Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  What is the average elevation and temperature of Lake Barkley?

A:  The summer pool mark is 359 mean sea level (msl).  During the winter draw down the lake elevation mark is 354 msl.  The water temperature average is 45 to 65 during winter months and 70 to 80 during the summer months.

Q:  Can I have a campfire on the shoreline of Lake Barkley?  

A:  Only below the 359 msl on exposed lake bottom during low lake level periods of 354 msl.

Q:  What is Title 36 and how can I obtain a copy?

A:  Title 36, amended May 5, 2000, is the Rules and Regulations that govern public use of Corps of Engineers water resource development projects.  Visitors are bound by these regulations.  A fine may be issued to violators of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.  A copy of Title 36 Regulations is available from:

Resource Manager's Office
Lake Barkley
P.O. Box 218
Grand Rivers, KY  42045
Phone: (270) 362-4236

Q:  If I access a Corps of Engineers Day Use Area from the water, do I have to pay the day use fee?

A:  Day use fees are charged at Old Kuttawa Recreation Area. Day use fees apply to any user of the facility whether they arrive by vehicle or boat. A $30 annual pass is available for purchase from the Resource Manager's Office. 

Q:  Can I hunt on Government property?

A:  Hunting is permissible on Government property during the regulated hunting season.  Areas that are restricted to hunting include developed park and recreation areas, commercial marinas, and areas close to private residence.  Check out our hunting page for more details.

Q:  Can I camp on Islands or on the shoreline of Lake Barkley?

A:  Remote camping on Islands or the East shoreline is prohibited.  However remote camping is available on Land Between the Lakes shoreline with a permit from the USDA Forest Service.

Q:  Can I have fireworks?

A:  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

Q:  What about lake pollution that makes it unsafe for swimming?

A:  Swimming area water samples are taken weekly and more often if needed.  If the water samples have undesirable readings, the swimming areas are closed.

Q:  Is Lake Barkley a deep-water lake?

A:  While not considered a deep-water lake, Lake Barkley does maintain a commercial and secondary navigation buoy system to aid in the safety of commercial and recreation boating

Q:  Can I use my metal detector around the lake?

A:  That depends.  According to an official memorandum of policy from the Directorate of Civil Works and dated March 10, 1989, metal detectors are allowed under certain conditions.  The use of metal detectors will be allowed on public beaches or other previously disturbed areas that do not contain or would not reasonably be expected to contain archaeological, historical, or paleontological resources.  Nonidentifiable items, such as coins of nominal value ($25.00 or less) do not need to be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger.  Identifiable items (rings, watches, etc.) or items or greater than nominal value will be deposited with the natural resource manager or ranger.  Digging shall be limited to hand tools that can be used by one hand only.  Hand tools shall be limited to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long.  All trash uncovered must be removed and placed in an approved trash receptacle.  All soil disturbed or displaced shall be returned to its original state.  In addition, we would ask that any such approved use of metal detectors take place during times when it will not interfere with the public’s recreational use of an area, i.e. not on busy weekends at beaches and recreation areas.