A wide variety of natural conditions have combined to provide a high diversity of habitats within Big South Fork. The Big South Fork River contains over sixty species of fish including channel catfish, sunfish, muskellunge and smallmouth bass. In addition, walleye, striped bass, and white bass do migrate upstream from Lake Cumberland.
The varied terrains of Big South Fork offer an equally high diversity of habitats for mammals and birds. Large native mammals found in the area include White-tailed deer, the black bear which was released experimentally in the mid-1990’s and elk which have migrated into the area from state managed lands. Small mammals ranging from raccoon to bobcat and the gray fox abound throughout the park.
Some 160 species of birds, migratory and resident have been recorded in Big South Fork in recent years. Improving habitat should lead to increasing numbers of birds being recorded in the park.
Did You Know?
In the 1960's Congress requested the Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of damming the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River just above the Devils Jump Rapid to create another reservoir. Had that happened Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area would never have existed.