A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Early spring chores important part of preparation for wild turkey, deer hunters

It’s that time of the year. Early spring is prime time to complete a number of important, annual chores on your farm, or hunting property, for the benefit of wild turkey and white-tailed deer. There are several reasons why now is the time to be out there, finishing wildlife management and habitat projects, scouting and getting re-familiarized with areas not visited that often. It’s a sure sign...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Longear sunfish, the most abundant in Ky. streams, adapts well to reservoirs

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and last article in a series about Kentucky’s native sunfish species. The longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis ) is Kentucky’s most abundant stream sunfish, that adapts well to reservoirs impounded from major rivers. A beautifully-colored sunfish that is very familiar to anglers who fish rocky creeks, the longear is called a sun granny, or referred to simply...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Rock bass, at home in rocky, cool waters, are a favorite with stream fishermen

Editor’s Note: This is the third article in a series about Kentucky’s native sunfish species. The rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) is most often caught from rocky, cool water streams in Central and Eastern Kentucky. A favorite with stream fishermen, the rock bass in known by the common names of red eye or goggle-eye. Statewide, there’s no daily creel limit, with no minimum size limit. The...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The redear sunfish, mostly found in clear waters with rooted aquatic vegetation

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about Kentucky’s native sunfish species. The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) is found throughout Kentucky, but most common in clear waters — farm ponds, small lakes, and major reservoirs where submerged, rooted aquatic vegetation is present. Statewide, there’s a 20-fish daily creel limit, with no minimum size limit. The redear...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The perfect fish for beginning anglers, the Bluegill is state’s most popular sunfish

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about Kentucky’s native sunfish species. The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is Kentucky’s most popular sunfish, a native species most common in farm ponds, small lakes, and major reservoirs. A perfect fish for beginning anglers, the bluegill is a real scrapper when hooked on light tackle, and is one of our best-tasting fish. The bluegill’s...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: FINs lakes stocking begins, offering productive late winter fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The long train of heavy rain in 2019 has Lake Cumberland at its highest level since April 1998. Barren River Lake is 35 feet above winter pool while Rough River Lake is a little more than 30 feet above winter pool. Late winter fishing is one of the most overlooked, but often highly productive, times of the year to catch trophy fish. This year, however, the fishing...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Teddy Roosevelt an admired president, conservationist, American icon of freedom

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Jr. (1858 – 1919) was one of America’s most popular, admired and beloved presidents. The two-term Republican (1901-1909) was an outdoorsman, war hero, conservationist, book author and journalist, and naval historian. His likeness was carved into Mount Rushmore alongside other America icons of freedom — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. His...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A look back at the tackle and techniques of America’s early black bass anglers

Bass anglers today have a staggering array of tackle readily available. There’s a rod, reel, and line for every lure presentation. Casting reels, spinning reels, light, sensitive graphite rods of any length and action, and thin diameter, high-test fishing lines so clear that they literally disappear in water, can be purchased off store shelves and online. What is really amazing, is the number, and...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Evaluating Kentucky’s crappie populations, creel limits and regulations

Editor’s Note: This is the third and final article in the three-part series on crappie fishing in Kentucky. Fishery biologists have three ways of evaluating crappie fisheries to gain a better understanding of catch rates, crappie reproductive success and population trends. Creel surveys, which are usually conducted from March through October, provide angler input. Creel clerks talk with anglers...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Changes in management of Crappie in small lakes and preferred water conditions

Editor’s note: This is the second article in the three-part series on crappie fishing in Kentucky. In Kentucky, when anglers think crappie, their go-to waters are usually major reservoirs. But in recent years biologists have found some inventive ways to increase the quality of crappie fisheries in small, state-owned lakes. Crappie usually don’t do well in small lakes because they get off massive...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Crappie a highly popular native game fish abundant throughout Kentucky

Editor’s note: This is the first article in the three-part series on crappie fishing opportunities in Kentucky. It’s cold and snowy now, but a month to six weeks from now, avid crappie anglers will be gearing up for the upcoming spring spawn. It’s the highlight of the year on the crappie fishing calendar, as fish staging in deep channels in lakes, begin moving up shallow in creeks, and eventually...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: New fishing regulations to take affect across Kentucky beginning March 1

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward An old blues song “High Water Everywhere” lamented the damage caused by the great 1927 Mississippi River flood. Kentuckians so far this winter can empathize with those sentiments. Many rivers still run high, Lake Cumberland is at summer pool in January and other reservoirs are well above winter pool. The weather forecast calls for more rain, followed by wicked...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Celebrating a memorable hunt in a special place as hunting season nears its end

It is a long walk in the dark to the narrow fold of land hidden between two ridges. Across a rolling pasture, and down the grassy farm road that slopes to the woods edge. The stars are bright in the cloudless sky. There’s a hint of yellow on the horizon. I feel my way into the timber and shuffle downhill through the leaves. The woods are clear underfoot. Even in darkness, there is the feeling of...

Licenses and permits to fish, hunt and trap in Kentucky on sale now; resident fees unchanged

Licenses and permits to fish, hunt and trap in Kentucky in the coming license year are on sale now. The 2019-20 license year starts March 1. License and permit fees for Kentucky residents for the 2019-20 license year are unchanged from the 2018-19 license year. Prices on some options for non-residents have changed and include: • Annual fishing license, $55 • One-day fishing license, $15 • Seven-day...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Winter is the best time to start wildlife management work on your hunting property

With hunting seasons winding down, now is the time to start habitat work on a property being managed for wildlife. Weather permitting, you’ll be finished, and ready for plantings in the late winter and early spring. Creating a good habitat for wildlife is an ongoing process of seasonal mowing, timber management, planting forage and allowing some areas to naturally regenerate. Habitat has to be maintained...

Carlisle native Rich Storm appointed Commissioner of Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Rich Storm, of Carlisle, has been appointed as the new Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, replacing Frank Jemley of Louisville, who has served as the agency’s acting Commissioner since March 2018. “Rich Storm has been an exemplary leader in his time on the Fish and Wildlife Commission,” said Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Don Parkinson. “We...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Hunters hit deer harvest records; Chronic Wasting Disease now in six states

Kentucky’s 2018-19 white-tailed deer season closes at the end of shooting hours on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 21. It’s been a very eventful last four months since the season opened with archery hunting on September 1. An increase in the bag limit, allowing four deer to be taken on statewide and youth deer permits, a lengthening of modern gun season by six days in the counties of Zone...

Biologists predict improvement in waterfowl hunting in Kentucky as bitter cold predicted north of river

A bitter cold front is expected to wash over duck-holding areas north of the Ohio River early next week, which should mean good news for waterfowl hunting in Kentucky, according to experts at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The cold is coming,” said John Brunjes, migratory bird program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “An expanding cold trough should create...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A friendly bird, the Tufted Titmouse is known for crested head, distinctive song

This is the last in a series of articles about small songbirds often seen around bird feeders in rural and suburban areas of Kentucky during the late fall and winter. The Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is identified by a crest of gray feathers on its head and its distinctive song. The Tufted Titmouse has a distinctive head with a pointed, gray crest, square black patch on its forehead and short,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A gravity-defying busy little bird, the White-breasted Nuthatch puts on a show

Editor’s Note: This is the third article in a series about small songbirds most often seen around bird feeders in rural and suburban areas of Kentucky during the late fall and winter. The White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) is a gravity-defying, busy little bird. Hang your bird feeder, or suet cage, off a mature hardwood tree, and sit back and enjoy the show. The White-breasted Nuthatch...