A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Eastern Kentucky’s Dewey Lake, a mountain reservoir with a mix of fish species

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Dewey Lake is a mountain reservoir located near Prestonsburg in Floyd County. (Photo from Kentucky State Parks) Dewey Lake is in eastern Kentucky’s Floyd County. The dam is about 4 miles northeast of Prestonsburg, off Ky. 3. Impounded from John’s Creek, a tributary to the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Richard Taylor’s Girty melds myth and fact to tell story of notorious frontier traitor

In this classic work, Richard Taylor artfully assembles passages from diaries, travel accounts, biographies, poems and monologues to tell the story of Simon Girty (1741-1818), branded as a notorious traitor, and one of the most hated men in the Ohio River Valley and Kentucky frontier. Girty survived important battles in two wars that had a profound impact on Kentuckians, the American Revolutionary...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Laurel River Lake offers good fishing for cool water species fall through spring

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Laurel River Lake is located in Laurel and Whitley Counties in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Laurel River Lake is in Laurel and Whitley Counties, just off Interstate-75 in Daniel Boone National Forest. The dam is about 20 miles east of Corbin, on Ky. 1193, about...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: One of Ky’s oldest reservoirs, Dale Hollow offers good fishing, exceptional scenery

Construction on Dale Hollow Lake began in 1942, and was completed after WWII. (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Dale Hollow Lake is one of Kentucky’s oldest major reservoirs. Construction began in 1942 but the project was not fully functional until after World War II, built at a cost of $52.3 million. Straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border, in Cumberland and Clinton counties in Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s white-tailed deer harvest is off to strong start as gun season looms

Kentucky’s 2020-21 white-tailed deer season got off to a fast start as the main event, our statewide 16-day modern gun season looms on the horizon. Ideal hunting conditions, cool, dry weather, were a major factor in the record harvest by archers in September. Bowhunters reported taking 7,981 deer, eclipsing the old record of 6,650 deer arrowed in September 2015. Kentucky’s modern gun season...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Buckhorn Lake offers beautiful mountain scenery and muskie hideaway

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth article is a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Buckhorn Lake is located west of Hazard in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Buckhorn Lake is in Perry and Leslie Counties, about 28 miles west of Hazard, in the Redbird Purchase Unit of Daniel Boone National Forest. Completed in 1967, the lake was built by impounding...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s Green River Lake features a mixed creel of quality fisheries

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Green River Lake is located in Taylor and Adair Counties in south-central Kentucky. (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Green River Lake is in south-central Kentucky, east of Ky. 55 between Campbellsville and Columbia, in Taylor and Adair Counties. The dam is 26 miles upstream of Greensburg, and...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky fall fishing update — watch the weather and monitor water levels

Fall has arrived with a blast of cool air, invigorating both fish and fishermen. Two sure signs of the season are shorter days and cool, foggy mornings. Some of the best fishing of the year has started and if favorable weather and water conditions continue, the good fishing could last into late November. (Photo by John Lander) Generally in major reservoirs, black bass, crappie and other game fish...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s newest major reservoir, Yatesville Lake offers excellent fishing

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Yatesville Lake (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Yatesville Lake is Kentucky’s newest major reservoir. Located 5 miles west of Louisa in Lawrence County, the backdrop is piney, forested hills. Impounded from Blaine Creek, which flows into the Big Sandy River about 25 miles upriver from Ashland,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Cave Run Lake is Kentucky’s top destination for Muskellunge fishing

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about Kentucky’s major resevoirs Cave Run Lake Dam (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo) Cave Run Lake, Kentucky’s top muskie fishing destination, is in Menifee, Morgan, Bath, and Rowan Counties, about 15 miles southwest of Morehead. The major access highways are Interstate 64, U.S. 60, Ky. 801, and Ky. 1274. The project was completed...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Taylorsville Lake one of Kentucky’s most popular recreational resevoirs

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about Kentucky’s major resevoirs In part because of its close proximity to Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area, Taylorsville Lake is arguably central Kentucky’s most popular reservoir. Located about 25 miles southeast of Louisville in Spencer, Anderson, and Nelson Counties, Taylorsville Lake offers excellent fishing and is a convenient...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Spring spawning runs of white bass in Ky. waters a favorite with anglers

Editor’s note: This is the tenth article in a series about Kentucky’s gamefish species. The white bass (Morone chrysops) is found in rivers throughout the state, and fishable population are present in many of Kentucky’s major lakes. For most of the year it is an open-water (pelagic) species in lakes, but in the spring the spawning urge makes schools of white bass congregate in rocky headwater...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Primarily a river fish, sauger are also present in Kentucky’s Lakes and tailwaters

Editor’s note: This is the ninth article in a series about Kentucky’s gamefish species. The sauger (Sander canadense) is a river fish that isn’t as widely distributed or abundant in Kentucky as it once was, due primarily to the blocking of spawning routes. Since sauger prefer current to slack water, high-rise dams are a hindrance to migration. Sauger do not thrive in lake environments. Populations...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The striped bass is now present in Kentucky’s lakes, tailwaters and rivers

The striped bass (Morone saxatilis), a sleek, powerful fish with firm, white flesh, has long been regarded as one of the most important game and food fishes in the U.S. Until the late 1940s striped bass existed only as an anadromous species, a fish that was born in freshwater but spent most of its life in salt water, returning to freshwater to spawn. Naturally occurring populations are found along...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The largemouth bass remains most popular gamefish in Kentucky waters

(Editor’s Note: This is the seventh article in a series about Kentucky’s gamefish species.) The largemouth bass is Kentucky’s most popular gamefish. French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède (1756-1825) was the first to publish information on this black bass in the scientific literature, based on a drawing and simple description obtained in 1802 from the Carolinas. He named the...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Spotted (Kentucky) Bass — most common in the streams of Northeastern Ky.

Editor’s note: This is the sixth article in a series about Kentucky’s native gamefish species. Once thought to be a hybrid between the Largemouth Bass and the Smallmouth Bass, the Spotted Bass is easily confused with the Largemouth Bass by inexperienced anglers. The species was first described in 1819 by French naturalist Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, who collected a specimen at the Falls...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The return of Kentucky’s native river-run, southern strain of Walleye

The Walleye is native to Kentucky. The so-called river-run, southern strain of Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)` once inhabited the Ohio River, and many of its tributaries throughout the state. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840), a naturalist at Translyvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky, was the first to describe the Walleye in the scientific literature, from a specimen he took in Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Live bait catches fish and is the best approach for beginners, anglers on a budget

Live bait catches fish. A slithering worm or wiggling minnow is something fish can’t resist. The natural action, smell and mouth feel of a live organism is something adult fish experience whenever they feed. They know it’s food, but yes fish can be fooled into striking artificial lures. For beginning anglers or anglers on a budget, fishing with live bait is a win-win approach, effective and inexpensive....

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Non-native mussel, aquatic vegetation have become common in Kentucky waters

A non-native mussel and three species of non-native aquatic vegetation have become established in Kentucky’s major lakes. Zebra Mussels endanger native mussel populations and affect the food chain, water clarity and spawning substrate of native gamefish species. Zebra Mussels are present in Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Dale Hollow Lake, Taylorsville Lake, Carr Creek Lake, Dewey Lake, and Fishtrap...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The yellow bass is a small, underappreciated species, but makes a tasty meal

This underappreciated native fish species is usually an incidental bycatch, most often taken by crappie anglers casting or drifting small jigs, or fishing live minnows around submerged wood cover. The Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis) is a member of the temperate bass family Moronidae, that includes the striped bass, white bass and hybrid striped bass. Some anglers fishing in Kentucky Lake and...