A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Paintsville Lake known by anglers for its rainbow trout and walleye fisheries

Editor’s note: This is the 17th article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Paintsville Lake Marina (Photo from Flickr Commons) Paintsville Lake is located northwest of Paintsville in Johnson and Morgan Counties. The scenic mountain lake is bordered by rock cliffs and forests of pine and hardwood trees. In many of the shady, steep-sided hollows, lush stands of mountain laurel...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: With Ky’s spring wild turkey season fast approaching, the time to prepare is now

With Kentucky’s 2021 spring wild turkey season opening in two weeks, hunters are likely to harvest about as many turkeys as last season, maybe more, since more nonresident hunters will be able to take part in the season Year in and year out, favorable weather conditions are also a major factor in hunter success. The 23-day statewide general season opens Saturday, April 17, and continues through Sunday,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s Nolin River Lake is known for its excellent white bass fishery

This is the 16th article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Aerial view of Nolan River Lake (Photo from Flickr Commons) Nolin River Lake is in Edmonson, Grayson, Hardin, and Hart Counties, about 17 miles south of Leitchfield, KY. The dam is on Ky. 728, 7.8 miles upstream from the Nolin River’s confluence with the Green River. The lake is just a short drive from Mammoth Cave...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Often overlooked by anglers, Lake Malone offers excellent largemouth bass fishing

This is the 15th article in an ongoing series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Lake Malone is 18 miles north of Russellville, in Muhlenberg, Todd, and Logan Counties. The lake opened in 1963 and was impounded from Rocky Creek, a tributary to the Mud River. It was built by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Lake Malone...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The swimbait is a big bass lure especially effective during the spawn

When floodwaters recede, and lake levels return to seasonal normals, it will be the best time of the year to catch big bass. And what’s the go-to big fish lure pre-spawn and post-spawn? That’s open to debate, as water conditions vary, but a strong case can be made for the swimbait. Super soft plastic formulations are the most populare of swimbaits (Photo courtesy of Storm Lures) In the world of...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky Anglers gearing up as March marks unofficial start of fishing season

Although fishing is year-round in Kentucky with no closed seasons, March 1, the beginning of the new license year, has long been considered the unofficial start of fishing season in Kentucky. Now is the time to renew your fishing license. The costs of fishing licenses for the 2021-2022 license year are: Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western...

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: 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: 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...