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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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February 23, 2018

The Tug and Levisa rivers meet @ Louisa. Bobby Johnson's FB picture of the meeting point is striking.The Tug and Levisa rivers meet @ Louisa. Bobby Johnson's FB picture of the meeting point is striking.

By Wes Taylor

"...I’ve lived on the Tug my whole life, I’m 43 and I love this old river.

My grandfather Ray Taylor will be 86 this February and he has lived on the Tug his whole life, too.  I love the stories about him growing up here and fishing the Tug but a lot has changed since he was a boy.

He told us about the white bass and sauger runs every spring and the drums under boats but now we don’t have the runs or drum and would love to have that back, but I think the reason for us not having the runs is the fish can’t make it up and over the old locks down Louisa.

Fred's pics:  locks and needle dam. from Fred JonesFred's pics: locks and needle dam. from Fred Jones

FT. Gay view of locks and dam. photo by Joetta HatfieldFT. Gay view of locks and dam. photo by Joetta Hatfield

You can go there in the spring and catch them but I’ve fished both forks of the Big Sandy and have only caught one white bass above the locks and that was years ago and it was when we did a float down that way.

Our river is a lot cleaner now than it’s been in years, and more people are taking interest in the river and I think it would be great if we could get the fish runs back up the river again I mean two years ago I caught a green eel l had to call the Ky fish department to find out what I had caught.  The guy told me that it was the first time he had heard of one being caught on the Tug.

That’s when he said it must have got over the locks when the river was in a rise so I thought about it unless the river is up really big at the time the runs happen there’s no way for the fish to get on up the river so I was wondering if there’s other guys out there that would love to fish these runs like my grandfather did and if there’s a way to start talking to whoever is over things like this and see if there’s any way to remove the old locks or have a fish byways put in so we could have the runs of fish back up both rivers of the Big Sandy.

I hope that I’m not the only guy who would like to fish for this fish and maybe there’s someone that reads this will know who we can talk to about restore this fish runs."

 

Comments  

-1 #17 BigDog 2018-03-03 15:06
Quoting Augerdog:
Go up to the cemetery on town hill and walk around. Be careful, though. Don't trip over the used needles and condoms. The new generation doesn't give a damn about the locks or change. As long as they have free needles and a place to park and throw out their trash they will be ok. Let's all encourage other young people to do drugs by giving out free needles and lowering the penalties for getting caught. Free needles, free condoms, freedom from prosecution, free drugs, free change.


People are going to use needles anyway, so giving out CLEAN needles PREVENTS DISEASE, do you get it now? God forbid you or one of your loved ones end up on meth or heroin. Overeating and smoking kills WAY more people.
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0 #16 Bernard 2018-03-02 20:33
I would like to add, cleaning out the old boat locks would provide a way for fish to go up the Tug & Levisa forks of the Big Muddy. However, I don't know what that would do to keep the waters from flooding in some parts of the river, up stream or down. The Corp of Engineers office should be able to shed some light on the subject.
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0 #15 Leroy 2018-03-01 19:22
Is there a way to get past what's left of the docks with a small boat right now? If not, would the river be deep enough for a small boat if the locks were removed?
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+2 #14 Fisherman 2018-02-28 22:20
Wes those locks was there well before your grandfather was born. With that said what's your point?
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-1 #13 Augerdog 2018-02-28 21:46
Go up to the cemetery on town hill and walk around. Be careful, though. Don't trip over the used needles and condoms. The new generation doesn't give a damn about the locks or change. As long as they have free needles and a place to park and throw out their trash they will be ok. Let's all encourage other young people to do drugs by giving out free needles and lowering the penalties for getting caught. Free needles, free condoms, freedom from prosecution, free drugs, free change.
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-3 #12 Look 2018-02-28 17:30
Quoting New Generation:
Did you ever think Lawrence County would give out needles to inject illegal drugs? Just think about that one.



Wow, look it’s better than diseases being spread, right? Get with the times, also read some statistics on needle programs.
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+3 #11 Finally 2018-02-28 17:28
Quoting Historic:
That'll may never happen being the first needle dam built in the US, but then again you never know as other generations are taking over in making these decisions. I never thought Louisa would be wet, but look what happened. Small town America is fading fast and there's not too many left, and when you see these little towns vote wet like Louisa did, then anything is possible and in my opinion it's the beginning of the end. I know a lot of the younger generation could care less about the history of our community because they weren't around back during the glory days and have no emotional ties to it , but it's not their fault and it's hard for them to make a connection to something that they were never a part of.

Sorry but going wet isn’t the beginning of the end, lol good Lord. Change is good, not bad to change to keep your head above water. Didn’t ever make sense for the citizens of LC to continue to buy alcohol somewhere else just to bring it back here to drink anyway. The locks will remain, fish ladders will eventually be put in, simple.
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+4 #10 Pete 2018-02-27 03:00
Apparently math is not our strong suit. The locks were completed in the late 1890's. The spring runs have stopped there since then. There is an alternative to removing them. Channel part of the river through the part near the WV side where the boats used to pass through. That way this piece of history remains and the fish can freely move upstream as well, not to mention you can raft through the same place. It is a project that is very worthwhile, so before we destroy an absolutely beautiful place, let us look at an easy fix.
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+4 #9 CathiWells 2018-02-26 23:57
Please note that the Trail Town Committee which is part of the Friends of the Tug Fork nor the Tourism Commission is In favor of removing the locks. This is a historic site that needs to be highlighted NOT removed. There is a way to keep the historical aspect of the needle dam AND improve the passage of fish up river. The locks have been there since the early 1900s. The fish runs that the authors 86 yr old grandfather remembers occurred AFTER the locks were taken out of service.
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-1 #8 DAM 2018-02-26 13:20
But, one has to realize that the actual needle dam is long gone, the locks are long gone, almost all infrastructure of the dam is gone. What's left?? That "dam" one sees now is the coffer dam just like the ones placed in Yatesville Lake when the visible part of the dam was being built. It is equivalent to removing the visible part of that dam and leaving the coffer dam for water to run over. Not very exciting!!
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+3 #7 Whatever... 2018-02-26 02:21
To the writer...this has to be the most stupid thing I have ever read on here. I doubt anyone fishing that river now was even around when the locks were operational. They have no effect on what you have been fishing for at all.
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0 #6 New Generation 2018-02-25 23:04
Did you ever think Lawrence County would give out needles to inject illegal drugs? Just think about that one.
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+6 #5 Historic 2018-02-24 23:21
That'll may never happen being the first needle dam built in the US, but then again you never know as other generations are taking over in making these decisions. I never thought Louisa would be wet, but look what happened. Small town America is fading fast and there's not too many left, and when you see these little towns vote wet like Louisa did, then anything is possible and in my opinion it's the beginning of the end. I know a lot of the younger generation could care less about the history of our community because they weren't around back during the glory days and have no emotional ties to it , but it's not their fault and it's hard for them to make a connection to something that they were never a part of.
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+10 #4 Michael Coburn 2018-02-24 15:55
The KY or WVA forestry folks will know about 'fish ladders' which are used around the country for just that reason. It allows for the migration upstream when a dam is blocking the flow. They could be something the game and forestry people could budget for and add on one side or the other of the locks. Kind of like having your fish and eating it too!
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+3 #3 Bernard 2018-02-24 15:30
I'm 84 and have fished & frogged up the Tug & Levisa forks of the Big Sandy for many years. You're right, we don't get the spring runs we use to because of the dam. I haven't fished in many years, probably 20/25, but would like to see lots of fish for the current generations to catch & eat. Lots of fun and relaxation just fish"n.
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+6 #2 Dave 2018-02-24 12:37
That will never happen Wes, I've fished those locks for 50 years but there is talk of putting in fish ladders. the place is a national historic landmark first of it's kind forget about it wes.
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0 #1 Terry 2018-02-24 12:32
What n the world!!!!!! Remove the locks?? Hey I’ve lived here my whole life too!!!! I’m 62 years old, born n the old General Hospital n 1955!!! Why do people want to change Louisa so much?! I’m shocked constantly about that!!!! It’s so weird to me!!!!! I love my hometown!!!! I can’t stand it when people want to get to make it a “big city” or whatever their trying to do!!!! Idk. It’s sad I think.
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