Barren River Lake has approximately 140 miles of fee boundary line (often referred to as the “red line”) surrounding 10,106 acres of government land. The government property line is marked by a series of survey points (t-bars or concrete/brass markers) that are further marked by steel locator posts. The government property line is a straight line between these survey points. Trees between these points are marked with white/red boundary marker signs. The boundary line does not always follow a specific elevation. It’s possible that recorded plats of private property do not agree with the true boundary line at Barren River Lake. To prevent encroachments, we recommend that adjacent property buyers contract the services of a licensed surveyor prior to purchase, and that current owners contract the services of a licensed surveyor prior to any construction. Any discrepancies must be resolved prior to any construction activities on any land in question. Any encroachments onto lands owned in fee by the United States are subject to collateral citations, which can result in a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or up to six months in jail (Title 36 - Regulation Governing Use of Federal Property), and the responsible party will be required to remove the encroaching structure. Questions and requests for assistance should be made to the project office.
In addition to fee property, the Corps of Engineers has also purchased flowage easements on 4,561 acres around Barren River Lake using the ground elevation of 596 as an acquisition guide. These easements were purchased for the temporary storage of flood water during periods of high rainfall. Because of the potential for flooding, allowable improvements to property with flowage easement restrictions are limited. Vegetation alteration (mowing, agriculture, timber harvesting, etc.) is allowed under the flowage easement restrictions. Structures not intended for human habitation are allowed only after written permission in the form of a Consent to Easement has been obtained from the Corps of Engineers. Septic systems and structures intended for human habitation are prohibited on land encumbered with a flowage easement.
The boundary line of flowage easement property (often referred to as the “yellow line”) is not marked by the goverment. Legal descriptions of acquired flowage easements are contained in the Government’s acquisition documents recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, and should appear as an encumbrance against the property during a title search. Some information on the boundary of flowage easement property is available at the Barren River Lake project office. To locate the boundary line on any affected property, however, the Corps of Engineers recommends that landowners obtain the services of a licensed surveyor. Encroachments on land encumbered by a flowage easement are violations of legal restrictions on the property and are subject to litigation. They also constitute a title defect which may affect the future sale of the landowner’s property, and the Government cannot assist landowners in the resolution of title defects. Before doing any type of construction or landscaping near the yellow line, contact the project office and speak with a Park Ranger.
For questions about the fee or flowage easement boundary line at Barren River Lake, contact the Barren River Lake project office. An appointment with a Corps Ranger can be scheduled to assist with answering any questions.
Licenses and Permits
Landowners in subdivisions adjacent to Barren River Lake may be eligible to apply for a license or permit to conduct certain activities on government property, including placement of a boat dock, construction of stairs or steps, construction of a pathway (improved or unimproved), vegetation alteration (mowing), construction of roads, turnarounds, parking areas, boat ramps, and installation of fish attractors. Once placed on government property, these improvements are considered public facilities and adjacent landowners cannot restrict the public’s use of the facilities. Restrictions apply as to where on the lake these activities may take place. For additional information, call the Barren River Lake project office. Additional information is also available on the district Shoreline Management web page.