A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Use the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website to find a great place to fish

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Two employees of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources recently used the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov to glean information on catching saugeye. They used the 5-foot contour maps on the “Find a Place to Fish” to study the bottom of Guist Creek Lake in Shelby County and determine a place to fish. They later fished those areas and caught...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Experimental stocking of fast-growing saugeye offers anglers another option

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward With every passing season, anglers are building their knowledge base about how to catch saugeye stocked in a handful of central and northern Kentucky lakes. A saugeye is a fast-growing cross between a walleye and sauger that can reach 15 to 19 inches in its second year. The hybridization is evident in the species’ physical appearance. Saugeye display the faint...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Like the summer temps, Lake Cumberland striped bass are heating up

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Few things in the outdoors in Kentucky can top being on Lake Cumberland at daybreak on a summer morning, watching a planer board or large bobber disappear, followed by the sound of a slipping drag. Striped bass pull like no other fish in Kentucky and landing a 22-inch or longer keeper brings a rush of adrenaline that gives you the shakes. Now in the fourth year...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: A few tips on how to choose the best kayak for flat water fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward A car, truck or sport utility vehicle with a couple of kayaks on the roof with fishing poles visible through the back window is an increasingly common sight on Kentucky highways. Sales data shows kayak fishing and related kayak accessories increasing in popularity. Some of this popularity has to do with many baby boomers reaching retirement age and wanting a new...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Newly published plan to bring back ruffed grouse comes into focus

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward A newly published plan developed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources offers a long-range strategy to help ruffed grouse populations rebound in eastern Kentucky after years of decline. The Ruffed Grouse and Young Forest Strategic Plan looks 10 years out and its success hinges on an array of partners working together to create the young forest...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Fun the key to encourage your young angler’s growing interest this summer

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward If free fishing weekend was a home run with your kiddos, you might be wondering about how to keep the momentum going throughout the summer. Take a cue from them: keep it fun. Does this mean they need to catch a fish or get a bite every cast? Not necessarily. Fun can be wading a creek or floating down one for the first time in a canoe or kayak. Fun can be seeing how...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Here are two excellent options for combating early summer fishing blues

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the ninth and final installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). June is one of the best months for outside activities such as fishing. However, many predator species,...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Despite challenges, state hunters posted productive spring turkey season

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Turkey hunters in Kentucky encountered wind, rain and wild temperature swings this past spring season but did not let factors out of their control keep them from posting impressive results. The 2017 youth-only and general seasons produced a total harvest of 33,061 turkeys – a 6.5 percent increase over 2016 and the third highest on record for the state. “We were...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Memorial Day is the official kick-off for the state’s summer boating season

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Kentucky’s lakes and streams are bound to be crowded with anglers, paddlers and pleasure boaters during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. Boating safety officials want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. “On really busy holidays, the boat’s operator has to remain extremely attentive,” said Zac Campbell, boating education...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Two good state resort parks for early summer largemouth bass fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the eighth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The months of May and June make for two of the best for catching largemouth...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Late spring great time of year to take the kids fishing for some bluegill

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the seventh installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). It is Kentucky Derby week, a fantastic time of year. Summer is around...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Now a common presence in state, coyotes coexist in the urban landscape

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward An expansion from its historic range in the interior plains brought the coyote to Kentucky where as recently as the early 1970s sightings of these animals were still considered rare. Coyotes are now common across the state but their presence in urban and suburban areas can surprise residents. “People in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver have grown accustomed...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: What is old becomes new again — swimbaits will fool that trophy fish

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the sixth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). Anglers with a bit of salt in their hair remember fondly the venerable...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Elk quota hunt application deadline is rapidly approaching

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Twenty years ago this December, seven elk were released atop Potato Knob in Perry County in front of thousands of onlookers. The landmark restoration of a free roaming elk herd in Kentucky was off and running. Fast forward to present day. There are now more elk in Kentucky than any state east of the Rocky Mountains and each year the prospect of harvesting one compels...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Weather is just one of three things to consider for spring fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the fifth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The weather forecast calls for a redbud winter to hit this week. This...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Forget the Final Four, early April is the time to hook trophy largemouth bass

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (Note: This is the fourth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). Now that the Kentucky-based teams are no longer in the NCAA basketball...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: The time has come! Here’s your spring wild turkey season preview

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward Spring turkey hunting is slipping into position before daybreak and sitting still as the sun eases over the hills. It is breaking the silence with a call and getting a response that sends a shock of excitement down your spine. It is coaxing a love-struck gobbler closer and keeping your wits as it struts into range. “There’s something about that drumming, spitting,...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Angles stand excellent chance of catching a trophy muskellunge

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward (This is the third installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). Spring break for many conjures thoughts of traveling somewhere warm and...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Ahead of schedule, white bass spawning runs just around the corner

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward This is the second installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). February days in the 60s make for crowded boat ramps and golf courses...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Up and Coming Fisheries a savory menu of potential fishing trips

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the first installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The Fisheries Division’s Fishing Forecast each year presents its “Up...