The level of Lake Cumberland in southeastern Kentucky will be raised in time for the summer tourism season.
Water levels were lowered seven years ago to allow repair work on Wolf Creek Dam. An endangered fish found in headwaters threatened to keep the lake lowered for an eighth year in a row.
Members of Kentucky's congressional delegation sent a letter sent and had a face-to-face meeting last month with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The lawmakers asked the federal agencies to return the lake to its full capacity.
On Tuesday, Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell informed the lawmakers that Lake Cumberland’s level will be restored to the normal pool of 723 feet by mid-May.
The lawmakers called the announcement is "great news for the thousands of people who rely on the lake for recreation and tourism, and to the local communities, businesses, and individuals whose livelihoods are being impacted because of the lower water levels.”
Lake Cumberland was cleared to rise following an expedited review of how to protect the Duskytail Darter, a 2.5 inch fish on the endangered species list.