A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s 2020-2021 deer season results in fifth-highest harvest on record

(Photo from KDFWR) The coronavirus pandemic had little if any impact on Kentucky’s 2020-2021 white-tailed deer season as hunters checked in 141,630 deer, the fifth-highest harvest total on record, surpassing the 10-year average of 137,008. “We’re very pleased with the 2020-21 harvest numbers,” said Ben Robinson, assistant director of the Wildlife Division at the Department of Fish and Wildlife...

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: Fall and winter are ideal times for brown trout fishing in Kentucky waters

The brown trout (Salmo trutta) is a European species that has been widely introduced. In April 1884, the U.S. Fish Commission, released 4,900 brown trout fry into the Baldwin River, a tributary of the Pere Marquette River in Michigan. This was the first release of brown trout into U.S. waters. By 1900, 38 states had received stocks of brown trout. Their adaptability resulted in many of these introductions...

New public pistol range now open in Meade County at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has opened a dedicated pistol range at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area in Meade County. The new pistol range, the second operated by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, opened Dec. 2 and is near an existing rifle range at the area. “Hunters and recreational shooters made this possible through the federal excise taxes they paid on their purchases...

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...

Deer-related accidents increase in Kentucky during fall; motorists should be on alert in November

The arrival of autumn signifies the approaching end of another year as nature prepares for winter dormancy. However, with beautiful fall colors also comes an increase in vehicles encountering deer in roadways. Drivers should be aware of deer throughout the year, but the months of October through December bring a spike in deer-related accidents. Shorter periods of daylight and cooler temperatures trigger...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Buckhorn Lake offers beautiful mountain scenery and muskie hideaway

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth article is a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Buckhorn Lake is located west of Hazard in the Daniel Boone National Forest (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Buckhorn Lake is in Perry and Leslie Counties, about 28 miles west of Hazard, in the Redbird Purchase Unit of Daniel Boone National Forest. Completed in 1967, the lake was built by impounding...

Deer Sample Collection Stations to monitor herd health; voluntary program to benefit hunters

Hunters can learn the age of their harvested deer and help the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources monitor the health of the state’s deer and elk herds through a new voluntary program available this fall. The department is establishing Deer Sample Collection Stations at several locations across the state, where hunters may submit the heads of their legally harvested and telechecked...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Cave Run Lake is Kentucky’s top destination for Muskellunge fishing

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about Kentucky’s major resevoirs Cave Run Lake Dam (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo) Cave Run Lake, Kentucky’s top muskie fishing destination, is in Menifee, Morgan, Bath, and Rowan Counties, about 15 miles southwest of Morehead. The major access highways are Interstate 64, U.S. 60, Ky. 801, and Ky. 1274. The project was completed...

Endangered mussels released in Green River; National Park Service, DFW partner in effort

In conjunction with the National Park Service, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources earlier this month stocked about 1,200 individual mussels into the Green River within Mammoth Cave National Park in Southcentral Kentucky, in order to restore a federally-listed endangered species historically found in waters of the state. The rayed bean, a species of freshwater mussel, has not been...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The striped bass is now present in Kentucky’s lakes, tailwaters and rivers

The striped bass (Morone saxatilis), a sleek, powerful fish with firm, white flesh, has long been regarded as one of the most important game and food fishes in the U.S. Until the late 1940s striped bass existed only as an anadromous species, a fish that was born in freshwater but spent most of its life in salt water, returning to freshwater to spawn. Naturally occurring populations are found along...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The return of Kentucky’s native river-run, southern strain of Walleye

The Walleye is native to Kentucky. The so-called river-run, southern strain of Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)` once inhabited the Ohio River, and many of its tributaries throughout the state. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840), a naturalist at Translyvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky, was the first to describe the Walleye in the scientific literature, from a specimen he took in Kentucky...

Operation Dry Water in effect this weekend; conservation officers watching for impaired boaters

Conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will join law enforcement agencies across the nation for Operation Dry Water during the July 4 holiday weekend. Operation Dry Water is a national campaign designed to educate the public about the danger of boating while impaired. Kentucky will increase its law enforcement presence around the state’s lakes and rivers...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The yellow bass is a small, underappreciated species, but makes a tasty meal

This underappreciated native fish species is usually an incidental bycatch, most often taken by crappie anglers casting or drifting small jigs, or fishing live minnows around submerged wood cover. The Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis) is a member of the temperate bass family Moronidae, that includes the striped bass, white bass and hybrid striped bass. Some anglers fishing in Kentucky Lake and...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Saugeye fishery has blossomed in Ky., providing a bonanza for anglers

What started out as experimental stockings in 2013 has blossomed into a bonafide fishery management success story for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), and a bonanza for anglers. The Saugeye has found a home in Kentucky. This hybrid thrives in fertile waters where shad are present, adapts well to lake environments, and tolerates turbidity and warm water better than walleyes. A...

In wake of recent drownings, officials emphasizing safety when swimming, boating on Ky. waterways

With the recent summer-like temperatures, many people have been getting outdoors to enjoy Kentucky’s lakes and streams. If not careful, a fun day swimming or boating can turn tragic in a matter of seconds. Conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources investigate boating accidents and fatalities on all waterways and reservoirs throughout the state. Often, they...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Hybrid striped bass in Ky. waters are result of a controlled interspecies cross

The Hybrid Striped Bass is the result of interspecific hybridization, a cross of two species that must occur in the controlled environment of a fish hatchery. It does not happen naturally in the wild, and offspring are usually sterile. The original cross is the eggs of the female Striped Bass (Morone saxatilus) mixed with the milt of the male White Bass (Morone chrysops). The so-called reciprocal cross...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A look at the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on outdoor activities in Ky.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has reached into the outdoors, where we practice social distancing on purpose. Fishing and hunting are open in Kentucky but there have been some changes enacted because of the health emergency. Here’s some news and observations about fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities in Kentucky during the COVID-19 outbreak. On its website the Kentucky Department of...

Fish and Wildlife Resources cancels conservation camps; decision protects families from COVID-19

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will not offer its summer conservation camps this year due to the novel coronavirus. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience,” Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Rich Storm said. ”However, this is a necessary step we had to take to protect the health and safety of our campers, their families and our staff.” This decision was...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Wading is an excellent and inexpensive way to fish in state’s abundant streams

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Anglers in Kentucky often learned to fish by wading the abundant streams that course over the surface of our state. Many of these streams flow over a rocky bottom and hold substantial populations of smallmouth bass. Several streams flowing in the mountains of east Kentucky or streams powered by springs receive trout stocked by the Kentucky Department of Fish and...