A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Grayson Lake’s rocky cliffs and waterfalls offer varied outdoor experience

This is the 14th article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Grayson Lake (Photo from Kentucky State Parks) Grayson Lake is in Carter and Elliott counties. The dam is about 7 miles south of Grayson, off Ky. 7. Construction began in 1964, and the lake opened in April 1969. The main access highways are Ky. 7, Ky. 986, and Ky. 504. Size Impounded from the Little Sandy River, Grayson...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Martin’s Fork Lake is Ky’s only reservoir with four species of black bass

This is the 13th article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Martin’s Fork Lake (Photo by Jamie Middleton, Flikr Commons) Martins Fork Lake is about 4 miles southwest of Cawood in Harlan County. The dam is at river mile 15.6 of the Cumberland River, backing up water over a flat valley on the Kentucky-Virginia border. Built by the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s 2020-2021 deer season results in fifth-highest harvest on record

(Photo from KDFWR) The coronavirus pandemic had little if any impact on Kentucky’s 2020-2021 white-tailed deer season as hunters checked in 141,630 deer, the fifth-highest harvest total on record, surpassing the 10-year average of 137,008. “We’re very pleased with the 2020-21 harvest numbers,” said Ben Robinson, assistant director of the Wildlife Division at the Department of Fish and Wildlife...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Lincoln County’s Cedar Creek Lake is Kentucky’s destination for trophy bass

This is the twelfth article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Cedar Creek Lake in Lincoln County (Photo from Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce) Cedar Creek Lake, five miles southeast of Stanford in Lincoln County, has the unique distinction of being Kentucky’s only lake managed for trophy largemouth bass since its impoundment. Through the years, a restrictive minimum size...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Pike County’s Fishtrap Lake offers surprising potential and quality fishing

This is the eleventh article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Fishtrap Lake (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Fishtrap Lake is 147 miles southeast of Lexington in Pike County. The dam is about 15 miles southeast of Pikeville, off Ky. 1789. The lake was impounded from the Levisa Fork, a tributary to the Big Sandy River. Construction on the 195-foot-high dam, the...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Greenbo Lake may be small, but it carries a big reputation among Ky. anglers

This is the tenth article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Lodge at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park (Photo from Kentucky State Parks) Greenbo Lake is 113 miles east of Lexington in Greenup County. The lake is 11 miles south of Greenup, off Ky. 1. The major access highways are Interstate 64 and U.S. 23. Impounded in 1955, the lake was built at a cost of $235,000. The Greenbo...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Sparrows swarm backyard bird feeders during Kentucky’s cold winter months

When you feed songbirds during the winter months sparrows are likely to come in droves. The little brown and tan birds are seed eaters and they relish the small seeds commonly found in wild bird mixes — black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and milo. They will feed on hanging feeders, or trays laid on the ground where the seed is just piled up. A tufted titmouse feeds on black oil sunflower seeds....

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Cutthroat trout is newest species of trout introduced to Kentucky waters

The Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) is native to the cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean, from California to Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and Great Basin in North America. Its species, clarkii, was named to honor Captain William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition (1803-1806), who described the fish in his diary. There are 14 sub-species of cutthroat trout, two...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Brook trout are one of four species in Lake Cumberland tailwaters

The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a cold-water species native to the eastern U.S. and Canada. Populations in the U.S. are mostly confined to higher elevations of the Appalachians. Its preferred habitat is small, clear streams in unspoiled backcountry. The brook trout is a member of family Salmonidae. Brook Trout (Photo by Charlie Summers Flickr Commons) Size and Coloration The “brookie”...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Fall and winter are ideal times for brown trout fishing in Kentucky waters

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is a European species that has been widely introduced. In April 1884, the U.S. Fish Commission, released 4,900 brown trout fry into the Baldwin River, a tributary of the Pere Marquette River in Michigan. This was the first release of brown trout into U.S. waters. By 1900, 38 states had received stocks of brown trout. Their adaptability resulted in many of these introductions...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Rabbit hemorrhagic disease threatens North America’s wild rabbit population

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease, highly contagious disease with a high mortality rate, is threatening North America’s wild rabbits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Heath Inspection Service classified the virus serotype 2 (RHDV2) “as a foreign animal disease…for the first time in the U.S., detected in wild rabbits.” The black-tailed jackrabbit is one of the species...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A scenic mountain reservoir, Carr Creek Lake is an overlooked walleye fishery

Editor’s note: This is the ninth article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. For more than twenty years it was known as Carr Fork Lake. In January 1997, Congress officially changed the name of the project to Carr Creek Lake, in honor of long hunter William Carr, who explored the area in the 1770’s, and the community’s legendary high school basketball team that won the state championship...

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...