SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - Near the shore, the minnows are near the surface of Guist Creek Lake, but in parts of it, and the surrounding waterways, fish aren’t exactly biting.
"A few months ago, I brought the boys down here fishing, my grandson, we caught fish right where that pipe is," Danny Casey, who lives on the lake, said. "Now, its you know, you wouldn't catch anything up in here. Turtles don't even come up here I think."
The reason why is best illustrated by the pontoon boats sitting idle on green patches of grass in the middle of the dried lake.
"It’s still dry as a bone," John Crush, whose family has owned property on the lake since 1962, said.
Cracks in the lake bed can be seen after recent drought, which has exposed a problem neighbors said they’ve been facing for decades.
"Just a muck and grime," Crush said. "You would literally sink up to well above your knee cap."
Neighbors said the sediment is from nearby farmers, doing what they call legal, but poor farming practices.
"All the run off is coming down that creek," Casey said.
He said that has decreased the depth of the lake drastically.
The group said areas once crucial to boaters, now, look more like jungles.
"That was this post. It belonged to this post right here and the other one is on the other side," Crush said, pointing out a sign that once laid out fishing and skiing rules at a boat ramp, which are now lined with trees.
"We want it dredged out to where it would be accessible to us again," Jerry Blair, who has lived on the lake since 1977, said.
That’s what they said they’ve been asking government officials at all levels, but said there’s been no action, even after suggesting solutions of their own and offering money to put toward the problem.
"We're stimmied at this point," Crush said.
The cost, neighbors said, is the price of their homes, time spent with their families and a way of life they see slipping away as a place they find peace slowly withers away under the weight of grime.