Federal Lawmakers Will Host "Freedom To Fish Rally" Saturday at Barkley Dam

Apr 9, 2013

U.S. Senators from Kentucky and Tennessee along with Congressman Ed Whitfield are holding a “Freedom To Fish” rally this weekend to gain support for a bill that prevents the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from imposing restriction on fishing near Corp dams on the Cumberland River.

Saturday’s rally, which includes Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, is at Barkley Dam.   Whitfield’s “Freedom to Fish Act” promises to prohibit the Corps of Engineers from taking any action to restrict public access to waters downstream of a dam.

From Our Previous Interview with Whitfield:

Whitfield has continued his work advocating for area fisherman who disagree with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers decision to restrict fishing access near dams on the Cumberland River operated by the USACE. Whitfield said that the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the dam on Kentucky Lake, doesn’t restrict tail water fishing.  The USACE cites danger as the reason for restricting access, and that other Corp districts have the same rule. Whitfield asserted there has only been one reported death associated with tail water fishing on Lake Barkley, and he said that person wasn’t wearing a life jacket.  Whitfield has filed legislation, which he says is unpopular because it is too broad, called the Freedom to Fish Act. His counterparts from Kentucky and Tennessee in the U.S. Senate have also filed and passed legislation that would restrict funding for the USACE to institute the new rule.