Kentucky Tourism

Taylorsville Lake History

Established in 1983

Taylorsville Lake has the distinction of being the most heavily stocked lake for fishing in Kentucky. For a state that prides itself on its numerous lakes and excellent fishing, this is quite a boast. Located 45 miles southeast of Louisville, Taylorsville Lake covers 3,050 acres and has a shoreline of 78 miles.

Built for flood control of the Salt River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake opened to the public in January, 1983. In April 1985 Taylorsville Lake State Park became a reality. The Commonwealth of Kentucky leased 1650 acres that bordered the lake from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The dam that impounded the waters of the Salt River not only preserved an important water source, but it also protects the topsoil from being swept away by uncontrolled floodwaters. The resulting lake serves a twofold purpose: an environmental protection as well as a recreational asset to the surrounding area and state.

The lake is named after Richard Taylor, an early pioneer landowner and gristmill operator who donated 60 acres for the town of Taylorsville. Taylorsville Lake has a full-service marina, with 38 open slips and 144 covered slips. The Salt River from which the lake was made got its unusual name from the number of salt-making operations that that once lined the river.

One of the reasons that the lake is such a fishing paradise is that biologists imposed a 15 inch size limit on fish caught in the lake’s waters. This gave time to establish the fish population before extensive fishing took place. Bass, bluegill, catfish, and other varieties are found in abundance. The Salt River underwent an extensive study to find what type of fish populated and thrived in its waters.

Established in the 1790s, the town of Taylorsville was incorporated on January 22, 1829. Agriculture has dominated both Taylorsville and Spencer County since pioneer days. The impounding of Salt River and the creation of Taylorsville Lake in 1982 has brought in millions of dollars in needed revenues related to boating and fishing activities. Over 10,000 acres surrounding the lake are set aside for a wildlife preserve.

Boat ramps and picnic areas make the lake a popular site for boaters and campers alike. Taylorsville Lake State Park is open throughout the year.