A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Division of Forestry prepares for fall wildfire season; restrictions on outdoor burning in effect

The Kentucky Division of Forestry is preparing for fall wildfire season. Wildfires in Kentucky threaten damage to homes, private property, trees and landscapes. More importantly, they place lives at risk, including those of firefighters. The vast majority of Kentucky’s wildfires are preventable, the result of arson and careless open-burning (burning of trash, debris and brush). Despite a wet beginning...

New Hunting Access areas open in six Eastern Ky. counties — more than 35,000 acres — this fall

Working with private landowners is one way the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources expands public hunting opportunities across the state. Recently, the department reached Hunting Access Area agreements with RH Group and Elk Horn Coal Company, opening more than 35,000 acres in Floyd, Magoffin, Pike, McCreary, Letcher and Knott counties for public hunting this fall. “We are excited to...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: September is quota hunt application month for state’s public Lands

Now through the end of September, individuals can apply for deer, waterfowl, pheasant and sandhill crane quota hunts offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at state wildlife management areas and other public lands. Deer hunts offered include a shotgun-only, youth-mentor hunt at the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Dec. 15-18. Several Kentucky state parks will...

Tree Farmer of the Year Field Day on Oct. 9 highlights Clifton Taylor family farm in Gravel Switch

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The Clifton Taylor family tree farm in Gravel Switch will be the site of the Tree Farmer of the Year Field Day on Oct. 9. The Kentucky Forest Industries Association selected Taylor as the 2017 Kentucky Tree Farmer of the Year. The honor recognizes his extensive stewardship work. The free field day is presented in conjunction with the University of Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: 2018-19 Kentucky Deer Season Preview; Job #1 — Harvest More Does

When Kentucky’s 2018-19 deer season opens tomorrow, with the beginning of archery hunting, opportunities to bring home some venison couldn’t be better. Kentucky’s deer herd is large, populations in some counties are at an all-time high, and regulations have been significantly liberalized. Kentucky’s 143-day archery season opens September 1 and continues through January 21, 2019. Archery season...