A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Springtime is the right time to fish for striped bass at Lake Cumberland

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward The higher angle of the sun during the day brings warm breezes as we come into the meat of April. The glorious sunny days of late and air temperatures in the 70s make people joyous. This weather makes the striped bass in Lake Cumberland hungry. “We caught five keepers over 22 inches and about eight short stripers last Saturday,” said Jeff Bardroff, owner of...

Cutthroat Trout added to Cumberland River; trial stockings began in March for the first time

Hatchery crews with the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources stocked 38,000 cutthroat trout in late March in the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam. “These are surplus Yellowstone strain cutthroat trout from Norfork National Fish Hatchery in Arkansas,” said Dave Dreves, assistant director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “All we had to do...

Kleber Wildlife Management Area in Owen County now open for turkey hunting; get license online

The John A. Kleber Wildlife Management Area (WMA) recently expanded by 378 acres in Owen County and is now open for turkey hunting. The Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Program recently concluded a stream restoration on Minors Creek, a tributary of Elm Fork that flows through the heart of the main tract of Kleber WMA. The new acreage adjoins a section of the main tract of Kleber WMA, south of...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Decoding spring white bass run after heavy rains, near-record water levels

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward With all of the rain we received early this year, many Kentuckians are wondering when will the white bass run. “We are about there, 60 degrees is the magic number for water temperature,” said Mike Hardin, assistant director of Fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The redbud blooms are as good an indicator as anything.” Redbud...

Greenbo Lake joins Cannon Creek and Fagan Branch Lakes as those to receive brown trout stocking

Brown trout were stocked last spring for the first time in Cannon Creek Lake and Fagan Branch Lake. Now the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has added Greenbo Lake to its brown trout stocking program. Greenbo Lake, a 176-acre lake in Greenup County, received its first-ever stocking of brown trout in February. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife stocked 2,000 brown trout in the lake. Cannon...

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...