Yatesville Lake is a reservoir located in the southwestern part of Jefferson County, Kentucky. The lake extends into parts of Allen County and Monroe County. It has an area of 2,300 acres (970ha), and its normal pool elevation is 404 feet (123m) above sea level. The dam which creates the lake is 181 feet (55m) high and 2,750 feet (840m) long.
Construction on the dam began in 1955 by the United States Army Corps Of Engineers, who leased 900 acres (360ha) to the state for use as a park. The park was dedicated in 1959. In September 2020, Yatesville Lake State Park shut down indefinitely due to COVID-19 precautions and concerns about the safety of staff and visitors. Fishing remains available with valid Kentucky fishing license. Visitors can also still access the campground via a drive-up reservation system through the park’s website.
The park includes 15 miles (24km) of hiking trails, 12 miles (19km) of mountain biking trails, 6 miles (9.7km) of equestrian trails, and 5 miles (8.0km) of canoeing trail. The park features camping facilities with water and electric hookups, modern rest rooms and showers, primitive hike-to campsites, cabins, picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming beach, boat ramp, and marina. A visitor center open year round, offers displays, books, T-shirts, hats, and other items for sale. The park hosts many events including the annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival, held each June.
This event celebrates Appalachian heritage and showcases traditional crafts and food. For this festival the entire shoreline of the lake is opened to hunting, subject to local regulations. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout during late winter through mid-spring, and again during fall spawning season. Crappies at various times of the year are also caught here.
There are more than 200 species of fish in the lake including:
- largemouth bass
- northern pike
- white sucker
- black bullhead
- yellow bullhead
- channel catfish
- flathead catfish
- cottontail rabbit
- nutria rat
- ground squirrel