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Dewey Lake

9278 Lake Road

Van Lear, KY 41265

Phone:  (606) 886-6709

From I-64 West take the Mountain Parkway exit. From I-64 East take the US 23 South Exit.

From I-75 North, take the Hal Rogers Parkway exit. From I-75 south, take the I-64 East exit.

From U.S. Route 23 take Route 3 East which becomes Route 321, then turn right onto Route 3 and go 1.9 miles to Route 302. Take Route 302 to the Dewey Lake Project Office/ Visitor Center. See Map

General Information

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Dewey Lake is part of the integrated flood reduction system operated by the Corp of Engineers for the entire Ohio River Basin. When the lakes in this system are operated as a vast storage system, flood crests along the Ohio can be significantly reduced. Construction of Dewey Dam began in 1946 and was completed in 1949. The dam is rolled earth-fill with an uncontrolled saddle spillway. The cost of the dam was $6,051,400. The length of the lake is 18.5 miles upstream from the dam. The watershed is 207 square miles. In the intake structure, there are three 5' x 10' caterpillar control gates. The outflow is an 11 foot diameter horseshoe tunnel. Summer Pool Elevation is 650.0 m.s.l. which is 1,100 acres. Winter Pool Elevation is 645.0 m.s.l. The auxiliary spillway is located at Hager Gap at Terry's boat launch ramp. Construction began in 2000 and was completed in 2002. Approximately 150,000 cubic yards of rock was removed from the site. This spillway will allow a maximum of 178,000 cubic feet of water per second to flow through it. The highest flood on record was 3 March 1955 (682.32 m.s.l) The most recent flood was 11 May 2009 (668.66 m.s.l.). During this flood event  (11 May 2009) Dewey Lake prevented more than 2 million dollars in flood damages and overall has prevented more than 94 million dollars since construction. 

Handicapped Access

Universally Accessible Facilities are provided at the Project Office, German Area Campground, Downstream Recreation Area, Jenny Wiley State Park Campground, May Lodge and the Wilkinson Stumbo Convention Center.

Historical Info

There are approximately 11 cemeteries located on Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Throughout the Dewey Lake Project lands, there are five registered archaeological sites and numerous unregistered historical sites. There are no significant historical/cultural sites at Dewey Lake.


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Bicycles are permitted on main roads and campground areas. There is a off-road bicycle trail located on Route 302 in Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.


Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located at the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Marina, Goble Branch Boat Launch, Stratton Branch Boat Launch, Terry Boat Launch and German Campground.


Camping at Dewey Lake is restricted to authorized camping areas only. The use of vehicles off authorized roadways is prohibited. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park maintains two campgrounds. One is a full facility campground, and the other is a primitive, boat-in campground. Jenny Wiley State Park also encompasses day use facilities such as playgrounds, picnic sites and four boat launching ramps. Contact Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at (606) 889-1790 or (606) 886-2711.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages one campground – the Dewey Lake Primitive Campground. There are 12 shoreline site available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All sites include a fire ring and picnic table. There is access to a water spigot, but no electric hook-ups are available. Access to the campground is by walk-in or boat-in access only. Sites are $10 per night paid through a horror vault system. For directions or more information, call 606-886-6709.


For Dewey Lake fishing/water information line call 606-886-6398. (Updated daily or as conditions require)

Game laws are enforced by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation/boating officers. Fishing is allowed from boats and shoreline in and along Dewey Lake. Game fish occurring are bass, crappie, brim, catfish and muskie. Kentucky fishing licenses are required. Trout stocking reports can be found on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website.


Foot trails and multipurpose trails can be found at the Damsite, Jenny Wiley State Park and German Bridge campground. Two interpretive trails are located near the Damsite and include tree identification markers, a park bench and wildlife viewing. Interpretive trail heads are located on the north side of Picnic Hollow, and the southwest aspect of the bottom of the intake structure. Please call a Park Ranger for the location of additional areas conducive for hiking.

Horseback Riding 

Horseback riding on Dewey Lake is permitted at German Bridge Campground and the Damsite on designated trails. For more information on horseback riding at Dewey Lake please contact the Floyd County Fiscal Court at 606-886-2371 or the US Army Corps of Engineers at 606-886-6709.


Hunting at Dewey Lake is permitted at various areas throughout the project. A map of the Wildlife Management area is available in several locations including the Corps of Engineers project office, the Fish and Wildlife office at Dewey Lake, or online http://kygisserver.ky.gov/geoportal/catalog/main/home.page.  For information concerning hunting regulations and other issues such as youth quota hunts please visit the Kentucky Fish andWildlife website.


Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Marina, located near the May Lodge and the Wilkinson Convention Center, provides visitors with docking facilities, boat launching facilities, restrooms and party barge rentals. For more information regarding the marina call 606-886-2711.

Shelter Reservations & Picnicking

Picnic shelters are located at the Downstream Recreation Area and Picnic Hollow. All Shelters are available on a first come first serve basis EXCEPT WHEN RESERVED IN ADVANCE. A fee of $80.00 is required for reserving a shelter. reservations will be taken on the following website: http://www.recreation.gov or by phone 1-877-444-6777.


There are no designated swimming beaches located on Dewey Lake, swim at your own risk.  Jenny Wiley State Resort Park does provide a swimming pool at May Lodge, for more information on the swimming pool at May Lodge please call (606)-889-1790. 

Visitor Center

Dewey Lake Project Office/Visitor Center is located above the Downstream Recreation Area. Maps and brochures are available Monday through Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.


Dewey Lake Photos


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Muskellunge have returned to Dewey Lake in Floyd County.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources this week stocked 500 muskies, each measuring 13 inches long, in Dewey Lake.

While the lake is not slated to receive annual stockings of this species, department personnel will add muskellunge when excess fish are available from state hatcheries.

Dewey Lake was once home to the state record tiger muskie, a hybrid cross between muskellunge and the northern pike. The fish that went into the lake this week are pure muskies. The lake is within the native range of muskies in the state.

Currently, Dewey Lake is covered by statewide regulations for muskies: an angler may keep only one fish over 30 inches. Fisheries biologists will consider recommending a minimum size limit of 36 inches, the same as Buckhorn, Cave Run and Green River lakes.

Biologists anticipate good growth rates for muskellunge, as the lake has a good amount of forage fish to feed upon. Fish stocked this week should reach 30 inches by 2017, and 36 inches around 2019.