1 million) and build three boat ramps, parking facilities, and courtesy docks ($300,000). The total cost of this cooperative project is estimated at nearly $8.5 million. Federal funds used by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources were provided by Sport Fish Restoration Funds a user tax on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.


Cedar Creek Lake will impound 784 acres of the 14,000-acre Cedar Creek Watershed. The lake will have an average depth of 22 feet and a maximum depth of 60 feet. The watershed is primarily agricultural with 45% consisting of pastureland, 35% woodland, and 19% cropland. In all, nearly 1,600 acres of land were purchased by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to complete the project. The lake is unique in many respects. It was designed with a 300-ft buffer zone surrounding the lake. This larger than normal buffer zone will eliminate many of the private land encroachment problems that have been prevalent on many other small lakes. In addition, no private boat docks will be permitted on the lake. Together, the large buffer zone and the lack of boat docks will improve the outdoor experience of those using Cedar Creek Lake. A marina site has been designated for Lincoln County to later develop.


Cedar Creek Lake will provide a major stimulus to the local economy. Angler use at the lake is estimated at 48 trips per acre or 37,600 trips per year. This use is expected to generate at least $749,000 per year for trip-related expenditures and $1,870,600 per year for total fishing related expenditures. Boat and angler access to the lake will be provided by three boat ramps with a ramp located in the lower, mid, and upper portions of the lake.


Sport fish populations at the lake will consist primarily of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish. Prior to filling the lake and stocking, remnant fish populations in the stream will be eradicated. This procedure will eliminate undesirable fish species such as green sunfish, bullhead catfish, and carp. Removal of these species will reduce competition with the more desirable sport fish that will be stocked as the lake begins to fill. In all, 2,500 10-inch and 15,000 5-inch largemouth bass, 20,000 3-in black crappie, 180,000 1-inch bluegill, 120,000 1-inch redear sunfish, and 8,000 9-inch and 30,000 1-inch channel catfish will be stocked. These stocked fish will grow rapidly and provide for an immediate fishery. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will closely monitor fish populations to insure that viable and high quality fisheries develop at the lake.


Cedar Creek Lake will have an abundance of habitat present for the newly stocked sport fish. The abundant habitat present occurred as a result of pre impoundment planning and construction. Large amounts of standing trees were left in the basin to provide important fish habitat and structure. In addition, a $6,000 FishAmerica Grant provided funds for a cooperative project between the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the newly created Cedar Creek Sportsman Club to add additional habitat and structures to the lake. This additional work included dragging and anchoring trees along shoreline areas, construction of spawning areas for nest building species, and placement of stake beds for additional habitat and structure in selected areas.


The Cedar Creek Lake project is the result of a multitude of different organizations working together with many local landowners. The level of cooperation, planning, and on-the-ground effort by all organizations and individuals working on this project is unprecedented. Please protect and enjoy this one-of-a-kind public resource!


Cedar Creek Lake



Cedar Creek Lake