Martins Fork Lake provides a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities for thousands of visitors each year. Because of the temperate climate and long recreation season, visitors have numerous activities from which to choose, including: fishing, hunting, picnicking, camping, sunbathing, hiking, boating, and others.
Boats are restricted to motors with 10 hp or less. The USACE offers waivers for boats with greater than 10 hp motors. Boaters who are interested in obtaining a waiver must have a boat safety inspection by one of the lake staff before obtaining their waiver. Proper boat registration, drivers license, operating navigation lights, PFD�s, and fire extinguisher are required for a waiver.
Fishing opportunities are numerous at the lake. Bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill, and catfish are commonly caught in the lake. Below the dam is also an excellent area to fish for rainbow trout (stocked March to November), walleye, and bluegill. Limits at Martins Fork fall under the statewide size and creel limits posted by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Martins Fork Lake offers barrier free fishing areas at the Smith Recreation Area and below the dam on the tailwaters. During the winter, volunteers place artificial fish habitat structures in the lake. Please contact the Resource Managers Office for more information.
Swimming is prohibited at the launching ramp and the fishing pier. It is allowed elsewhere, but for safety�s sake please swim only at the Smith Recreation Area Beach. This area is much safer as it is off-limits to boaters of all kinds. It is surrounded by �restricted area� buoys and a floating orange pipeline. The Smith Recreation Area is free to the public. The beach is maintained and operated by the Harlan County Recreation Department and is covered with white sand. Alcohol, pets and glass containers are prohibited at the Smith Recreation Area beach.
For hunting information, see Martins Fork WMA & SNA
For hiking information, see Cumberland Shadow Trail
Activities / Amenities|
Owned by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District
Official Web Site
*Information on this page provided by USACE