Low water and burn ban double trouble for Shelby County lake

Low water and burn ban double trouble for Shelby County lake

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The lack of rain and record-breaking heat is causing double trouble for a Shelby County lake that is already seeing its lowest water level in ten years.

Guist Creek Lake is about 5 miles outside of Shelbyville. This weekend problems are mounting up because it’s scheduled camper’s appreciation cookout is looking unlikely. Due to the hot weather, burn ban and low water levels, boating and grilling out doesn’t seem possible.

“The lake was full and the campground was full on the weekends,” Eddie Meeks said. Meeks is the Guist Creek Lake Marina Manager since September 2018.

This year looks much different than last year. Boats that were seen in the water last year have now been docked on dry land.

Looking at the lake for the first time this season startled Billy Henry, a boater and fisherman.

“It was scary looking,” said Henry. “The more I’ve been coming out here, it’s even getting worse.”

With no rain, the lake has been dropping about a foot a week since July. Meeks said that part of the issue is that around 3 to 4 million gallons of water a day is being pulled for Shelbyville water usage.

“No water is running in, all water is running out.” Meeks said.

Only about 10 feet of boat ramp is currently left in the water. Most boats can’t launch or load, leaving only small fishing boats out in the water. In a couple of days with water levels continuing to sink, those will likely disappear too.

“I would say we will probably have to close the ramp.” Meeks said.

From bad to worse, Shelby County is under a burn ban. Campfires, grills and cookouts of any kind are not allowed. Electric cookers are the only thing approved for use.

Fisherman Billy Henry gets his Jon boat fixed at Guist Creek. Taylorsville Lake, where he normally boats, is also a little low. He decribed Guist Creek being very bad at the moment

“It’s at the point now where I can throw a rock from bank to bank,” Henry said.

Boat repair shop owner Dustin Tate of Dustin Tate Marine Service said its tough on business since September and October are usually booked.

“It’s quiet, we’re definitely not used to it.” Tate said. “It’s usually a line of boats and people in and out of the shop, in and out of the marina and in and out of the campground... I would love to see some rain.”

The Marina manager tried to get a burn ban exemption for the cookout weekend but was turned down. Meeks understands the fire department can’t allow it with the dry conditions currently ongoing.

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