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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 2 am 1/19/2017 Upper Lower Water

Kentucky Lake

Water Clarity:
Clear

Current:   51,091 cfs / Average

354.8'
0.1'▲

Change

+0.8'

Normal

313.7'
1.4'▲

Change

+11.7

Normal

46°

Lake Barkley

Water Clarity:
Light Stain

Current:   37,300 cfs / Above Average

354.8'
0.1'▲

Change

+0.8'

Normal

319.2'
1.0'▲

Change

+17.2

Normal

--°

Normal

354.0'
302.0'
42°

Special Lake Information & Notices

The lakes are a little above winter pool. Stay safe on the water.
6 a.m. Forecast Kentucky Upper Kentucky Flow Barkley Upper Barkley Flow
01/18 354.6' 50,880 cfs 355.0' 38,830 cfs
01/19 355.0' 51,000 cfs 354.7' 37,000 cfs
01/20 354.9' 51,000 cfs 355.6' 37,000 cfs
01/21 355.1' 50,000 cfs 356.1' 37,000 cfs
01/22 355.2' 50,000 cfs 356.4' 37,000 cfs
01/23 355.1' 50,000 cfs 356.5' 37,000 cfs
01/24 354.8' 50,000 cfs 356.4' 37,000 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.

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

Paddleboarding
Photo by Cliff Grizzard

Karson takes advantage of the last few minutes of daylight by paddleboarding on Kentucky Lake.