Obama signs bill to preserve tailwater fishing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Anglers who caught the attention of federal lawmakers have preserved access to fishing below dams on the Cumberland River in Kentucky and Tennessee.

President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law a bill blocking the Army Corps of Engineers from erecting barriers to prevent fishing in the tailwaters. Those tailwaters are prime fishing spots in a region known as a recreational haven.

Local officials said the restrictions would have hurt tourism, a key contributor to the region's economy.

Congress waded into the controversy by passing the Freedom to Fish Act. It puts a two-year moratorium on any barriers that would block access to tailwaters.

Sen. Mitch McConnell praised Obama for reversing a decision to place barriers along the river.

A proposal to permanently ban barriers is pending in the House.


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