Escape the hustle and bustle close to home at colorful holiday destinations throughout Kentucky

Holidays in Kentucky make for one of the most wonderful, unique times of year. Locals and visitors alike celebrate the temperature changes, basking in the foliage, with festivals and activities that showcase the state’s authentic tastes, sights and sounds. Tis the season to escape the hustle and bustle that comes along with holiday cooking, shopping and decorating. Here’s how to experience the...

Kentucky State Parks offering discounts to current military, retirees and veterans through March 31

Current and former members of the nation’s armed services can receive lodging discounts at Kentucky State Parks with the “USA Military Discount” program now through Mar. 31. Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists, are eligible for the program. “Kentucky State Parks are proud to offer this lodging discount to show...

State Agriculture Department, local officials take steps to address floodwater mosquito infestation

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is working with local officials in western Kentucky to combat an outbreak of floodwater mosquitoes in the Land Between the Lakes area. “We chose to take a proactive approach to stop these floodwater mosquitoes from becoming a major public nuisance,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “The local governments in the area want to get ahead of...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Two good state resort parks for early summer largemouth bass fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the eighth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The months of May and June make for two of the best for catching largemouth...

Bourbon, beef and BS: Samuels featured speaker at fundraising event to support Lake Barkley

Bourbon enthusiasts and anyone interested in bourbon history are invited to Lake Barkley State Resort Park on March 31 for a special event that will help support the park. Bill Samuels Jr., president emeritus of Maker’s Mark, will speak during “Bourbon, Beef and BS,” sponsored by the Friends of Lake Barkley. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the park conference center and includes a meal, with beef...

Eagle Watch Weekends available at Kentucky State Parks; trips available in January, February

Eagle Watch Weekends, a unique Kentucky State Park tradition, will be offered once again in January and February 2017. The park system will sponsor this wildlife-watching opportunity as bald eagles gather around the major lakes of western Kentucky looking for food. The park tours allow guests to observe and learn about these beautiful birds of prey. For four decades, the Kentucky State Parks have offered...

Carp Blitz: State organizing event at Kentucky, Barkley lakes to gauge population of Asian carp

State and federal agencies, working in cooperation with volunteers, commercial anglers and fish processors, are launching a “Carp Blitz” on Nov. 8-10 to help gauge the population of invasive Asian carp in Kentucky and Barkley lakes. At least a dozen sampling crews will be netting, electrofishing and working with licensed commercial anglers to collect as many Asian carp as possible during this three-day...

Public input requested during department meeting on fishing in Barkley, Kentucky lakes

  The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct a public meeting Jan. 15 to discuss fisheries issues affecting western Kentucky.   While the primary focus will be on crappie and bass fishing in Barkley and Kentucky lakes, officials will also provide updates on Asian carp, habitat projects, catfish and paddlefish. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees also want to hear...

Asian carp, beware! New Western Kentucky plant will catch, clean, process invasive fish

Two Asian carp species of concern include bighead carp and silver carp. (Photo from Kentucky Fish & Wildlife)   Riverine Fisheries International plans to build a fish processing operation in Fulton County in Western Kentucky to catch, clean, process, package and transport various species of invasive Asian carp found in Kentucky’s waters, Gov. Steve Beshear announced. In the process, the...

Online registration lets anglers avoid traffic jams at boat ramps during fishing tourneys

Fishing tournament anglers have a handy tool that can prevent congestion at boat ramps and on the water: the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ online registration site.   Register for fishing tournaments online to avoid congestion at boat ramp. (Photo from F&W) “We’re urging tournament organizers to use this voluntary registration site to help ensure a...

Worst of Asian carp fish kill over; experts say half-million dead in largest carp die-off in U.S.

The worst of a fish kill that has claimed upward of a half-million Asian carp in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam is believed to be over.   This past Friday, fisheries biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources returned to the area as the focus shifted to learning what might have caused the considerable die-off of invasive silver carp.   “Anglers...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Joint husband-wife fishing license just one of many options

(Photo from The 2014 Fishing Guide)   By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   As the latest winter storm took aim at Kentucky this past weekend, a brief break in the weather ahead of its arrival sent many anglers out in search of fishable water.   One trout angler at a Fishing in Neighborhoods lake in Boone County kindly reminded his shoreline acquaintances about the significance of the...

Texas firm will build first of twin Lake Bridges
in state’s tourism-rich Jackson Purchase area

A $131.5 million contract to build the first of the much-anticipated twin Lake Bridges in the Jackson Purchase area of Western Kentucky has been awarded to Johnson Brothers Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.   Causeway construction on west side of Kentucky Lake (Photo from KYTC) The project will result in a four-lane bridge to carry U.S. 68/KY 80 over Kentucky Lake...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Fish offshore structures for post-spawn largemouth bass

Larry Williams of Hamlin holds a largemouth bass caught in early summer from Kentucky Lake. Anglers need to move offshore and fish channel ledges, submerged humps and long points that extend well out into the lake to consistently catch hot weather largemouth bass during the day. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   The wet and unseasonably cool weather pattern lately...

Comer to mosquito-plagued Western Ky.: ‘This is a serious problem … help on the way’

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will commit resources to conduct aerial mosquito control applications around Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in an effort to knock down a significant infestation caused by heavy rains in the area. Department officials met with representatives of Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration last week, and the group put together...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: ‘Largemouth bass on the brain’ a common malady these days

Ryan Kausing, fisheries technician for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a big largemouth bass found during population sampling in the headwaters of Barren River Lake. The numbers of largemouth bass over 20 inches in Barren River Lake continue to increase, and spring is the best time of year to catch a trophy. (Photo provided)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Crappie season is in sight – finally – don’t be left out in the cold

This white crappie was caught from the Jonathan Creek arm of Kentucky Lake last March. With warmer daytime temperatures on the horizon, the crappie fishing season should soon be in full swing. Crappie begin spawning when water temperatures reach the low 60s. (Photo from Ky. Fish & Wildlife)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   This past March set 17 records for lowest minimum daily...

Twenty-one teams sign up to help rid two Kentucky lakes of 100 tons of Asian carp

Carp Madness, the first commercial fishing tournament for Asian carp in the country, takes place March 12-13. (Photo from Ky. Fish and Wildlife)   Twenty-one teams from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee have signed up for the country’s first commercial fishing tournament for Asian carp. The Carp Madness Tournament is being held at Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky March 12-13.   “Our...