President Obama Signs Freedom to Fish Moratorium

President Obama has signed into law the Freedom to Fish two-year moratorium, which will halt the Corps of Engineers’ plan to restrict boating access on the Cumberland River system in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The moratorium is effective immediately.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who spearheaded the two-year ban through the Senate, said, “I appreciate the President signing the legislation into law and reversing the Administration’s decision to place barriers and restrict fishing along the Cumberland River. No one I know in Kentucky supported this plan—not fishermen and boaters, not local elected officials and not the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife. I saw that firsthand when I attended the Freedom to Fish Rally with local leaders at Barkley Dam in April, where I had a chance to talk with many area fishermen and business owners about the disastrous effect the Army Corps plan would have had on their livelihoods.”

The Corps plan to blocking boating access immediately below the 10 dams on the Cumberland River system had drawn considerable fire since it came to light in December of last year.

A permanent ban on blocking tailwater boating access is part of the Water Resources Development Act, which has been passed by the Senate but is awaiting action in the House.