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Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Levels

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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Live Cams

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Levels & Conditions

Conditions as of 4 am 12/06/2016 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:

Current:   44,970 cfs / Average










Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Light Stain

Current:   9,000 cfs / Low












Special Lake Information & Notices

Winter pool is here. Watch out for mudflats and typically submerged objects that may have resurfaced. Stay safe on the water!
6 a.m. Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
12/05 355.5' 31,030 cfs 355.7' 8,830 cfs
12/06 355.4' 44,700 cfs 355.3' 24,000 cfs
12/07 355.1' 44,700 cfs 355.2' 24,000 cfs
12/08 354.9' 44,700 cfs 355.1' 24,000 cfs
12/09 354.7' 36,300 cfs 355.2' 13,800 cfs
12/10 354.6' 36,300 cfs 355.3' 13,800 cfs
12/11 354.4' 36,300 cfs 355.4' 13,800 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.

Lake elevations and current forecasts are provided in real-time from TVA and the NWS.  Forecasts are for 6:00 a.m. each day.

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

Normal Lake Stages

  • May 1 - July 1:  Summer Pool - 359.0'
  • Dec. 1 - March 31:  Winter Pool - 354.0'
  • The gray-shaded area in the chart above shows the target lake stages for Kentucky Lake throughout the course of a year.

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, 2011
  • Lake Barkley Lower Record High:  350.8' set on May 4, 2011
  • Kentucky Lake Record High Water Temp:  92° set 7/24/16

Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.