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New land acquired for public use by hunters and anglers, expected to be open in August


Bald eagle's nest (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Bald eagle’s nest (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area just grew by more than a third in size.
Earlier this month, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources completed its 18-month-long effort to acquire the 926-acre property of Stephen Boone in Henry County. It is located along KY 389 about three miles north of Gratz.
“What a tremendous property and outstanding opportunity for hunters and anglers alike,” said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gregory Johnson. “With more than a half-mile of Kentucky River frontage, 686 acres of woodlands and about 130 acres of lakes and ponds, this is not only an impressive addition to the Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area, it is precisely the kind of place where memories are made.”
A specific feature is the area’s 110-acre oxbow lake, home to an active bald eagle’s nest. The property also features a 15-acre man-made lake and two-acre pond for additional fishing opportunities.
At its quarterly meeting on June 6, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously voted to name the oxbow as Lake Benjy Kinman. This is in recognition of the well-known fisheries biologist and former Fisheries Division director who retired as the department’s deputy commissioner in February, after 38 years of service.
The commission originally authorized the project at its December 2012 meeting, prior to Kinman’s retirement.
The addition of the new tract brings Kentucky River WMA to 3,555 acres. The department used Federal Wildlife Restoration funds to make the $3,185,440 purchase. It used the value in two department-owned tracts as a 30 percent match toward the federal funds. No Fish and Game Fund money was used.
“We will proceed immediately with getting the area ready for use by hunters and anglers,” said Wildlife Division Assistant Director Chris Garland. “We need to mark boundaries, prepare parking areas and install signage and gates. Our plan is to open the area to small game, fall turkey and deer archery seasons … probably in time for August squirrel season.”
The Fisheries Division is actively sampling the lakes as well. Boat use on the oxbow will be limited to idle-speed only. But access to the smaller water bodies is walk-up only. They will be limited to canoes, kayaks and other small boats powered by no more than trolling motors.
The department will formally open and dedicate the area in mid-August.
From the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

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