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Fishtrap Lake

Huntington District
Published Jan. 5, 2024
Fishtrap Lake

Fishtrap Dam and boats at marina

Fishtrap Lake is contained by the highest dam in Eastern Kentucky. Primary project purposes are flood risk reduction, fish and wildlife enhancement, water quality and recreation. Dam was completed in February 1969 and serves a drainage area of 392 square miles. The lake is impounded by a rolled rock impervious core dam, 195 ft. tall and 1,100 ft. long with a spillway controlled by four gates in the left abutment of the dam. Outlet works include an intake structure with three conduits controlled by slide gates and discharges into a horseshoe tunnel.  Outlet works are provided with three low flow intakes, all of which discharge into a common well which discharges into a low flow conduit.  Low flow discharge is controlled by a hydraulically operated slide gate. The project has 9 recreation areas, 5 of which are Corps managed.

Reservations, Fees & Passes

No camping reservations are accepted but to check availability of sites call 1-606-835-4564 to speak with the campground host. Campsites are currently on a first come first serve basis. 

Campground Fee:
$12 per night - primitive and no electric/water sites
$20 per night -electric/water

Day Use Fee:
$50 per night for picnic shelters


Handicapped Access
Universally Accessible Facilities are provided at Project Office, Visitor Center, picnic shelters, restrooms, outflow fishing area, camping facilities, and at selective picnic sites.

Historical Information
Archaeological investigations in the Fishtrap lake area resulted in the recording of 33 prehistoric native American sites including 1 rock shelter, 8 late prehistoric village sites, and 24 open camp sites. Excavations at what is called the Sloane site at Woodside recovered 65,000 artifacts, now stored at the University of Kentucky. Life-styles of the pioneers, primarily of English and Scot Ancestry, consisted mainly of subsistence farming, hunting, trapping and timbering. The mountains provided a degree of security and privacy and also fostered an isolation of early cultural traits. Pike County was formed from a part of Floyd County in December of 1821, and was named in honor of the popular military hero, General Zebulon M. Pike. Later historical studies focus primarily on the Hatfield-McCoy feud in which Pike County, and what is now Mingo County, West Virginia, played major geographic role.


Recreation Opportunities

Visitor Center
The Visitor Center is at the Project Office, which is located, just downstream of the dam. Fishtrap Lake conducts and/or offers a variety of safety oriented programs. 

Boating
Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Fishtrap Marina, Grapevine and Lick Creek Recreation Areas. Launching is $3.00 per day at Grapevine and Marina area. Lick Creek offers free launching. Seasonal Passes for launching are available for $30.00 at the Fishtrap Lake Project Office between the hours of 7:30am and 4:00pm. 

Camping
Fishtrap Lake has one campground located at the Grapevine Recreation Area. Grapevine Campground has 28 sites, now with 10 sites equipped with water and electrical hookups. Each site has, impacted gravel pads, picnic table, fire ring, and lantern pole. Campground opens Memorial Day Weekend, (Friday of the holiday weekend) and closes the day after Labor Day. No reservations are accepted but to check availability of sites call 1-606-835-4564 to speak with the campground host. Campsites are currently on a first come first serve basis.  Camping on the shoreline or in the Wildlife Management Area is not permitted except in designated areas.

Day-use
Two shelters are located at the Dam Site Recreation Area, and a third shelter is located at the Grapevine Recreation Area.

Fishing
Fish and wildlife management is a shared responsibility –the Department of Natural Resources and the Corps manage the fish and wildlife programs by habitat improvement, nesting site development, and food-plot programs for the benefit of many fish and wildlife species.

Hunting
Fish and wildlife management is a shared responsibility -the Department of Natural Resources and the Corps manage the fish and wildlife programs by habitat improvement, nesting site development, and food-plot programs for the benefit of many fish and wildlife species.

Marinas
Fishtrap Lake Marina, located at the Dam Site Recreation Area provides visitors with docking facilities and a Concession Area. The Concession Area provides visitors with fuel, live bait, snacks, ice, picnic supplies, etc. . Facilities at this area includes, restrooms, a launch ramp, bank fishing access, basketball court, and picnic sites.

Swimming
No developed swimming facilities currently exist. Swimming is at your own risk unless otherwise signed.

Trails
A developed hiking and horseback riding can be accessed at the Lick Creek Recreation area where the trail begins. Also, several local equestrians and hikers do use existing oil/gas well roads.  Access into the Wildlife Management Area is restricted to non-motorized vehicles. Hiking, horseback riding and mountain bikes are permitted unless otherwise signed.

Handicapped Access
Universally Accessible Facilities are provided at Project Office, Visitor Center, picnic shelters, restrooms, outflow fishing area, camping facilities, and at selective picnic sites.


Rules & Regulations

General Policies
A full list of Federal regulations that apply to all US Army Corps of Engineers properties can be found in Title 36 of the United States Code (USC). Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects

Firearms
Possession of firearms in a federal facility, including locks, dams, power plants, ranger stations, buildings, switchyards, recreation facilities, warehouses, and offices is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes the storage or transporting of a personally owned firearm in controlled access parking areas or Government vehicles, heavy equipment, boats and vessels under the operational control of the District regardless of its location. Exceptions for Federal employees are only allowed for Federal law enforcement officers or where possession of a firearm is specifically authorized by law.

Fireworks
Fireworks, along with explosives, firearms and other weapons are prohibited on Government Property. Detailed information can be found in Title 36, The Rules and Regulations that Govern Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects, Section 327.13.


Contact

Phone: 606-437-7496

Location Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
Fishtrap Lake 
2204 Fishtrap Road 
Shelbiana, KY 41562