The Nolin River is named for the early American explorer and Kentucky militia member, Benjamin Lynn. Serving under George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War, Lynn traveled to Illinois to spy on the British and Indian forces, and also played a pivotal role in the Northwest Campaign on 1778-79. Following his return to Kentucky, Lynn and several friends were camped in the Green River Area. Lynn became separated from his friends and could not be found for several days. Each night, they returned from the search reporting No Lynn.The river at which they camped became known as the Nolin.

Many of the early settlers in the area around the Nolin River came from Nordic regions which is reflected in community names such as Stockholm and Sweden. Others came from France, showing influence through community names like Moutardier and Chalybeate. Rich in culture, the local area mirrors history and tradition in small businesses around the lake.

The lake is nestled in the rolling hills of south central Kentucky in Edmonson, Grayson, and Hart counties. The dam is located on the Nolin River near the community of Bee Spring, about 20 miles from Leitchfield and 95 miles southwest of Louisville.

  Nolin River Lake
2150 Nolin Dam Road
P.O. Box 339
Bee Spring, KY 42207
(270) 286-4511
Office hours: M-F, 6:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (CST)(may vary, call ahead)

The 5,795 acre Nolin River Lake provides recreational opportunities to over 2 million visitors per year. These visitors come to Nolin for camping, boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hunting, and relaxing. With miles of scenic shoreline and cool, clear water, Nolin is the perfect summer getaway. The Corps, in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky manages Nolin River Lakes land and water for wildlife, fisheries and recreation.

More than 11,500 acres of property at Nolin River Lake are leased to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The KDFWR is responsible for management of the natural resources on this property, as well as management of the fish and wildlife population.

Anglers from near and far come to Nolin River Lake for fishing. Nolin is known for excellent populations of walleye. Largemouth bass and crappie are caught in large numbers, as are tremendous numbers of channel catfish. The lake also has good populations of white bass and bluegill.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources releases rainbow trout in the Nolin River at the Tailwater Recreation Area boat ramp three or four times each summer. Numerous fishermen come to take advantage of these releases. The schedule for trout stocking may be reviewed at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources stocking web page.

During the fall and winter months, when excessive rainfall is likely, the lake is kept at a relatively low level referred to as winter pool.