A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

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: 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Carolina Chickadees are year-round residents that brighten the dreariest of days

Editor’s Note: This is the second 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 Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is a cheerful little bird that brightens up even the dreariest cold days. The Carolina Chickadee is a permanent, year-round resident of Kentucky and a frequent visitor...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The Dark-eyed Junco — It’s a sure sign of cold weather when this snowbird arrives

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles about small songbirds most often seen around bird feeders in rural and suburban areas of Kentucky during the late fall and winter. The Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) is the very definition of the term “snowbird,” living most of the year at high elevations in northern latitudes, then heading south as cold weather sets in and the snow...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Holiday gift ideas for the anglers, hunters and target shooters on your list

Is there an angler, hunter or target shooter on your holiday shopping list? New gear is always an appreciated gift. Below are some items they would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning: The Z Man Turbo Crawz(Photo provided) • For the bass angler, advanced plastic baits from Z Man Fishing. Their proprietary manufacturing process created ElaZtech® material, which is soft and pliable, yet...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Our state’s many streams and rivers are an important part of history, everyday life

They are present everywhere we travel — to work, school, or shopping trips in urban, rural or suburban areas. Driving Kentucky roadways you are likely to cross a small stream or river, or see one off in the distance. Kentucky waterways, important in our history, and part of our daily life, are where we escape to relax and recreate — fish, hunt, canoe, kayak, pleasure boat, or simply take...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The wood duck ranks third among waterfowl harvested across the state

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles about the ducks most often taken by hunters in Kentucky during waterfowl season. The wood duck (Aix sponsa) is Kentucky’s homegrown duck, nesting throughout the state in trees along creeks, rivers, and wetlands, and in reservoirs where flooded timber is present. Last season hunters in Kentucky bagged 9,721 “woodies,” ranked third...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The Gadwall ranks second in Kentucky duck harvest, third in Mississippi flyway

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles about the ducks most often taken by hunters in Kentucky during waterfowl season. The gadwall (Anas strepera) ranks second in duck harvest in Kentucky, and third throughout the 14 states of the Mississippi Flyway. Last waterfowl season hunters in Kentucky hunters bagged 16,942 gadwall ducks. (Photo courtesy of the Audubon Society) Last...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The Mallard, Kentucky’s most-taken species during waterfowl season

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles about the ducks most often taken by hunters in Kentucky during waterfowl season. The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is Kentucky’s top duck, the species most often taken by hunters during waterfowl season. “Of the 144,400 ducks taken in 2017, 76,376 were mallards,” said John Brunjes, migratory bird program coordinator for the Kentucky...