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Lake Conditions

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Conditions as of 3 am 5/30/2015 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Some stained bays

Current:   75,098 cfs / Above Average

360.0'
0.0'st

Change

+1.0'

Normal

304.8'
0.0'st

Change

+2.8

Normal

73°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Stained

Current:   15,600 cfs / Low

360.1'
0.0'st

Change

+1.1'

Normal

304.1'
0.1'▼

Change

+2.1

Normal

71°

Normal

359.0'
302.0'
78°

Special Lake Information & Notices

The lakes are running a tad high but nothing to be concerned about. Floating driftwood and other debris is a possibility so be careful when running the lakes.

A Note About The Table Below

The projected forecasts below reflect stages at 6am on those days. The data comes from TVA provided in a text product through the National Weather Service.

Forecast Date Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
05/29 359.9' 75,320 cfs 360.1' 16,000 cfs
05/30 360.2' 75,000 cfs 359.8' 16,000 cfs
05/31 359.8' 75,000 cfs 359.8' 16,000 cfs
06/01 359.5' 74,000 cfs 359.8' 16,000 cfs
06/02 359.6' 56,000 cfs 359.9' 16,000 cfs
06/03 359.6' 56,000 cfs 359.9' 16,000 cfs
06/04 359.5' 56,000 cfs 359.8' 16,000 cfs

Explanation of Values

Water temperatures are reported from Murray State University and TVA.  Normal water temperatures are based on historical fishing reports and normal air temperatures.  Click here for a chart of normal water temps.

Change - this shows the difference in the past 24 hours.

Normal - this shows the departure from normal.

cfs = cubic feet per second, which is the amount of water that is discharged through the dams.

Water Clarity - "stained" means some murkiness or discolor in the lakes.  "Normal" means typical clarity, usually 3-4 feet for Kentucky.  "Muddy" means no clarity at all.

Lake elevation is based on sea-level.  Strength of current is based on the discharge rate at the dams.  Kentucky Lake is much larger than Lake Barkley, so 100,000 cfs at Barkley Dam produces stronger current than 100,000 cfs at Kentucky Dam.  Use this unofficial chart to compare current strengths.

Elevations and forecasts are provided by TVA in real-time.

The Kentucky Lake Operating Guide is provided by TVA.  The red line indicates the midnight elevation.  The black line indicates last year's elevation.  The gray area is normal lake levels.  The yellow line is their Flowage Easement Level.

Kentucky Lake Operating Guide

TVA Operating Guide

Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Records

  • Kentucky Lake Record High:  372.49' set on May 4, 2011
  • Lake Barkley Record High:  372.49' set on May 4, 2011
  • Kentucky Lake Record Low:  348.02' set on March 11, 1961
  • Lake Barkley Record Low:  352.3' set on April 19, 1982
  • Lake Barkley Record cfs:  303,000 set on May 4, 2010
  • Lake Barkley Lower Record High:  350.8' set on May 4, 2010


Shy Doe
Photo by J. Kent Harmon

The dense forests in Land Between The Lakes make the perfect hiding place for deer and other native species. You never know who might be peeking at you from the treeline.