As the Obey flows west, beyond the Cumberland Plateau, it reaches Dale Hollow Lake, a reservoir created to control flooding and provide hydropower by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dale Hollow Dam in 1943. The Obey watershed is one of the basin’s least populous, and water quality in the region benefits from the fact that nearly two-thirds of it remains forested.
Like the other watersheds of the region, the Obey is home to a great array of plant and animal species. Here, one can spot elusive least bitterns, wading through shallow waters and swaying like reeds when predators appear. Threatened Obey crayfi sh are found in the watershed’s upper reaches and nowhere else on earth.