Herrington Lake is a man-made lake that was created in the 1925 when a dam was created upstream on the Dix River. The location was chosen with the guidance of a man named Lewis B. Herrington who owned a power plant in Richmond, KY.
Herrington did not stumble upon this location by himself. He had gotten the location by reading Daniel Boone’s writings. Boone had written “Dick’s River runs through a great body off first rate land, abounding everywhere with cane, and affords many excellent mill seats. Many mills are already built on this stream, some of which are represented on the map, and will have a plentiful supply of water in the driest seasons.
The banks of the river near its mouth are similar to the banks of the Kentucky.” He took this information and started the plan to build a dam at the current location, to be able to have a power source. With Herrington’s guidance, a reservoir was created that provided water to operate a hydroelectric generating station. The dam construction began in 1923 and completed in 1925. Electricity generation began in the fall of 1927 and the Dix Dam power plant still generates electricity to this day. The dam is also able to provide the option of controlling the amount of water that enters the Kentucky River during periods of high precipitation.
This helps prevent flooding downstream. Unbeknown to most, at the
time of its construction the dam was the largest rock filled dam in the world. Most of the rock came from the area of the lake known as Rocky Fork. While Herrington Lake is open to recreational use, it is owned by KU up to the 760 high water mark. It has a maximum depth of 249 feet! This makes it the deepest lake in Kentucky.
The lake has frozen twice, once in 1936 and again in 1978. It is 35 miles
long, covers more than 2300 acres and 325 miles of shorelines, and holds
approximately 175 BILLION gallons of water. Summer pool is 735-740 feet.
Herrington Lake is known for great fishing! The lake is stocked with bluegill, catfish, crappie, and bass. Anglers can be spotted fishing about every day on the lake.