A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Most outbreaks of disease like covid-19 trace to consumption of wildlife in China

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses common in animals that can cause human illness ranging from the symptoms of the common cold to life-threatening respiratory infections. According to a posting on the World Health Organization website, COVID-19 is the latest version of Coronavirus, a strain discovered in 2019 that was not previously found in humans. Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning...

Experimental Asian carp harvest method to be employed at Kentucky Lake during February

The deployment of an experimental Asian carp harvest method on Kentucky Lake will impact public access during the month of February. In an effort to rid the lake of thousands of invasive Asian carp, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority have scheduled a research...

Federal ‘Duck Stamp’ funding approved for land acquisition at Green River National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced the approval of federal “Duck Stamp” funding for land acquisition purposes at the newly-established Green River National Wildlife Refuge in Henderson. “Duck Stamps,” purchased by hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors, provide revenue to support federal conservation and outdoor recreation efforts. In...

Henry County couple’s beloved farm a perfect gift; 342 acres donated as state nature preserve

The land in rural Henry County had everything that Eugene Lacefield was looking for. It was an interesting plot — complete with woods, hills and hollows — the last farm on a dead-end road. So, he and his wife Mary Margaret Lowe purchased the land in 1978. During the next few decades, they perfected their eco-friendly farmhouse. They spent afternoons picnicking next to Drennon Creek and evenings...

Bio-acoustic fish fence aimed at stopping Asian carp migration now operational at Lake Barkley

An experimental project designed to keep invasive Asian carp from moving farther up the Cumberland River was unveiled Friday at Lake Barkley. A bio-acoustic fish fence (BAFF) was deployed on the downstream side of Barkley Lock. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and U.S. Congressman James Comer along with project partners, ceremonially inaugurated the BAFF system as part of a three-year evaluation to deter...

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...

Rural Blog: McConnell touts efforts to manage Asian carp, including corraling and electroshock harvesting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom The Economist dubbed one of the 100 most important people in the world, has many concerns, from dealing with President Trump to keeping a Republican majority in the Senate next year. But he spent much of a day last week talking about fish. And that is likely to be part of his re-election campaign in Kentucky. McConnell’s efforts to keep invasive, voracious...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A regional migrant, the American black duck is prized by Kentucky hunters

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final article in a series about the ducks taken by hunters in Kentucky during waterfowl season. The American black duck (Aix rubripes) is a regional migrant prized by hunters because of its scarcity. They are most often taken in the eastern third of Kentucky while hunting the Ohio River, its backwaters and tributaries, from Cincinnati to Ashland. This large...

More than 1,000 acres conserved in Hancock and Bullitt counties by KHLCF program

The Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves’ Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) program conserved more than 1,000 acres of forest in October for both habitat and hiking. The Jeffrey’s Cliff Natural Area was created in Hancock County, along with additions to both Knobs State Forest and the neighboring Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Bullitt County. The 494-acre addition to...

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...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Green River National Wildlife Refuge near Henderson to protect nearly 24,000 acres

Plans are in the works for the establishment of a national wildlife refuge near Henderson. A statement posted on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website in part read, “The Service has been directed to approve the establishment of the Green River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), near the confluence of the Green River and Ohio River in Henderson County. The refuge should consist of approximately...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Number of state hunting license holders up; Indiana hunting measure passes

The number of hunting license holders in Kentucky, and several states in the region, was up slightly in 2015, according to the latest data posted on the website of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the agency that tracks license sales and revenue in the U.S. In 2015, Kentucky had 340,902 hunting license holders, 13,926 more than in 2014. Despite some fluctuations, the trend is positive....

Bald eagle killed in Grand Rivers; Fish and Wildlife Service offers reward for information

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting a federally protected bald eagle sometime around Christmas in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are jointly investigating this incident and seek information related...

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...