Members of the JCWA Board of Directors and representatives of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources met at the dam of Beulah Lake near Tyner, KY to officially cut the ribbon for a new courtesy dock. The bank access section began in November and was completed at the end of December 2019. The new dock is 8 feet by 20 feet and the gangway is 40 feet. According to Greg Logan, Maintenance Branch Manager/Boat Ramps Engineering Division, KY F&W, the process took three separate pours of concrete – the footer, the headwall and then the sidewalk. Since each pour would not meet the minimum truckload without a small load fee, the new ramp construction crew took advantage by adding to each truckload so it could rebuild the lower half of the deteriorating boat ramp.
JCWA President Dallas Cox said, “We are fortunate to have a new dock at the lake. We certainly appreciate all the help from the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. We hope everyone enjoys the new dock and the improved fisheries. Everyone should enjoy the lake and we also hope everyone helps us take care of this wonderful asset to our community.”
Efforts to begin improvements to recreational fisheries opportunities began when JCWA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department to enhance the fisheries of Tyner (Beulah) Lake several years ago. Every fisherman knows that if you want to catch big fish in ponds or lakes around here you need structure. The team worked around the lake identifying and cutting trees near the shoreline. The team used a boat to drag the tree (with limbs attached) out into the lake. They methodically picked a location and then sank it with concrete blocks in the shallow water around the riparian edge. These trees will provide valuable habitat that will serve several functions to improve the fisheries in the lake. The brush will provide shelter for smaller fish (and where there are smaller fish one can anticipate larger predatory fish), temperature regulation during extreme weather, resting areas, and breeding habitat.
“Just about all of our reservoirs and state-owned lakes have a habitat problem,” KY Fisheries Biologist John Williams said. “The lakes have a bare substrate; there is not a lot of woody habitat or aquatic vegetation left, especially in reservoirs with highly fluctuating water levels.”
Madden stated, “It is important for everyone to understand that the structures added to Beulah Lake to enhance fisheries are all natural and will not impact either the water supply capacity or the water quality of the lake. This is important since the primary function of Beulah Lake is to serve as a water supply for many residents in Jackson County. We just felt that Tyner Lake is a natural resource for the county as well as a water supply lake. Anything we can do to facilitate a multipurpose usage of the lake (such as improved fishing) without compromising the integrity of our water supply purpose will help our community.”
Management has also included efforts to thin the numerous, but small, largemouth bass from the lake by removing them to the Rockcastle Wildlife Management Area. According to Marcy Anderson, Fisheries Biologist, KY F&W , the lake is sampled every three years to provide data to decide whether thinning is required. The lake is scheduled to be sampled again next year.