A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky is home to a rich diversity of native and non-native fish and wildlife

A wide variety of fish and wildlife species are found throughout Kentucky. While most are native species, several notable desirable non-native species have been introduced into our woods and waters. There are also a few undesirable, non-native species that have taken up residency here. Here’s some insight and details, based on information posted on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources...

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources donates 15,000 blue catfish to boost Kentucky River numbers

A generous donation of 15,000 blue catfish from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boosted fish populations in the Kentucky River. “We’re grateful to West Virginia for helping us fortify blue catfish populations in areas where numbers are low and catfishing is popular,” said Paul Wilkes, acting director of fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Earlier...

New recipe card series — ‘Cook Wild Kentucky’ — to educate Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are teaming up to raise awareness about “Cook Wild Kentucky,” a new recipe card series from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment aimed at educating Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game. “It is an unfortunate reality that 1 in 6 Kentuckians is food...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife seeks conservation officer recruits; applications being taken for 20 positions

Applications are now being accepted for conservation officer recruit positions with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The deadline to apply is 8 p.m. on Oct. 18. The department plans to fill 20 positions in locations across the state. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, possess a valid driver’s license and meet educational requirements or have experience in related fields. To...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Reviewing proper boating safety procedures in advance of Labor Day holiday

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The sun sets earlier each day and the kids are back in school. Summer is all but over. This inevitability prompts many to visit lakes, rivers and streams to get in that last weekend of the summer boating season during the Labor Day holiday weekend. “Our busiest weekend of the year,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of law enforcement for the Kentucky...

Waterfowl blind drawing set for mobility-impaired hunters at Doug Travis Wildlife Management Area

Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 for two specially constructed waterfowl blinds for mobility-impaired hunters at Doug Travis Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Hickman and Carlisle counties. Applications for these quota hunts must be postmarked by Sept. 30. “One blind, Blind 19, is a boat-in site with a handicap-accessible boat ramp. Hunters must hunt within 10 yards of the location...

Department of Fish and Wildlife announces dates for Kentucky’s annual waterfowl blind drawings

Dates are now set for the annual waterfowl blind drawings for season-long sites at Lake Barkley, Sloughs, Doug Travis, Green River Lake and Barren River Lake wildlife management areas (WMAs). These are in addition to other public waterfowl hunting opportunities offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Upcoming season-long blind drawings include: • Lake Barkley WMA, Trigg...

Experimental device could block Asian carp from entering Lake Barkley; construction now underway

An experimental project designed to deter Asian carp from entering Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky is now underway. If weather conditions remain stable, the project is scheduled to become operational by fall. “We’re anxious to get this test underway because it has the potential to be a real game changer in the battle against Asian carp,” said Ron Brooks, director of fisheries for the Kentucky...

Salato Wildlife Education Center to host Hunting and Fishing Day celebration on Aug. 10; admission is free

Bring the entire family to Frankfort on Aug. 10 and join the celebration at Salato Hunting and Fishing Day. On this special day, admission to the Salato Wildlife Education Center is free for everyone. Salato Hunting and Fishing Day will include activities such as 3-D archery, archery trap shooting, air rifle shooting, casting and fishing. Salato staff also will offer an elk presentation at the center’s...

Lexington angler Clay Smith hooks state-record saugeye on Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam

Lexington angler Clay Smith was trolling a pink and white Berkley Flicker Shad crankbait for trout on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam when a fish struck. “I hooked it and thought it was an extremely large trout or a walleye,” Smith said. “When I got it in the boat, I truly thought it was a walleye. My fishing buddy thought it was a sauger.” It turns out it was both. Smith’s 8-pound,...

Officials urge caution against consuming fish From Kentucky River in wake of Jim Beam Distillery fire

Due to the July 2 fire at the Jim Beam bourbon warehouse in Woodford County, and the anticipated impact on the Kentucky River, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are anticipating impacts to the river, including foaming, discoloration, taste and odor. The agencies are already seeing fish kills, as well as distressed fish and impacts...

Unfazed by wet weather, young anglers take part in Lexington Area Take Kids Fishing Day

Wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of young anglers who took part in the Lexington Area Take Kids Fishing Day activities at Southland Church Lake on June 22. The free event was a cooperative effort between the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 110 and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife...

First phase of three-year fish habitat restoration project at Barren River Lake now complete

Extensive fish-attracting habitat was recently placed in the Peter Creek arm of Barren River Lake this past week, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, public volunteers and other agency partners. “This is part of our ongoing effort to restore fish habitat in our larger reservoirs,” said Ron Brooks, director of...

Rich Storm: This Father’s Day, take time to remember those dads who lost their lives in the line of duty

As a father, I cherish the memories already made with my two daughters and anticipate the milestones still ahead of them. (Left to right): Col. Eric Gibson, Karen Ratliff and Major Larry Estes at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13 in Washington, D.C. Ratliff is the widow of the late Bernard Dean Ratliff. (Kentucky Fish and Wildlife photo) High school graduation. College graduation....

Fish and Wildlife Resources selling three bison calves; sealed bids accepted until June 17

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is selling three bison calves. The department will receive sealed bids until June 17 for the animals. The calves, a bull and two cows, will be sold as one lot, not individually. The successful bidder must pick up the animals from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus in Frankfort within three business days of bid award notification. Interested...

Memorial weekend launches summer boating season; conservation officers step up patrols — be safe

It’s going to feel a lot like summer across Kentucky for the unofficial start of the season. For many anglers, paddlers and pleasure boaters, relief from the warmer weather over the Memorial Day holiday weekend on May 25-27, 2019 will come on one of Kentucky’s waterways. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources wants everyone to have an enjoyable time while staying safe on the water. “Memorial...

Audit of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reveals two areas of fault

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State Auditor Mike Harmon found fault in two areas in an audit of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. 
According to one finding in the report released on Monday, the department failed to transfer funds from outside bank accounts to Kentucky’s state treasury in a timely manner.  In one case, the money was not deposited for 263 days. A state audit...

Public forums on deadly chronic wasting disease scheduled in Perry, Grant and Franklin counties

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has finalized details for three additional public forums about an increasingly widespread and fatal brain disease that infects members of the deer family. “Chronic wasting disease has not been detected in Kentucky but it’s on our doorstep,” said Chris Garland, acting Wildlife Division director for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’re hosting...

Department of Fish and Wildlife seeking applications statewide for 30 conservation officer positions

Applications are now being accepted for conservation officer recruit positions with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The deadline to apply is 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, May 22. The department plans to fill 30 positions in locations across the state. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, possess a valid driver’s license and meet educational requirements or have experience...

Time running out to apply for a Kentucky elk hunt; deadline is midnight on April 30

Time is running out to apply for the most coveted elk hunt in the eastern United States. Hunters have until midnight (Eastern time) on Tuesday, April 30, to apply for Kentucky’s quota elk hunt. Applications are available online at fw.ky.gov, or by clicking this link. Hunts are open to Kentucky residents and non-residents. Adults and youth may apply. The cost is $10 per application. Although hunters...