FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2017) – Ninety acres of forested land along Rock Creek in McCreary County were recently purchased for the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission’s Wild Rivers Program by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF).
Rock Creek is one of the most scenic and unique fisheries in Kentucky and is considered one of the best mountain trout streams in the state. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) annually stocks 15,600 trout in Rock Creek. Smallmouth bass are also found here, so anglers may catch both species from the same run of water. The nearby Rock Creek-Bell Farm Road parallels the creek to the Tennessee state line, which gives wading anglers excellent access. This tract is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Expert whitewater paddlers often challenge themselves in Rock Creek as it flows between huge boulders, drops sharply and practically disappears at spots. Average paddlers may be more comfortable in the Big South Fork to the east or the Little South Fork to the west, both of which are also designated Kentucky Wild Rivers.
At least three federally endangered species are known to live in Rock Creek and the surrounding area, including the Blackside Dace, the Cumberland Bean Mussel, and the Indiana Bat.
“The Wild Rivers Program has two goals: to conserve the unique habitats along Kentucky’s free-flowing waterways and to provide opportunities for nature-based recreation such as wildlife-viewing, fishing and paddling,” said Zeb Weese, executive director of the nature preserves commission. “Rock Creek is a great example of both conservation and recreation.”
For more information on the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, visit the website at http://heritageland.ky.gov; for more information on the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, go to http://naturepreserves.ky.gov.