Trophy Bass Propagation Program Angler Checklist

Trophy Bass Propagation Program Angler Donation Checklist

 For a pdf version of this checklist for easy printing, click here


I’ve Just Caught a Trophy Bass from a Boat or While Bank Fishing
Congratulations on your catch! It is now time to decide whether you would like to donate your trophy fish to the Kentucky Trophy Bass Propagation Program. The goal of this program is to collect trophy-sized bass to be used as broodstock at our state hatcheries. By pairing male and female largemouth bass which have already shown the ability to grow to larger-than-average size, we hope to produce offspring with the same genetic growth potential. Stocking these offspring across the state could provide anglers a better chance at catching a memorable-size fish or even a new state record.
Confirm to your best ability (use a fish weighing scale) that your fish is trophy size. Females must be over 8 pounds and males must be over 6 pounds.
Confirm to your best ability the sex of the fish. Females caught in the spring should have fat bellies. If caught in the fall, you may still be able to judge sex based on size of belly, but to be safe, anything over 7lbs in the fall can be donated.
Quickly place fish in livewell or holding tank. A livewell additive can be used to reduce fish stress. Make sure the water temperature does not get too warm. Try not to disturb the fish if possible. Please follow the bass handling guidelines provided here when handling your fish.
Locate your nearest participating bait shop using the list provided here. You may want to print this list out before you hit the water so you will have it handy if needed. New participating bait shops may be added over time, so check for updates every so often. A new bait shop may have been added near you.
Call the nearest participating bait shop to let them know you are bringing a trophy bass to them. If you do not get an answer, or don’t have a list of participating bait shops, you can call the Kentucky Trophy Bass Propagation Program Hotline at 270-977-3813. You should receive immediate attention at this number or will be contacted quickly if no one answers.
In the event that there is not a participating bait shop near you and KDFWR cannot immediately pick up the fish, you should release it back into the water.
I Have Confirmed a Location to Donate my Trophy Bass
Transport your fish to the participating location in the hauling tank you placed it in.
The participating holding facility will work with you to transfer your fish to their holding tank.
After the fish has been transferred, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork concerning your contact information and where and how the bass was caught. In addition, you will sign a release form that authorizes KDFWR to take possession of the bass and use it in the Propagation Program.
The holding facility will contact KDFWR to request a pick-up by our Fish Transportation Section. The fish will be taken to one of our two fish hatcheries where it will be transferred to a production pond along with other donated trophy bass until the next spawning season.
Soon after donating your bass to the program, KDFWR will contact you via phone to confirm receipt of the bass, answer any questions you might have and provide you with information on obtaining your replica fish mount. KDFWR will also ask permission to use any photos of you and your fish to be displayed on the Program’s web page.
At any time, you can find information on all aspects of the Trophy Bass Propagation Program on the Department’s web site (