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Fishtrap Lake

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Today was my first time at Fishtrap Lake, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. Fishtrap Lake is shocking. If you visit this lake, you’ll sur... Continued


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Description: 

Fishtrap Lake is a Reservoir in Pike, Kentucky.

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The 1131 acre Fishtrap Lake was created in 1968 by impounding the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. Like the land surrounding it, the contour of the lake for the most part is very steep.

Maximum depth near the dam ranges to 68 feet. More gently sloping areas are found on the upper end of the lake near the confluence with the river. Normal pool elevation during summer months is 757 ft., and between mid-September to late March the lake is typically drawn down to 735 ft. for flood storage purposes. This winter drawdown creates exposed mud flats during this time and also shrinks the size of the lake to 569 acres.

Fishing Description: 

Fishtrap Lake and the Levisa Fork represent one of the better fisheries in eastern Kentucky. Black bass, crappie, hybrid striped bass, and flathead and channel
catfish are abundant in the lake and of good average size.

The river above the lake supports good numbers of smallmouth bass, catfish, many panfish, and supports an annual spawning run of white bass from the lake each spring. The tailwater area is stocked with rainbow trout spring through fall.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Bluegill
Some large bluegill available up to 11-12 inches; May and June have been popular months for angling.

Channel catfish
Good size distribution and numbers found throughout the lake.

Crappie
The numbers were down in 2009 and forecast to be similar for 2010. This is typical pattern for crappie at this lake with the cyclic ups and downs. Note: Effective March 1, 2010 there will be a 9 inch length limit on crappie on the lake.

Flathead catfish
Good size distribution; largest fish sampled in lower lake. Good numbers found up into headwater area of lake.

Hybrid striped bass
Very good numbers of hybrids in the lower lake late summer and at winter pool. Fair spawning run in headwaters in April. Night fishing has become popular; look for fish in the jumps from May-July. Good distribution of fish through 10 pounds. This is an underutilized fishery.

Largemouth bass
Fair numbers with excellent size distribution and good growth; ratio of keeper size bass is one of the best in eastern Kentucky.

Smallmouth bass
Population continues to grow and comprises approximately 15% of black bass. Good fishing primarily in the headwaters of the lake up into the Levisa Fork River and in the lower portion of the lake from Grapevine to dam. Large individuals up to 22 inches.

White bass
A few large white bass can be found scattered around the lake usually roaming with hybrid striped bass

Recreational Activities: 

Hunting is popular on the WMA. Populations of deer, turkey and squirrel are very good across the area.

Fishing and boating opportunities are abundant, with three launch ramps and a marina near the dam.

Fishtrap Lake WMA is an outstanding area for birding and underutilized for this purpose.

The Pike County government maintains a 14 mile long horseback riding trail on the south side of the lake.

Approximately 30 miles of mobility impaired access trails are located between Feds Creek and Millers Creek, including much frontage along the lake and river.

Facilities and Parks: 

Dam and Tailwater Area: Information center, marina, boat launch, picnic area, picnic shelters (reservations accepted), playground equipment, basketball court, horseshoe pit, restroom facilities.

Grapevine Creek Area: Campground, boat launch, walking track, basketball court, picnic area, picnic shelter (reservations accepted), horseshoe pit, restroom facilities.

Lick Creek Area: Access to horse trail, boat launch, walking track, basketball court, picnic shelters, horseshoe pit, playground equipment, putt-putt golf, restroom facilities.

Fedscreek Area: Access to mobility impaired ATV trail, picnic shelter, playground equipment, walking track, putt-putt golf, softball field, restroom facilities.

Camping: 

Fishtrap Lake has one campground located at the Grapevine Recreation Area. Grapevine Campground has 28 sites, now with 10 sites equipped with water and electrical hookups. Each site has, impacted gravel pads, picnic table, fire ring, and lantern pole. Campground opens Memorial Day Weekend, (Friday of the holiday weekend) and closes the day after Labor Day. No reservations are accepted but to check availability of sites call 1-606-835-4564 to speak with the campground host. Campsites are currently on a first come first serve basis.

Boat Ramp: 

Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Fishtrap Marina, Grapevine and Lick Creek Recreation Areas. Launching is $3.00 per day at Grapevine and Marina area. Lick Creek offers free launching. Seasonal Passes for launching are available for $30.00 at the Fishtrap Lake Project Office between the hours of 7:30am and 4:00pm. Holders of Golden Age/Access Passports are entitled to 50% discount.

Marinas: 

Fishtrap Lake Marina, located at the Dam Site Recreation Area provides visitors with docking facilities and a Concession Area. The Concession Area provides visitors with fuel, live bait, snacks, ice, picnic supplies, etc. . Facilities at this area includes, restrooms, a launch ramp, bank fishing access, basketball court, and picnic sites.

Wildlife: 

Forest raptors and songbirds are found in great numbers, and some species
such as cerulean warblers, black-throated green warblers, and blueheaded
vireos are relatively rare in other portions of the state. Many of these species are neo-tropical migrants, meaning they nest in North America and winter in Central and South America.

Nationally, numbers of many of these species are declining, making locations such as Fishtrap WMA very important as sources of breeding habitat for these birds. Opportunities to view wetland species such as wood
ducks, great blue herons, and green herons exist on the lake and river.

Deer, turkey, squirrel, and many species of furbearer are abundant on the WMA, and black bear and elk are also present.

Directions to Lake: 

From Lexington: Take I-64 east for 17 miles to the Bert Combs Parkway. Take the parkway east for 74 miles to Salyersville. At Salyersville take KY 114 east for 18 miles to US 23. Take US 23 south for 25 miles to the junction of KY 460 at
Pikeville.

From Ashland: Take US 23 south 94 miles to the junction of KY 460 at Pikeville.

From Pikeville: To the quota hunt check station and visitors center (U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers Office): Take KY 460 east 4.8 miles to KY 178, then go 2.5 miles to the COE office.

To the Lick Creek Area: Take KY 460 east for 18.5 miles to KY 1373. Turn left on KY 1373 and go 2 miles to the boat ramp.

To the Grapevine Area: Take KY 460 east 21 miles to KY 1499. Turn left on KY 1499, and proceed 6 miles to KY 194. Turn left on KY 194 and proceed 9 miles to the boat ramp.

Name: 
Fishtrap Lake
Waterbody type: 
Reservoir
County: 
Pike
State: 
Kentucky
Country: 
United States
Standard elevation: 
237
Latitude: 
37.4257
Longitude: 
-82.3693