A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky 4-H summer camping program suspended for 2020 due to pandemic, gathering restrictions

By Laura Skillman University of Kentucky Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current gathering restrictions, the Kentucky 4-H program is suspending its traditional 10-week summer camp at its four regional camping centers. “The 4-H camp directors are working to create an alternative schedule that will be modified based on the number of weeks available once gathering restrictions are lifted,” said Mark...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: A fall fishing festival, the reservoir smallmouth bass season is in full swing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Reservoir smallmouth anglers are a weird lot. They dangle tiny little hair jigs under bobbers in air so cold ice forms in the guides of their rods. They think the best late fall fishing days feature leaden, low skies, light rain and highs in the 40s. The record heatwave of early October is now a memory. The bracing morning air and cooler, longer nights signal to...

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife monitoring water conditions at Lake Cumberland; heat, low oxygen stressing fish

Biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are closely monitoring water conditions at Lake Cumberland with fish starting to show signs of stress due to elevated water temperatures and depleted oxygen levels. “We have been experiencing some shad and alewife die-offs in different parts of the lake the past few weeks, which is due to the continued high water temperatures...

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...

Bravo’s Top Chef kicks off season 16 December 6 with two weeks of premiers in the Bluegrass State

Bravo’s “Top Chef” heads to the state of Kentucky for season 16, kicking off with two weeks of supersized premieres beginning Thursday, December 6 at 9:00 p.m. This season, 15 new talented chefs from cities big and small across the U.S. will compete for the sought-after title amid the unique culinary scenes in Louisville, Lexington and Lake Cumberland, before heading abroad for an epic finale...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: As wet weather continues, monitor lake and river levels for fishing success

Our wet spring continues. Many of the state’s best fishing lakes are very high now, and localized flooding is likely to keep anglers off streams and rivers for some time. Tuesday’s wave of heavy rainstorms, on top of an already saturated ground, brought another surge of runoff. Since mid-March, lake and river levels have been going up and down dramatically. This unsettled weather pattern is driving...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Spring fishing is underway, but anglers should monitor weather trends

The calendar says yes, but the weather forecast can be iffy. Spring fishing is underway and now is the time for anglers to pay close attention to weather trends — temperature fluctuations, outlooks for precipitation, and storm fronts, to pick the best times to wet a line. Springtime in Kentucky means unsettled weather, and sometimes snow, as we experienced this week. Make the most of your time...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Tail waters of Lake Cumberland offer excellent winter fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Consistency is a trait all anglers love in a body of water. Most lakes and rivers in Kentucky go through seasonal temperature swings that make fishing tough during the hottest and coldest months of the year. The Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland fishes as consistently as any body of water in Kentucky. The water temperatures of the Cumberland River at Burkesville...

Kentucky State Parks offering discounts to current military, retirees and veterans through March 31

Current and former members of the nation’s armed services can receive lodging discounts at Kentucky State Parks with the “USA Military Discount” program now through Mar. 31. Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists, are eligible for the program. “Kentucky State Parks are proud to offer this lodging discount to show...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Like the summer temps, Lake Cumberland striped bass are heating up

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Few things in the outdoors in Kentucky can top being on Lake Cumberland at daybreak on a summer morning, watching a planer board or large bobber disappear, followed by the sound of a slipping drag. Striped bass pull like no other fish in Kentucky and landing a 22-inch or longer keeper brings a rush of adrenaline that gives you the shakes. Now in the fourth year...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Once thought to only exist in Kentucky, spotted bass abound

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   They were not even recognized as a distinctive fish species until 1927. People for many years believed these fish only existed in Kentucky.   Glenn Barber of Versailles holds a spotted bass caught in Indian Creek on Lake Cumberland. Spotted bass from schools in fall, making for exciting and productive fishing. Lakes across Kentucky hold burgeoning populations...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Falling water, cold fronts make autumn bass fishing a challenge

John Williams, southeastern fisheries district program manager for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a huge smallmouth bass he caught from Laurel River Lake in late fall. Overcoming the challenges of fall fishing may lead to landing brutes like this one. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You arrive at the Holcomb’s Landing Ramp just...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: No place like Buck Creek in Somerset for ‘cave smoke’ and fish

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   No other stream in Kentucky has caves that flow cold air and fog over the water, springs that gurgle fresh water along the bank and rugged beauty that rivals the Red River Gorge. Nothing else resembles Buck Creek in Pulaski County; it even has a tributary that appears from one cave, flows aquamarine for less than a football field before disappearing into...

One-third of people with early heart attack ‘don’t make it to hospital’; know signs, risks

By Shelly Whitehead Special to KyForward   Jerry Sigl is a likable fellow with a quick, self-effacing sense of humor. And, at 72, he was living the good life after retiring from Cincinnati Bell, parsing his time between the golf course and his boat on Lake Cumberland.   But this past winter, he seemed to be feeling less energetic with each passing day. In fact, even his wife noticed a change.   “It...

Kentucky to break ground on newest ‘in-lieu’ wetlands and stream restoration project

U.S. Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. John L. Hudson and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Gregory Johnson will join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state legislators and Russell County officials on Friday, Aug. 8, in breaking ground for Kentucky’s newest in-lieu fee program wetlands and stream restoration project just below the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery at...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Night fishing bite just starting, but striped bass look good so far

Fisheries technician Ryan Kausing holds a large striped bass from the Lake Cumberland tailwater. After several down years due to the drawdown of Lake Cumberland for repair work on Wolf Creek Dam, the striped bass fishery in the lake is rapidly improving. All signs point toward the world class striped bass fishing in Lake Cumberland returning in a few years. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Kentucky has record with largest smallmouth bass in world

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources staff artist Rick Hill, left, and “Kentucky Afield” Television Host Tim Farmer admire a smallmouth bass Farmer caught from Dale Hollow Lake in early spring. Dale Hollow Lake, Laurel River Lake and Lake Cumberland hold some of the largest smallmouth bass in the world. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Almost 60 years later, spotted bass still Kentucky’s state gamefish

The spotted bass has been Kentucky’s state gamefish since 1956. (Photo by Art Lander Jr.)   The spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) has found a home in Kentucky.   On Feb. 27, 1956, Kentucky’s General Assembly passed Senate Resolution 70, establishing the spotted bass as Kentucky’s state gamefish. Soon afterwards, the legislation was signed into law by Gov. Albert B. “Happy”...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Keep an eye on water, weather trends for early fishing opportunities

Anglers can access daily water conditions at Green River Lake and other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in Kentucky by visiting lake websites (see below). (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)   Spring begins on Thursday, March 20, but most anglers would probably say they want to go fishing now.   It’s been a long, cold winter.   Late winter offers good fishing opportunities...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Jumpstarting fish populations, deer and quail studies on tap

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   The new year already is shaping up to be a busy one at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.   The department’s Fisheries Division is working to jumpstart fish populations in Lake Cumberland and its tailwater in anticipation of the lake returning to its normal level in 2014, following a dam repair project which began in 2007. The division...