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Illegally Diving In Kentucky

Discussion in 'Kentucky Piranha Patrol' started by Charged, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Charged

    Charged Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Louisville, KY
    61
    0
    0
    On page 38 of the Kentucky Fishing & Boating Guide, it reads:

    "Skin or SCUBA diving is prohibited in all lakes owned or managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, except during emergencies & during salvage operations where the diver has written permission from the regional director or local wildlife & boating law enforcement officer assigned to the specific body of water in which the diving is to take place."

    Given this information...am I missing something? Meaning, I have many times witnessed diving taking place at the spillway at Laurel Lake in London, KY. Is it that this law is not enforced, divers dont know about it, they plan to lie and play stupid if questioned by law enforcement...I mean, what gives?

    Also, why do you think it exists anyway? Maybe to much dangerous lone fishing line at the bottom, or to many drunken or uneducated boaters to the meaning of the recreational/alpha flag?

    Perhaps everybody has written permission but me?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,174
    1,129
    113
    I would say it exists for liability reasons than anything else, also maybe to discourage spear fishing from divers. As for why people dive these places, I'd guess (& it's only a guess) it's either ignorance of the rules on the part of the divers or knowledge that it most likely won't be enforced.
     
  3. KY_BOB

    KY_BOB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Kentucky
    749
    28
    28
    I don't consider myself an outlaw but I have every intention on diving Lake Beshear next year. The visibility is HORRIBLE but it's the lake that I live on and that I keep my boat on.

    I will admit that I did not realize that it was against the law. I see water patrol here about once a year so unless I have really bad luck, it won't matter. If nothing else. I just want to say that I dove my home lake once just to try it.

    From what I've heard from others divers that have been in this lake, your talking about a foot of visibility. If it really is that bad, I may have no desire to do it a second time but I want to do it once and have a dive buddy wanting to try it too. I already have the boat.
     
  4. KY_BOB

    KY_BOB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Kentucky
    749
    28
    28
    Here's a couple of pics of the boat and a few of the crew. I think it'll make as good dive boat as it does a party boat.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Papa_Bear

    Papa_Bear Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaumont CA
    2,248
    10
    0
    More government "Do gooders" tying to control your life from cradle to grave! What do we want? Freedom and maybe some real change! :shakehead:
     
  6. Jackstown Reef

    Jackstown Reef Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Central Kentucky
    25
    0
    1
    Chill dude.
    This rule applies to Lakes Owned/ Managed by the Ky Fish and Wildlife. These are usually very small bodies of water that are usually not suitable for diving anyway.

    Laurel Lake, Cave Run, Lake Cumberland, etc. are controlled by the Corp of Engineers and encourage scuba diving.
    If you really want to dive one of these restricted lakes ( look further in your guide for a list), you should contact your local Conservation Officer, explain your desire, prove your cerification / ability, and he or she should be able to tell you how to get premission.
    Some of the areas that are closed to diving are closed because of dangers that may not be apparent to the casual observer.
     
  7. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,174
    1,129
    113
    Makes sense. I know of many people who dive places like KY & Barkley Lakes & others. I have been known to dive in flooded strip mine pits in the past. Not usually much to them though & very poor vis.
     
  8. KY_BOB

    KY_BOB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Kentucky
    749
    28
    28
    Lake Beshear is almost 800 acres and is owned by Ky dept of fish and wildlife.

    http://fw.ky.gov/pdf/lakebeshear.pdf
     
  9. Jackstown Reef

    Jackstown Reef Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Central Kentucky
    25
    0
    1
    I was going to send you a PM but others may benefit so I will respond here.
    I used the word usually in my response, because there are always exceptions, and not working for the Department I don't pretend to know all the answers.:D
    Yes Lake Beshear is 800 acres, many of the Lakes Managed by the Fish and Wildlife are much smaller. Some maybe larger but that is not the point.
    The regs regarding KY Fish & Wildlife lakes not allowing diving are there for several reasons. Some that come to mind are:

    Security (munincipal water source)
    High Boat Traffic or Limited Manuverability
    Excessive or Limited Depth
    Very Poor Visibility
    High Probablility of entanglement or unstable banks / walls.
    Standing timber below the water line.
    Wildlife management projects.


    Most people that have dived in Kentucky Lakes will attest that usually the visiblity is limited and it gets cold and dark very quickly. Having done a lot of dives in area lakes, I know that it makes you appreciate clear warm waters more and definetly makes you a better diver.
    Being a new diver I would encourage you to dive in some of the quarries that are available, where you would have a much more enjoyable experience, while you learn lessons that will allow you to safely do more complicated dives like you are talking about.
    Will you die or get thrown in jail if you do a bounce dive to "see what the bottom under my dock is like", probably not.:D
    By discussing this issue with your local Conservation Officer, you may learn valuable information that could make for a more enjoyable dive, or save you a fine.
     
  10. KY_BOB

    KY_BOB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Kentucky
    749
    28
    28

    I'm certainly not arguing that it's wouldn't be a good place to dive and you do mention some great reasons for not diving it. It is a local water supply, there isn't any standing timber below the surface but there are sunken tree tops used for fish attractors, and the visibility is horrible.

    The bounce dive to look under my dock is pretty much what I would be interested in doing, plus I would like to look around the bottom at a couple of places that people jump into 12-20 deep water to see if I can find anything. To be honest, I could probably do most of that with just snorkeling gear and it would be good snorkeling practice but the idea of entanglement due to bad visibility (swimming into a tree top that you didn't see until it's too late) is a lot more scary without having a air supply.

    Please don't take anything that I've said as contradicting what you said about the hazards and reasons not to dive it. It does seem overly harsh for the state of KY to say, "if we own it, you can't dive it" which is basically what that statement says. I do realize this doesn't apply to the larger lakes that are controlled by the US Army corp of engineers.

    I will make a point to talk to the local Dept of Fish and Wildlife guy the next time that I see him and post what he says. I probably won't run into him until next spring.
     

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