The Original Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Site Since 1996


Kentucky Lake Facts

  • -Construction of Kentucky Dam began in 1938 and was completed in 1944.

  • -The dam is 206 feet high and 8,422 feet long.

  • -Kentucky Reservoir features 2,064 miles of cove-studded shoreline and about 160,300 acres of water surface.

  • -The reservoir drains the entire Tennessee Valley watershed, which covers an area of 40,200 square miles.

  • -Kentucky has a flood storage capacity of 4,008,000 acre-feet, more than 2.5 times the capacity of the next-largest reservoir in the TVA system.

  • -Kentucky helps reduce flood damage on six million acres of the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers and reduces the frequency of flooding on another four million acres.

  • -To maintain the depth required for navigation, the water level in the reservoir is kept at a minimum winter elevation of 354 feet. The typical summer target level is 359 feet.

  • -The hydroelectric power plant at Kentucky Dam consists of five generating units.

-HISTORICAL LEVELS: Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley surged after a week of torrential rains and severe weather to officially pass the records. On May 4, 2011 Kentucky Lake reached it's crest and set the new record level for Kentucky Lake is 372.5'. The previous record level for Kentucky Lake was 369.99' which was set May 11, 1984. 

-The record low was 348.02' on March 11, 1961.

-One for the History Books - May 5th, 2010, Kentucky Lake is officially CLOSED to recreational traffic for the first time in history by U.S. Coast Guard due to extreme flooding and rainfall in the lakes area (Lake Barkley and Land Between the Lakes closed as well). The water levels rose 4ft in only 24hrs.   It took just a week for the lakes to drop nine feet back down to near normal levels.

- The top of the gates on Kentucky Dam are at 375' above sea level.

-TVA requires that ALL permanant structures be built at 381' above sea level.