Politics & Government

McConnell thanks Obama for signing bill to preserve tailwater fishing

Aerial view of the Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland near Russell Springs,  Ky. Thursday, February 22, 2007. The Wolf Creek Dam is leaking and the level  of lake Cumberland has been lowered while repairs are being made.   Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Aerial view of the Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland near Russell Springs, Ky. Thursday, February 22, 2007. The Wolf Creek Dam is leaking and the level of lake Cumberland has been lowered while repairs are being made. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thanked President Obama for signing into law Monday a measure that puts a two-year moratorium on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to restrict fishing in the tailwaters of dams along the Cumberland River.

"I appreciate the president signing the legislation into law and reversing the administration's decision to place barriers and restrict fishing along the Cumberland River," McConnell, R-Louisville, said in a statement.

The Corps had planned to cut off fishing from boats in zones above and below Wolf Creek Dam and others on the river because of safety concerns. Three people had been killed in turbulent waters below dams since 2009, the Corps said.

"No one I know in Kentucky supported this plan — not fishermen and boaters, not local elected officials, and not the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife," McConnell said.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, led the effort to move the provision through the House.

Since the House has not taken up the Water Resources Development Act, which includes a permanent ban on fishing barriers, McConnell pushed through the Senate the measure the president signed Monday.

This provision gives time for the water resources bill to become law and provide a permanent moratorium on installing barriers, McConnell said.

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