A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Memorial Day weekend launches summer boating season; conservation officers to monitor waters

Summer-like temperatures have arrived in Kentucky and many families will be headed to their favorite lake during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 23-25. “Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of recreational boating season in Kentucky,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of law enforcement for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Officers will be monitoring...

Most bear problems preventable; residents urged to work together for the benefit of people and wildlife

The arrival of spring means bear activity is on the rise in Kentucky. An increase in activity can also mean an increase in bear complaints. For those experiencing problems, it may be easier to make some simple adjustments rather than trying to change the bear’s behavior. Most bear problems center around food. To a bear, garbage or an open dumpster can equate to a quick and easy meal. Even food scraps...

Unveiling of hunters for 2020 Kentucky elk hunt to be announced virtually via live-stream on May 16

This season’s unveiling of hunters for the 2020 Kentucky elk hunt will be held at 1 p.m. (EDT) May 16 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Due to the novel coronavirus, the event will be held virtually without an audience. This decision was made by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as part of the Commonwealth’s...

Road opening in Anderson County along Salt River benefits anglers fishing at Taylorsville Lake

A portion of Old River Road paralleling the Salt River in Anderson County opens this Saturday (March 7) to anglers wishing to fish the headwaters of Taylorsville Lake for the spring white bass run. As spring nears and water temperatures approach the low 50s, white bass will “run” from downstream up into the headwaters to spawn, providing fast and exciting fishing action. The gated accesses at Palmer...

Farmers can earn $10,000 in Cooperative Dove Field Program; enrollment period extended to March 10

Farmers can earn extra money and support Kentucky’s hunting heritage by participating in the Cooperative Dove Field Program offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The program leases privately owned and managed fields for public dove hunting in the fall. Enrollment is open through March 10. “This creative program gives our farmers an additional income opportunity, and...

West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area deer hunt spots reduced because of recent flooding

High water from the Ohio River continues to impact portions of West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in McCracken County. Due to flooding, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is adjusting the number of spots available for the area’s open firearms deer hunt scheduled Jan. 18-20. The first 115 hunters who appear at the designated check-in station from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. local...

Hunters face penalties for bringing whole deer and elk carcasses into Kentucky from out of state

Modern gun seasons for deer in surrounding states open as soon as this weekend. It’s a good time for big game hunters traveling outside of Kentucky to review the rules on bringing their harvests home. Kentucky prohibits anyone from bringing whole carcasses of deer or elk into Kentucky from another state. This also applies to other big game, such as caribou or moose. Hunters may transport deer and...

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife monitoring water conditions at Lake Cumberland; heat, low oxygen stressing fish

Biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are closely monitoring water conditions at Lake Cumberland with fish starting to show signs of stress due to elevated water temperatures and depleted oxygen levels. “We have been experiencing some shad and alewife die-offs in different parts of the lake the past few weeks, which is due to the continued high water temperatures...

September is quota hunt application month in Kentucky; options include deer, waterfowl, pheasant

Deer, waterfowl, pheasants and sandhill cranes are among the quota hunts offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources this season at state wildlife management areas and other public lands. Hunters can apply for these quota hunts throughout September by going online to fw.ky.gov. Applications are not accepted over the phone; the minimum fee is $3 per application. Kentucky Fish and...

More than 7,000 acres of Breathitt County hunting access area withdrawn from public use

A privately held area in Breathitt County totaling more than 7,000 acres is no longer part of a public hunting access program administered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Hunting access area agreements are the outgrowth of the department’s efforts to work with private landowners to open more acreage to the public. These agreements are not permanent and may be altered or...

Salato Wildlife Education Center celebrates monarch butterfly’s annual migration south on Sept. 7

Special programs at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will celebrate the beginning of the monarch butterfly’s annual migration south. Participants can learn more about these valuable pollinators and receive expertise and advice on gardening for Kentucky’s native pollinators on Sept. 7 at the Salato Center. Special programs at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will...

Hemorrhagic disease confirmed in Graves County; deer disease not transmittable to humans

A white-tailed deer from Western Kentucky is the state’s first confirmed case of hemorrhagic disease this year. Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center recently confirmed to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources that a deceased female deer recovered from Graves County tested positive for hemorrhagic disease, sometimes referred to as “blue tongue” or EHD. Kentucky...

Free registration open for Kentucky’s quota mentor-youth dove hunts; hunters can apply until Aug. 16

Free registration to participate in Kentucky’s quota mentor-youth dove hunts is now open. Hunters have until 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) Aug. 16 to apply for a hunt. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources offers these hunts to allow adults to provide kids with a quality dove hunting experience. Participation is limited, to avoid crowding of fields. Adult hunters can take up to two youths...

Nonprofit wildlife sales proceeds from special commission permits to be used in Kentucky

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has awarded special commission permits for the 2019-20 seasons to qualifying nonprofit wildlife conservation organizations. Recipients must use these special permits to raise funds for projects that enhance fish and wildlife, habitats, education efforts or related recreation in Kentucky. By state regulation, the commission may award a maximum of 10 special...

Kentucky conservation officers to participate in Operation Dry Water, aiming to make waterways safer

In an effort to educate the public about the dangers of boating under the influence, conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are joining other law enforcement agencies for Operation Dry Water, a national campaign promoting boater safety July 5-7. Increased law enforcement presence around Kentucky’s lakes and rivers will serve as reminders for people not to...

Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry increase amount of venison donated to state’s charitable food agencies

Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry (KHFH) recorded another banner year in 2018 during which the organization increased the amount of venison donated to Kentucky’s charitable feeding agencies. “Kentucky’s sportsmen and women, like our farm families, are great conservationists and stewards of the land,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said of the effort. “As part of the Kentucky...

Prestonsburg’s Mountain Arts Center to host special unveiling of Kentucky elk hunt winners event May 18

The Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg will host its second annual reveal event to announce winners of the Kentucky elk hunt drawing beginning at noon (Eastern time) on May 18. For those unable to attend, the Mountain Arts Center will carry the event live on its Facebook page. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plans to share the feed on its Facebook page. WPRG TV also will air...

Evarts resident Mark Ward catches Kentucky-record largemouth bass (14 pounds, 9.5 ounces)

Evarts resident Mark Ward went fishing after work on Good Friday, April 19, at 6-acre Highsplint Lake in Harlan County with his wife and 9-month-old daughter. It rained all day in Harlan County on Good Friday, but finally cleared up just before he got off work. The water in Highsplint Lake grew a bit murky from the rain, but he saw a nice-sized 4-pound bass in the shallows. Evarts resident Mark Ward...

Additional fishing access opens at Taylorsville Lake WMA; road opening along Salt River benefits anglers

A portion of River Road paralleling the Salt River in Anderson County is now open to anglers wishing to fish the headwaters of Taylorsville Lake for the spring white bass run. The gated accesses at Palmer Road and Old River Road off KY 44 at Taylorsville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will remain open from daylight until dark into summer, except for closures during the youth-only and general spring...

Turkey hunters will want to watch ‘Kentucky Afield’ television’s call-in show this Saturday night

Turkey hunters will not want to miss the next installment of the “Kentucky Afield” television show. With the youth and general spring turkey seasons fast approaching, hunters can submit questions before and during a special one-hour “Kentucky Afield” call-in show that airs live this Saturday (March 23) at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Kentucky Educational Television (KET). An expert panel led by “Kentucky...