Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) announced the "Freedom to Fish Act" (S.982) unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation passed the Senate late last week. The "Freedom to Fish Act" prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from restricting public access to waters surrounding dams or civil work structures along the Cumberland River in Kentucky and Tennessee for a two-year period. 

“I’m pleased to see the House agree to a two-year delay of the Corps’ unconvincing tailwaters access restriction. With lake levels rising, folks are gassing up their boats and getting excited about the 2013 summer season," said Rogers. "The 'Freedom to Fish Act' will ensure lake enthusiasts have full access to prime fishing spots. This legislation keeps the Corps from moving forward with physical barriers, while allowing for signage and alert systems to inform individuals of potential water-flow changes. Communities around Kentucky’s fine lakes rose up in opposition to the Corps’ policy and now have reason to celebrate and fish to catch.”

In 2012, the Army Corps of Engineers re-interpreted a 1996 policy to permanently restrict access to the tailwaters of ten dams in the Cumberland River basin. In April, the Corps officially announced it would implement the new restrictions. However, this bill directs the Corps to remove any permanent physical barriers constructed for the restricted areas. The "Freedom to Fish Act" now proceeds to the President's desk to be signed into law. 

Rogers has served Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia's natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit or follow Rogers on Twitter and Facebook.