Hatchery Creek

You need to plan a trip to fish Hatchery Creek.  The creek originates at the outfall of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and flows about 1 1/4 mile down the valley into the Cumberland River.  It is a man made stream that was completed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in the spring of 2016.  It is regulated as catch and release water with artificial lures only.

Fish barrier at Upper Hatchery Creek

There are two unique features about Hatchery Creek.  First, because almost all the water comes from the Hatchery, it is essentially a constant flow stream, not significantly effected by rain and storms.  Second, being man made, it has more fish holding structure per length than almost any natural stream. Be warned, however, the stream can become crowded on weekends and holidays during peak fishing times.

Jim fishing above second braided portion of Hatchery Creek

There are a variety of stream habitats ideal for aquatic life and trout in particular.  Aquatic insects have started to populate the stream and while no trout have been stocked in Hatchery Creek,  it is full of fish that have come up from the Cumberland River.  Even better, trout have been successfully spawning and you can catch wild rainbow trout in the stream!  Below is a trout spawning redd – a shallow depression in the rocks that has been cleared of moss – please stay out!

Trout Spawning Redd

To access the creek, you can park  in the Hatchery Parking Lot itself  and walk downstream.  There is also a gravel parking area nominally mid stream off Ray Mann Road on the Kendal Campground Annex Road (Ray Mann  Road is the first right as you come down from US-127 at the top of the dam.  Take the first left after you start sown Ray Mann Road to get to the parking area).

Don fishing the “Duck Pond” at the entrance to the 2nd braids