Fishtrap is one of the larger lakes in Eastern Kentucky, at more than 1,000 acres, and it attracts about 200,000 visits per year. Boaters also frequent Fishtrap to cruise and admire the steep mountains and rocky outcroppings that jut up from the banks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers resource manager at Fishtrap said the yearly invasion of debris is an unfortunate inevitability. With a 395-square mile watershed — more than 90 percent of which is in nearby Virginia — the lake will always collect debris from spring rainfall.
The corps contracts a boat called the “Trash Hunter” to help clean up the debris, but even with the specialized vessel, collecting and sorting trash and wood costs about $32 per square yard.