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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catch a mess of fish at Jacobson Park Lake, now a state ‘Fishing in Neighborhoods’ lake

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has partnered with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to provide a fishing opportunity at Jacobson Park Lake.

The 46-acre lake is enrolled in the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program. The FINs program, which began in 2006 with five lakes, now includes 39 lakes in 24 counties. The goal of the program is to provide quality fishing opportunities near cities of all sizes throughout the state.

The lake will receive four yearly stockings of channel catfish and three annual stockings of rainbow trout.

Because trout prefer cold water, the department stocks them during the cool months of February, March and October. The department stocks catfish during the warmer months of March, April, May and August.

Jacobson Park Lake will receive its first stocking of 2,300 channel catfish during the first two weeks of March. The stocked channel catfish will be 12 to 18 inches long and average 1 pound each. The stocking of 4,000 rainbow trout is scheduled for mid-March. The lake already received 4,000 rainbow trout stocked in early February. Rainbow trout will average 9-11 inches long.

Additionally, lakes containing sunfish and bass will be managed and stocked as necessary. Check the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website for the complete list of lakes, exact stocking dates, license requirements and directions to each lake. The site also has a place for you to submit pictures of your catch. Just go to fw.ky.gov/urbanfishing.asp to get the latest information.

Fisheries biologists at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife need assistance from anglers. Researchers are trying to determine the catch and harvest rate of trout and catfish from the lake to guide future stocking strategies. To accomplish this, a number of trout and catfish stocked in the lake are marked with a small fish tag.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees will insert yellow tube tags into 900 of the 12,000 rainbow trout that will be stocked in Jacobson Park Lake. Additionally, 900 of the 9,200 catfish stocked will be tagged with a small plastic disc tag. Each tag consists of a piece of plastic inserted into the back of the fish. Tags contain the department’s name, telephone number and a fish identification number. Anglers who return tags from these fish are eligible for a reward.

Anglers who catch tagged fish should return the tag to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. For convenience, tags and fish information may be turned in at the lake using the postage-paid envelopes in the yellow drop boxes located near the parking lots. Anglers practicing catch-and-release may clip the tag from the fish before releasing it. Only one envelope should be used for each fish.

Daily limits for each angler fishing a FINs lake includes five rainbow trout, four catfish, one largemouth bass over 15 inches and 15 bluegill or other sunfish. A statewide fishing license is required for anglers who are 16 and older. Licensed anglers who want to keep their trout must have an additional trout permit. The trout permit is included in the $5 senior license for those anglers age 65 and older, as well as the sportsmen’s license.

Don’t forget: March 1 marked the start of the new year for fishing licenses. By purchasing a fishing license and trout permit you are helping fund fisheries management and the FINs program.

From Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources