A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Anglers can learn latest about sport fishing, Asian carp in Western Kentucky at April 21 public meeting

Learn more about efforts to combat Asian carp and the state of fishing in Western Kentucky during a Town Hall meeting set for 7-9 p.m. (Central) March 21 at the Lyon Convention Center in Eddyville. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources holds these public meetings annually to keep residents updated on fisheries-related topics. All interested persons are welcome to attend. (Photo from...

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...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: FINs lakes stocking begins, offering productive late winter fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The long train of heavy rain in 2019 has Lake Cumberland at its highest level since April 1998. Barren River Lake is 35 feet above winter pool while Rough River Lake is a little more than 30 feet above winter pool. Late winter fishing is one of the most overlooked, but often highly productive, times of the year to catch trophy fish. This year, however, the fishing...

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...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: New fishing regulations to take affect across Kentucky beginning March 1

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward An old blues song “High Water Everywhere” lamented the damage caused by the great 1927 Mississippi River flood. Kentuckians so far this winter can empathize with those sentiments. Many rivers still run high, Lake Cumberland is at summer pool in January and other reservoirs are well above winter pool. The weather forecast calls for more rain, followed by wicked...

Officials discover juvenile Black Carp in Western Kentucky confirming invasive species in reproducing

A juvenile black carp has been discovered in Ballard County, according to the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The fish, a member of the invasive Asian carp species, came from Gar Creek near the Ohio River. “Assuming this fish was spawned locally, it provides further evidence that black carp are becoming more established in the lower Ohio River drainage...

Carlisle native Rich Storm appointed Commissioner of Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Rich Storm, of Carlisle, has been appointed as the new Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, replacing Frank Jemley of Louisville, who has served as the agency’s acting Commissioner since March 2018. “Rich Storm has been an exemplary leader in his time on the Fish and Wildlife Commission,” said Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Don Parkinson. “We...

Biologists predict improvement in waterfowl hunting in Kentucky as bitter cold predicted north of river

A bitter cold front is expected to wash over duck-holding areas north of the Ohio River early next week, which should mean good news for waterfowl hunting in Kentucky, according to experts at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The cold is coming,” said John Brunjes, migratory bird program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “An expanding cold trough should create...

Auditor Mike Harmon announces 11 findings from special examination of KDFWR

Auditor Mike Harmon has released the results of a special examination by his office of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) for the past several fiscal years. Harmon’s office began the examination of KDFWR after receiving a letter from Don Parkinson, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, asking for a special examination of the agency, which is part of the...

Ky. broadens ban on imported deer to include all U.S. states in effort to curb spread of wasting disease

Acting to protect Kentucky wildlife from chronic wasting disease, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on Monday expanded its ban against hunters bringing any harvested deer, elk or other cervids into the Bluegrass State unless the brain and spinal cord of the carcass have been removed. The ban now applies to cervids harvested from all U.S. states and all foreign countries. Under...

DFWR restricts importation of deer from Tennessee to combat spread of chronic wasting disease

To further safeguard Kentucky’s deer and elk from chronic wasting disease, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources announced new restrictions Saturday on the importation of deer from Tennessee. Effective immediately, hunters are prohibited from bringing any deer from Tennessee into Kentucky unless the brain and spinal column have been removed first. A deer shows signs of chronic wasting...

State plans shad eradication at two lakes within the Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area

The Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plans to eradicate shad from two lakes on the Boone Tract of the Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Henry County. “We hope to start have the treatment of these lakes soon and have it finished by Christmas,” said David Baker, Central Fisheries District biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We will...

Expanded opportunities lead to new harvest record for modern gun deer season concluded Nov. 25

A record 106,797 deer were taken over Kentucky’s 16-day modern gun season that concluded Nov. 25, topping the previous record from 2015 by almost 1,400 deer. “We anticipated an increase in harvest for the season due to several changes in deer regulations implemented earlier this year,” said Gabe Jenkins, Deer and Elk Program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Colds temperatures mean optimistic outlook for upcoming waterfowl season

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The first snippets of snow fell last week, making most people frown, but put a smile on the faces of Kentucky waterfowl hunters. The cold weather the week before the waterfowl season opener on Thanksgiving Day is a good sign. “Waterfowl hunting in Kentucky is nearly 100 percent weather dependent,” said Wes Little, migratory bird biologist for the Kentucky Department...

West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area to host 78th National Retriever Championship

Each year since 1941, the best retrieving dogs in the country compete for the title of national champion. The National Retriever Championship is the Super Bowl of the competitive retrieving world, and it is being held in Kentucky for the first time this year. The event starts Saturday at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area outside Paducah....

KDFWR fall public auction of surplus, confiscated items set for Oct. 29 in Frankfort

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will conduct its fall public auction of surplus and confiscated items on Oct. 29 at department headquarters in Frankfort. Surplus auction items include Triton and Polarcraft boats, Yamaha, Johnson and Evinrude boat motors, four-wheel-drive Chevy, Ford and Dodge trucks, Yamaha and Honda ATVs, side scan sonar units, office equipment, air condition...

Kids can trick-or-treat at Salato Wildlife Education Center’s ‘Halloween Walk with the Animals’ on Oct. 27

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources encourages youngsters – and the young at heart – to put on their costumes and join the Salato Wildlife Education Center staff in Frankfort for the best trick-or-treat experience in town on Oct. 27. Salato’s annual Halloween Walk with the Animals event features child-friendly activities including a hay bale maze, “Creatures of the Night”...

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...

Governor Bevin announces first-ever fish house contract to combat Asian carp in Western Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New initiatives to solve the Asian carp situation in western Kentucky were unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Matt Bevin at a press conference. Bevin announced the award of the state’s first-ever fish house contract. Kentucky Fish Center, LLC of Wickliffe, Ky., will establish the fish house, which will expand the market for Kentucky-caught Asian carp. Angie Yu, operator of Two...

Potential Asian carp deterrent — an underwater wall of sound — to be tested below Barkley Dam

Asian carp have become a major concern in the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and many other rivers within the Mississippi River basin. In Western Kentucky, two of the state’s largest reservoirs, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, were formed by the construction of navigation dams on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, respectively. The lock systems of these dams are the primary sources of reservoir...