Archery season for deer and fall turkey begins September 6.  Read the 2014-15 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide before hunting.​

The hunting season for dove and some other migratory birds began September 1.  Read the 2014-15 Dove Hunting Guide before hunting.​

 Fishing Regulations

New This Year

The items highlighted here are a quick overview of the changes to this year’s regulations.

    Kentucky Fishing and Boating Guide
  • Live wild caught Asian carp, shad or skipjack herring may only be used in the waters from which they were collected.
  • Cast nets may be used to collect live bait in all streams, except for Hatchery Creek in Russell County.
  • Dewey Lake (Floyd County) and Fishtrap Lake (Pike County): 15-fish daily creel limit on blue and channel catfish; only 1 fish in the daily creel limit may be longer than 25 inches.
  • Floyd’s Fork Creek (Jefferson County and Bullitt counties): From the U.S. 60 Bridge downstream to the U.S. 150 Bridge, a 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth and smallmouth bass; 1 fish daily creel limit.
  • Trammel Creek (Allen County): all trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits may be used during this period;16-inch minimum size limit and 1 fish daily creel limit on brown trout.
  • Smoky Valley Lake (Carter County): 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released; 6 fish daily creel limit, only 1 may be longer than 15 inches.

 

Top
Statewide Regulations

 

Some waterbodies have different size and creel limits, please refer to the “Special Fishing Regulations” section for more details. Fish not included in this list are considered rough fish. There are no size or creel limits for rough fish, unless special regulations apply. For daily creel and fishing license purposes, one fishing day equals one calendar day. Except for trout on Cumberland River, anglers may cull fish of a particular species until reaching the daily creel limit. Any additional fish caught in excess of the daily creel limit must be released immediately.

FISH SPECIES Daily Limit Possession Limit Minimum Size Limit
BLACK BASS Largemouth Bass 6* 12* 12”
Smallmouth Bass 6* 12* 12”
Kentucky (Spotted) Bass 6* 12* none
Coosa Bass 6* 12* none
Rock Bass 15 30 none
Redear Sunfish 20 40 none
Walleye, Sauger and their Hybrids 6* 12* 15” on walleye and hybrids; none on sauger
Muskellunge 1 2 30”
Chain Pickerel 5 10 none
Northern Pike none none none
White & Hybrid Striped Bass 15** 30** none**
Striped Bass 5 10 15”
Yellow Bass 30 60 none
Crappie (Black & White) 30* 60* none
Rainbow Trout Daily limit 8, only 3 may be brown trout*** none
Brown Trout 12”
Brook Trout Catch and release only****
Lake Sturgeon Catch and release only

* Singly or combined; a total of these species

** No more than 5 fish in the daily creel limit may be more than 15 inches long.

*** Possession limit is double the daily creel limit for these species.

**** Except for the Cumberland River downstream of Wolf Creek Dam, see Special Regulations section for details.


NEED A PLACE TO FISH?

Find new fishing information on Kentucky waterbodies here.  Anglers may search lakes, rivers and creeks for boat ramps and access points, what species are available and maps of how to get there plus other useful information.

Check out the 2014 Fishing Forecast. This report details the anticipated fishing success for each species in major waterbodies based on population samples conducted by KDFWR fisheries biologists.

Although the Voluntary Public Access program is now in a reduced capacity, many sites remain open to public use.  Go here for more information.

STATEWIDE SIZE AND CREEL LIMITS (301 KAR 1:060, 1:201; KRS 150.010)

Fishing season is open year-round in Kentucky, except on waterfowl refuges and as otherwise noted in this guide. Statewide size and creel limits apply to all Kentucky waters, public and private, except some waters have different limits (see, “Special Fishing Regulations”.) The Kentucky Trout Waters information is now incorporated into this guide.

MEASURING FISH(301 KAR 1:201)

Measure all fish from the tip of the lower jaw (closed) to the tip of the tail with fish laid flat on rule with tail lobes squeezed together. Undersized fish must be returned immediately to the waters from which they were taken in the best possible physical condition.

measuring the length of a fish
       

Special Fishing Regulations

(301 KAR 1:080, 1:180, 1:201, 2:222 4:100, 4:200E; KRS 150.010, 150.02

 

SPECIAL REGULATION WATERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY

Q: How is a daily creel limit different than a possession limit?

A: The daily creel limit is the number of a particular sport fish species you may keep in one day’s fishing. A possession limit is two times the daily creel limit for all fish species with a daily creel limit and excludes processed fish.

The public waters listed below have different size and/or creel limits than statewide regulations allow. Statewide size and creel limits apply unless otherwise mentioned below. Special boating regulations are listed in the Boating section of this guide.

Some privately owned waters may have special size and creel limits as posted by signs.


FINs LAKES:

Lakes in the Fishing In Neighborhoods (FINs) program now have uniform regulations for daily creel and size limit:

  • Rainbow Trout: 5-fish daily limit.
  • Catfish: 4-fish daily limit
  • Sunfish: 15-fish daily limit
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily limit

The following FINs lakes are now under these special regulations:

Did you know?

Camping is prohibited on KDFWR owned or managed lakes.

Anderson County Community Park Lake (Anderson County), Bloomfield Park Lake (Nelson County), Bob Noble Park Lake (McCracken County), Brickyard Pond (Knox County), Camp Ernst Lake (Boone County), Carlson and Dickerson Lakes (Ft. Knox, Meade County), Cherokee Park Lake ( Jefferson County), Easy Walker Park Pond (Montgomery County), Fisherman’s Park Lakes ( Jefferson County), Jacobson Park Lake (Fayette County), James D. Beville Park Lake (Grayson County), Kingdom Come State Park Lake (Harlan County), Lake Mingo ( Jessamine County), Lake Pollywog (Grant County), Lower Sportsman's Lake (Franklin County), Lusby Lake (Scott County), Madisonville City Park Lake North (Hopkins County), Martin County Lake (Martin County), Middleton Mills Long Pond and Shelterhouse Ponds (Kenton County), Mike Miller Park Lake (Marshall County), Miles Park Lakes ( Jefferson County), Millennium Park Pond (Boyle County), Panther Creek Park Lake, (Daviess County), Prisoner’s Lake (Kenton County), Scott County Park Lake (Scott County), Southgate Lake (Campbell County), Stein Community Park Lake (Campbell County), Three Springs Lake (Warren County), Tom Wallace Park Lake ( Jefferson County), Upper Sportsman’s Lake (Franklin County), Watterson Park Lake ( Jefferson County), Waverly Park Lake ( Jefferson County), Waymond Morris Park Lake (Daviess County), Whitehall Park Lake (Madison County), Yellow Creek Park Lake (Daviess County)

A.J. JOLLY LAKE
Campbell County
No harvest of flathead catfish.

BARK CAMP CREEK
Whitley County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

BARKLEY, KENTUCKY LAKES
(and their connecting canal)

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit, 20 fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit
  • Sauger: 14-inch minimum size limit.

BARKLEY TAILWATER – See Cumberland River

BARREN RIVER LAKE
The boundaries of Barren River Lake are from the dam upstream to the Hwy. 100 bridge, Long Creek to the Hwy. 100 bridge, Beaver Creek to the Hwy. 1297 bridge, Skaggs Creek to the Matthews Mill Road bridge and Peter Creek to the Peter Creek Road bridge.

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit except 1 fish in the daily creel limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.

BEAVER CREEK
Wayne County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 in the section of Beaver Creek from the Hwy. 90 bridge upstream to the Hwy. 200 bridge must be immediately released. Only artificial baits shall be used during this period

BEAVER LAKE
Anderson Count
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit

BERT COMBS LAKE
Clay County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited

BESHEAR LAKE
Caldwell County

  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

BIG BONE CREEK
Boone County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

BOLTZ LAKE
Grant County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited

  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

BRIGGS LAKE
Logan County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

BUCKHORN LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit

BULLOCK PEN LAKE
Grant and Boone counties

  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

CANE CREEK
Laurel County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

CARNICO LAKE
Nicholas County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

CARPENTER LAKE
Daviess County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

CARR CREEK LAKE

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit

CARTER CAVES STATE PARK LAKE
(also called Smokey Valley Lake)
Fishing during daylight hours only. Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit.  All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released; 6 fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 15 inches.

CASEY CREEK
Trigg County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period

CAVE RUN LAKE
Gigging and snagging prohibited in the main lake and all tributaries up to the first riffle. The location of the first riffle may change depending on water levels.

  • Largemouth Bass: 13 to 16-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass between 13 and 16 inches in length must be released immediately.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.

CEDAR CREEK LAKE
Lincoln County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 20-inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit

CHIMNEY TOP CREEK
Wolfe County
A 16-inch minimum size limit and 1 fish daily creel limit for brown trout and only artificial baits may be used.

CLEAR CREEK
Bell County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 shall be immediately released and only artificial baits may be used during this period.

CORINTH LAKE
Grant County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited

  • Channel Catfish: No daily creel limit, 12-inch minimum size limit

CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
(301 KAR 1:035) Special fishing regulations are in effect on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. For complete fishing information on this area contact: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, P.O. Box 1848, Middlesboro, KY 40965, phone (606) 248-2817

CUMBERLAND RIVER, (including Hatchery Creek) from Wolf Creek Dam to the Tennessee state line
All licensed anglers must possess a trout permit on this portion of Cumberland River. This includes Hatchery Creek and all tributaries up to the first riffle.

Anglers shall not cull trout by replacing a live trout in their possession with another trout. Once an angler holds a trout in their possession on this section of the Cumberland River, it counts toward the daily trout creel limit. Anglers may not attract or chum trout with bait, corn or other attractants designed to draw numbers of trout to a specific area. This includes all tributaries up to the first riffle and in Hatchery Creek.

  • Brown Trout: 20-inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily creel limit, also applies to all tributary streams
  • Rainbow Trout: 15 to 20-inch protective slot limit. All trout caught between 15 and 20 inches in length must be immediately released. Five fish daily limit, only one rainbow trout may be longer than 20 inches.  Also applies to all tributary streams.
  • Brook Trout: 1 fish daily creel limit with a 15-inch minimum size limit. Also applies to all tributary streams.

CUMBERLAND RIVER from Lake Barkley Dam downstream to confluence with Ohio River
Gigging and snagging only permitted downstream of U.S. 62 bridge with a daily creel limit of 8 fish. Harvesting of sportfish by snagging is prohibited. All snagged or gigged rough fish including paddlefish, with the exception of shad, herring or Asian carp, shall be taken into possession and not be culled. Snagged or gigged fish must not be disposed of on the bank. Disposing of fish on the bank is littering and subject to a fine. Snagged paddlefish or their roe cannot be sold.

  • Sauger: 14-inch minimum size limit.

DALE HOLLOW LAKE

  • Crappie:  10-inch minimum size limit, 15 fish daily creel limit.
  • Black Bass creel:  includes largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky (spotted) bass - 5 fish daily creel limit on black bass singly or combined, only two of which may be smallmouth bass.
  • Largemouth Bass:  15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 16 to 21-inch protective slot limit.  One fish over 21 inches and one fish under 16 inches may be kept daily.
  • Sauger:  14-inch minimum size limit, 10 fish daily creel limit.
  • Rainbow and Brown Trout:  7-fish aggregate daily creel limit.
  • Walleye:  16-inch minimum size limit, 5 fish daily creel limit.

DEWEY LAKE

  • Largemouth and  Smallmouth Bass:  15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish:  15 fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 25 inches.

DIX RIVER from Herrington Lake Dam downstream for two miles
Fishing with artificial lures or flies only.

DOE RUN LAKE
Kenton County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: Four fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit.

DOG FORK
Wolfe County
Only artificial baits with a single hook shall be used. Brook Trout must be immediately released.

EAST FORK INDIAN CREEK
Menifee County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 shall be immediately released and only artificial bait shall be used during this period.

ELKHORN CREEK in Franklin County from confluence of North and South forks downstream to Kentucky River:

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12 to 16-inch protective slot limit. Largemouth and smallmouth bass caught between 12 and 16 inches in length must be immediately released. Daily limit of 6 may include no more than 2 fish longer than 16 inches
  • For regulatory purposes, the boundary of Elkhorn Creek is a permanent marker just below the first riffle upstream from its confluence with the Kentucky River.

ELK SPRING CREEK
Wayne County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

ELMER DAVIS LAKE
Owen County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass between 12 and 15 inches in length must be released immediately
  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

FAGAN BRANCH LAKE (also called Lebanon City Lake)
Marion County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth and smallmouth bass between 12 and 15 inches in length must be released immediately

FISHTRAP LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15 fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish in the daily creel limit may be longer than 25 inches.

FLOYD'S FORK
Jefferson County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass:  From U.S. 60 Bridge downstream to U.S. 150 Bridge, 15-inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily creel limit.

GENERAL BUTLER STATE PARK LAKE
Carroll County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit

GOLDEN POND (Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area)

  • Channel Catfish: 15-inch minimum size limit, 5 fish daily creel limit

GRAYSON LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit

GREENBO LAKE
Greenup County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Bluegill and other Sunfish: 15 fish daily creel limit
  • Areas marked by signage and buoys near the Jesse Stuart Lodge are periodically closed to fishing

GREEN RIVER LAKE

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.

GUIST CREEK LAKE
Shelby County

  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

KENTUCKY, BARKLEY LAKES (and their connecting canal)

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit, 20 fish daily creel limit
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit
  • Sauger: 14-inch minimum size limit

KENTUCKY LAKE TAILWATER – see Tennessee River

KINCAID LAKE
Pendleton County

  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit

LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
(301 KAR 1:031) Special fishing regulations are in effect for ponds and small lakes within Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. For complete fishing information on this area, anglers should contact: Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, Golden Pond, KY 42231, phone (270) 924-2000.

LAKE BLYTHE
Christian County

  • Largemouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released

LAKE CHUMLEY
Lincoln County
Fishing during daylight hour only.

LAKE CUMBERLAND
The boundaries of Lake Cumberland are defined as Cumberland Falls on the Cumberland River, Devils Jump on the Big South Fork, the Narrows of Rockcastle River and Laurel River Lake Dam on Laurel River.

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit
  • Lake Sturgeon: Catch and release only.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit.
  • Striped Bass: 22-inch minimum size limit, 2 fish daily creel limit

LAKE JERICHO
Henry County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

LAKE MALONE

  • Largemouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released
  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

LAKE SHELBY
Shelby County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit

LAUREL RIVER LAKE

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit, 2 fish daily creel limit.
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit, 15 fish daily limit

LEARY LAKE
Grant County
Fishing during daylight hours only.

  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit.

LEBANON CITY LAKE - see Fagan Branch Lake

LEFT FORK, BEAVER CREEK
Floyd County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

LINCOLN HOMESTEAD STATE PARK LAKE
Washington County
Fishing during daylight hours only.  Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Channel Catfish:  4 fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth Bass:  15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit.

MARION COUNTY LAKE
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit

McNEELY LAKE
Jefferson County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Blue and Channel Catfish:  12-inch minimum size limit.

MIDDLE FORK, RED RIVER
Powell County
Within the Natural Bridge State Park, all trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

MILL CREEK LAKE
Powell and Wolfe counties
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass:  15-inch minimum size limit; 3 fish daily creel limit.

NEW HAVEN OPTIMIST LAKE
Nelson County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit.

NOLIN RIVER LAKE
Lake upper boundary extended to the Wheelers Mill Road bridge in the Nolin River arm and to the Hwy. 728 bridge in the Bacon Creek arm (formerly defined as first riffle upstream in Bacon Creek and Nolin River)

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch size limit, except 1 fish in the daily limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.

OHIO RIVER – see also, “Bordering Waters”

  • Walleye, Sauger and their Hybrids: No minimum size limit, 10 fish daily limit, singly or combined
  • White Bass, Striped Bass and their Hybrids: 30 fish daily limit, only 4 fish in the daily limit may be 15 inches or longer.

OTTER CREEK
Meade County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12- to 16 inch protective slot limit. All largemouth and smallmouth bass caught between 12 and 16 inches in length must be immediately released; 6 fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 16 inches.

    All trout caught in Fort Knox Military Reservation and in Otter Creek Park from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period. Fort Knox Military Reservation requires the purchase of a $10 permit to fish and is closed to fishing on Tuesdays. Anglers must check-in with the Fort Knox Hunt Control Office at (502) 624-2712 before each day’s fishing. There is a one-mile section of Otter Creek as posted by signs in Fort Knox Military Reservation where trout fishing is open to statewide regulations.

PAINT CREEK
Johnson County
16-inch minimum size limit and 1 fish daily creel limit on trout from the KY 40 bridge downstream to the first U.S. 460 bridge crossing and only artificial baits shall be used.

PAINTSVILLE LAKE

  • Largemouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be released immediately.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit.

PARCHED CORN CREEK
Wolfe County
Only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook Trout must be immediately released.

PEABODY WMA LAKES
In addition to a fishing license, a $15.00 user permit is required of persons age 16 and over while on Peabody WMA. Permits can be purchased online. Fishing open Mar. 16 - Oct. 14 on Goose, Island and South Lake, all other lakes open year-round.

PENNYRILE LAKE
Christian County

  • Largemouth Bass: 12 to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released.

PIKEVILLE CITY LAKE
Pike County

  • Largemouth Bass: All largemouth bass caught must be immediately released.

POOR FORK and its tributaries
Letcher County
Downstream to the first crossing of Hwy. 932, only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook Trout must be immediately released.

REBA LAKE
Madison County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3 fish daily creel limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

REFORMATORY LAKE
Oldham County

  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

ROCK CREEK
McCreary County
From Bell Farm Bridge upstream to Tennessee state line, all trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

ROUGH RIVER LAKE

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit except 1 fish in the daily creel limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.

SHANTY HOLLOW LAKE
Warren County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit.

SHILLALAH CREEK
Bell County
Outside the Cumberland Gap National Park as posted, only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook Trout must be immediately released.

Q: Is fishing allowed around a dock or a marina?

A: It depends. Public marinas on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lakes have contractual agreements that address lease space on public waters. The Corps presently allows the marina owners or operators to post signs that prohibit fishing within 150 feet of their floating structures. These agreements do not prohibit a person from fishing in their boat rental slip. This policy does not apply to privately owned boat docks on Corps lakes.

SPORTSMAN’S LAKES
Franklin County
Fishing during daylight hours only. Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited. See FINs lakes for daily creel and minimum size limit.

SPURLINGTON LAKE
Taylor County
Possession or use of shad for bait is prohibited

SWIFT CAMP CREEK
Clifty Wilderness, Wolfe County
All trout caught from October 1 through May 31 shall be released immediately and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

SYMPSON LAKE
Nelson County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

TAYLORSVILLE LAKE
Lake upper boundary extended to Dry Dock Road on Salt River (formerly defined as first riffle upstream in Salt River).

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit, 15 fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15-fish daily creel limit. 1 fish of the daily creel limit may be longer than 25 inches.

TENNESSEE RIVER from Kentucky Lake Dam downstream to confluence with Ohio River
The area from Kentucky Dam to the new U.S. 62 bridge will be open to snagging 24 hours per day from January 1 through May 31. From June 1 through December 31, the area is open to snagging from sunset to sunrise. The area of the Tennessee River from the new U.S. 62 bridge to the I-24 bridge is closed to snagging year round. The area from the I-24 bridge to the confluence with the Ohio River is open to snagging year round. There is now a daily creel limit of 8 fish in aggregate and shall not exceed the daily creel limit for any sport fish in which the creel limit is under 8 fish per day. Snagging must cease if any sport fish daily creel limit is attained. All fish snagged including paddlefish, except shad, herring or Asian carp, must be taken into possession and not culled. Snagged fish must not be disposed on the bank. This action is littering and subject to a fine. Snagged paddlefish or their roe cannot be sold. Gigging is prohibited in the Tennessee River below Kentucky Dam.

  • Sauger: 14-inch minimum size limit.

TRAMMEL CREEK
Allen County
All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

  • Brown Trout: 16-inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily creel limit.

WOOD CREEK LAKE
Laurel County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit

YATESVILLE LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit
Eastern Hellbender

BULLFROGS
(301 KAR 1:082)
The taking season for bullfrogs opens at noon on the third Friday in May (May 16, 2014) and runs through Oct. 31. If a gun or bow and arrow are used, a hunting license is required. If frogs are taken by pole and line, a fishing license is required. If frogs are taken by gig or by hand, then either hunting or fishing license is valid. The daily noon to noon creel limit for bullfrogs is 15. The possession limit is 30.

TURTLES
(301 KAR 1:058)
Anglers may take snapping turtles (except alligator snapping turtles) and softshell turtles year round by the same methods legal for taking rough fish species. Commercial fishing gear may not be used to take turtles. A hunting license is required when taking turtles by gun or by bow and arrow. Otherwise a fishing license is required. Turtles can not be sold.

Turtle traps may be one of two kinds: either a barrel or drum with a tilting trigger board or a floating log raft with an enclosed twine or wire mesh bag. Turtle traps must be inspected daily. All turtles must be removed daily except one decoy turtle may remain. Any other species (except soft shelled and snapping turtles) caught in a turtle trap must be released unharmed.

GRASS CARP HARVEST PROHIBITED
(301 KAR 1:201)
Harvesting grass carp is prohibited in any lake owned or managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Anglers who catch a grass carp from one of these lakes must immediately return the fish to the water where it was caught. Grass carp are used to control aquatic vegetation. Signs are posted at applicable lakes.

LIVE BAIT FOR PERSONAL USE
(301 KAR 1:130, 1:122)
No live fish, live bait fish or live bait organisms that are not native or established in Kentucky waters shall be bought, sold, possessed, imported, or in any way used or released into waters of this Commonwealth. Blueback herring are not native to Kentucky and may not be imported or possessed in this state.

Holders of sport fishing licenses may take live bait from public waters and may possess up to 500 minnows, 500 crayfish, 25 spring lizards or dusky salamanders, 5 frogs (other than bullfrogs), 5 tadpoles, 100 native lampreys, 500 other aquatic invertebrate organisms other than mussels, 500 shad (except on lakes where shad possession/use is prohibited), 500 herring and any number of unshelled Asiatic clams. Live wild caught Asian carp, skipjack herring and shad may only be used in the waters from which they were collected. A commercial license is required to take live bait from public waters open to commercial fishing for the purpose of selling.

Regardless of size or how obtained, it is illegal to use any sport fish for bait (except redear sunfish less than 6 inches long). (Sport fish species are listed here). Minnows are defined as all fish, except sport fish species, less than 6 inches long. Also, see page 21 for a description of fish species protected in Kentucky under the Endangered Species Act – these fish species shall not be taken for any use. Bluegills are not sport fish and may be taken for bait as described above.

Live bait may be taken with the following gear:

  • Dip Nets: Maximum size of 3 feet in diameter is legal in the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers, Cumberland River below Barkley Dam, Kentucky River below Lock No. 14, and all lakes having 1,000 or more surface acres.
  • Minnow Traps: Maximum legal size statewide: 3 feet long, 18 inches in diameter, 1-inch openings for catching.
  • Seines: Maximum legal size statewide: 10 feet long, 4 feet deep, ¼-inch mesh. Maximum legal size in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and Kentucky and Barkley lakes: 30 feet long, 6 feet deep and ¼-inch bar mesh.
  • Sport Cast Nets: Maximum sport cast net size is 20 feet in diameter with maximum 1-inch bar mesh statewide except in the following waters. Sport cast nets prohibited in: 1) lakes having fewer than 500 surface acres, 2) Hatchery Creek in Russell County. All sport fish incidentally taken while capturing live bait with seines, dip nets or cast nets must be released immediately unharmed into the water.
Know your turtles

 

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FISHING METHODS

 

No Firearms

Fish may not be taken with use of a firearm.

 

SPORT FISHING TROTLINES, JUGGING and SET LINES (LIMB LINES)
(301 KAR 1:410; KRS 150.010)
A sport fishing trotline is a line with no more than 50 single or multibarbed baited hooks that must be at least 18 inches apart. A sport fishing trotline must be set at least three feet below the water’s surface. Jugging is fishing with a single baited line attached to any floating object. A jug line may have no more than one single or multi-barbed hook. A set line is a line with one single or multi-barbed hook. It may be attached to a tree limb, tree trunk, bank pole or other stationary object on the bank of a stream or impoundment.

One person may use no more than two sport fishing trotlines or 50 jug lines or 25 set lines at any one time. Each boat may not use more than 50 jug lines, but each occupant may use two sportfishing trotlines or 25 set lines. Each sport fishing trotline, jug line or set line must be: 1) permanently labeled with the name and address of the user; 2) baited, checked and all fish removed at least once every 24 hours; 3) removed from water, bank or tree when fishing ceases.

Prohibited Areas: Sport fishing trotlines, jug lines or set lines may not be used within 200 yards below any dam. Sport fishing trotlines, jug lines or set lines are not allowed in Department owned/managed lakes having less than 500 surface acres, except those located on Ballard and Boatwright WMAs. No sport fishing trotlines are allowed within 700 yards below Kentucky Dam, the area between Barkley Dam and U.S. 62 bridge, or below the following Ohio River dams from the face of the dam to the end of the outer lock wall: Smithland, Newburgh, Cannelton, Markland, Meldahl and Greenup; McAlpine downstream to the K&I railroad bridge; J.T. Meyers (Uniontown) to the end of the outer lock wall and that portion of the split channel around the southern part of Wabash Island from the fixed weir dam to the first dike.

Q: How many fishing poles are you allowed to have while fishing?

A: As many as you want. There is no limit on the number of fishing poles (or fishing rods) an angler may use at one time.

 

GIGGING AND SNAGGING FISH
(301 KAR 1:410, 1:082; KRS 150.010)
Gigging means spearing or impaling fish on any pronged or barbed instrument attached to the end of any rigid object. Snagging means taking fish or other aquatic animals by a rapid drawing motion (rather than enticement by bait) using a hand-held pole and attached line with a single or one multiple fish hook. Only one single or treble hook may be attached to the line. Except, in Green River, Rolling Fork River and their tributaries, up to five single or treble hooks may be used for snagging. A rod legal for snagging must be equipped with line, guides and a reel. The rod length restriction is now removed.

The statewide season for gigging and/or snagging rough fish is from February 1 through May 10. It is illegal to possess a gig on a stream or lake or in a boat from November 1 through January 31. A person may gig or snag fish from the bank of a stream during the day or night. Gigging and snagging is not legal from a platform, except that gigging is legal from a boat on lakes 500 surface acres or larger and only during daylight hours.

There is a statewide limit of 2 paddlefish for either gigging or snagging. All gigged or snagged paddlefish must be taken into possession and cannot be culled or released. Snagging anglers must cease gigging or snagging once they attain the 2 paddlefish daily creel limit. It is illegal to sell paddlefish or their roe taken by sportfish snagging methods. No daily limits on any other rough fish. Regardless of condition, all sport fish taken by gigging and snagging must be immediately returned to the water.

Persons may gig rough fish through the ice any time the surface is frozen thick enough to stand upon. The gigger must gig while supported by the ice. There are special snagging regulations for the Kentucky Lake tailwater (Tennessee River) and the Lake Barkley tailwater (Cumberland River). Please refer to the Special Fishing Regulations section of this guide before snagging on these waters.

Gigging and snagging are prohibited in the following waters or areas:

  • Cave Run Lake including all tributaries up to the first riffle (The location of the first riffle may change depending on water level).
  • Cumberland River, below Wolf Creek Dam downstream to the Tennessee line including Hatchery Creek and all tributaries for ½ mile upstream of their confluence with the Cumberland River.
  • Within 200 yards of a dam, except below Kentucky Dam.
  • Cumberland River, below Barkley Dam downstream to the U.S. 62 bridge.
  • Tennessee River, below Kentucky Dam from the new U.S. 62 bridge to I-24 bridge.
  • Middle Fork of Kentucky River from Buckhorn Lake downstream to the Breathitt County line.
  • Rough River, below Rough River Dam to KY 54 bridge
  • In the Tennessee River below Kentucky Dam, gigging prohibited year-round.

For specific regulations for gigging and snagging in the Cumberland River below Barkley Dam and in the Tennessee River below Kentucky Lake refer to the Special Regulations section.

Q: May you clean your fish while on the water?

A: Anglers shall not remove any part of the head or tail of any fish for which there is a size or creel limit until finished fishing and off the water.

 

TICKLING AND NOODLING
(301 KAR 1:410; KRS 150.010)
The tickling and noodling (hand grabbing) season for rough fish is June 1 through August 31, during daylight hours only. Tickling and noodling means taking fish directly by hand, or with the aid of a handled hook. These methods are permitted in all waters. The daily creel limit is 15 rough fish, no more than 5 of which can be catfish.

BOW FISHING
(301 KAR 1:410)
Rough fish may be taken year-round by bow and arrow with line attached. Sport fish may not be taken with a bow and arrow. Bow anglers may use a long bow, recurve bow, crossbow or compound bow. Arrows must have a barbed or retractable style point that has a line attached for retrieval. Catfish have a daily creel limit of 5 (in aggregate) and paddlefish have a daily creel limit of 2. Bow fisherman may fish within 200 yards of a dam, except by boat in boat restricted areas. Bow fishing is prohibited on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam downstream to the Tennessee line, including Hatchery Creek and all tributaries for ½ mile upstream of their confluence with the Cumberland River.

Persons using a bow and arrow for fishing must have the appropriate fishing license and may take rough fish from bank or boat. There is no limit on other rough fish. Bow anglers cannot sell paddlefish or their roe taken by bow and arrow. Paddlefish and catfish taken by bow and arrow must be taken into immediate possession and cannot be culled. Fish taken by bow must not be discarded on the bank. Bank disposal is littering and subject to a fine.

SPEAR FISHING
(301 KAR 1:410)
Underwater spearing of rough fish with hand-held or mechanically propelled spear is permitted year-round, but only in lakes having 1,000 surface acres or more. All participants in this sport must be submerged while spear fishing. Only rough fish may be taken and the appropriate fishing license is required. The daily limit is 15 fish of which only 5 may be catfish.

 

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LICENSE / PERMIT Resident Nonresident
LICENSES:
Annual Fishing $20.00 $50.00
Joint Husband/Wife Annual Fishing $36.00 Not available
1-Day Fishing $7.00 $10.00
3-Year Fishing (available online only) $55.00 Not available
Nonresident 7-Day Fishing Not available $30.00
Nonresident 15-Day Fishing Not available $40.00
Trout Permit $10.00
Annual Hunting $20.00 $140.00
1-Day Hunting (not valid for deer, elk, turkery or bear) $7.00 $15.00
7-Day Hunting (not valid for deer, elk, turkey or bear) Not available $55.00
Annual Youth Hunting (ages 12-15 only) $6.00 $10.00
Shooting Area License (available online only) $5.00
Annual Trapping $20.00 $130.00
Annual Landowner/Tenant Trapping $10.00 Not available
Annual Youth (ages 12-15) Trapping $5.00 Not available
COMBO LICENSES:
Annual Combination Hunting/Fishing $30.00 Not available
Senior/Disabled Combination Hunting/Fishing* (Includes same license and permits as Resident Sportsman's License, plus additional deer permits.) $5.00 Not available
Sportsman's License* (Includes combination hunting/fishing, statewide deer permit, spring and fall turkey permits, state waterfowl permit and trout permit.) $95.00 Not available
Youth (ages 12-15) Sportsman's License* (Includes youth hunting license, permits for two deer and permits for two turkeys.) $30.00 Not available
DEER:
Statewide Deer Permit (two deer) $35.00 $120.00
Youth (ages 12-15) Deer Permit (one deer) $10.00 $15.00
Additional Deer Permit (two deer) $15.00
BIRDS:
Spring Turkey Permit (statewide) (two turkeys) $30.00 $75.00
Youth (ages 12-15) Turkey Permit (one turkey, spring or fall) $10.00 $15.00
Fall Turkey Permit (statewide) (four turkeys) $30.00 $75.00
Migratory Bird - Waterfowl Permit $15.00
Federal Duck Stamp (available at post offices and online ) $15.00
Pheasant Quota Hunt Permit (if drawn) $25.00
ELK:
Elk Lottery Application (deadline April 30; available online only) $10.00
Youth WMA Elk Lottery (deadline April 30; available online only) $10.00
Quota Bull Elk Permit (if drawn) (available online only) $100.00 $550.00
Quota Cow Elk Permit (if drawn) (available online only) $60.00 $400.00
Youth Elk Permit (if drawn) $30.00 $40.00
Out-of-Zone Elk Permit $30.00 $400.00
BEAR:
Bear Permit $30.00 Not available
Bear Chase Permit  $30.00 Not available
Youth Bear Chase Permit $10.00 Not available
AREAS:
Peabody WMA User Permit $15.00
Land Between the Lakes (LBL) Hunter User Permit $25.00
Land Between the Lakes Hunt/Backcountry Camp $35.00
Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area Admission Fees (per person) (may pay at the gate or purchase online) Daily: $3.00, annual: $30.00,
children under 12: free.
Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area Special Activity Fees (per person, for use of horse trails, mountain bike trails and shooting range) (may pay at the gate or puchase online) Daily: $7.00, annual: $70.00
OTHER:
Temporary Hunter Education Exemption Permit (available online only) $5.00
Habitat Improvement & Public Access Donation (voluntary, available online only) Any amount

*Peabody, LBL and Otter Creek permits, elk lottery application, elk quota hunt permit, out-of-zone elk permit, bear permit, federal duck stamp and trapping license not included. An additional deer permit is not included with a Sportsman’s License. Kentucky’s license year begins March 1 and continues through the last day of February. New licenses are required annually, except for the 3-year fishing license. A 1-day or 7-day hunting license is valid only for the period shown on license. Resident and nonresident youth under the age of 12 are not required to purchase licenses or permits (except the elk lottery application).

 

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By Phone:

Call toll-free 1-877-598-2401
Persons purchasing by phone:
  1. Must use Visa, Mastercard, Discover or e-check;
  2. Will be charged a small fee;
  3. Must provide their name, address, date of birth and Social Security number;
  4. Will be issued a paper license/permit by mail (except short-term licenses);
  5. Will be issued an authorization number which serves as a license/permit until paper license/permit is issued; and
  6. Must have the authorization number in addition to a picture ID while fishing, if they have not yet received their paper license/permit in the mail.

By Internet:

Click Here
Persons purchasing online:
  1. Must use Visa, Mastercard or Discover;
  2. Must provide their name, address, date of birth and Social Security number;
  3. Must carry proof of their license/permit in addition to a picture ID while fishing; and
  4. Will not receive a paper license/permit in the mail.

GETTING A LICENSE IN PERSON

Licenses and permits can be purchased throughout the Commonwealth. Most Walmart, Kmart, county court clerk offices and outdoor sporting goods stores sell licenses. License vendor locations are listed at fw.ky.gov. Licenses and permits can also be purchased on this website, or toll-free at 1-877-598-2401.

GETTING A LICENSE BY PHONE
Licenses and permits can be purchased by phone 24 hours a day. It is the caller’s responsibility to know what type of license or permit is needed before calling. Operators should NOT be relied upon to explain licensing requirements. If you are unsure what license or permit you need, refer to previous portions of this guide, or contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549.

All Kentucky hunting and fishing licenses and permits, except a disabled license, elk lottery application and all youth licenses and permits, can be purchased over the phone for a small fee.

GETTING A LICENSE ONLINE
All Kentucky hunting and fishing licenses and permits, except a Joint Husband/Wife Fishing License, can be purchased through the secured Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website. Replacement licenses can be printed free here.

       

 

WHO NEEDS A LICENSE?

(KRS 150.010, 150.170)
All persons must fill out and carry the proper license and permit to fish any Kentucky waters except the following (for permit requirements see “Trout Permit” below):

Carry proof
Holders of Disabled Combination Licenses must carry both the license and authorization card while hunting. Once a person who qualifies for this license reaches age 65, he or she is considered a senior for licensing purposes, and no longer needs to follow the process of obtaining a disability license authorization card.

  • The resident owner of farmlands, his spouse and dependent children may fish on their land without a license. Tenants, their spouses and dependent children may fish without a license on farmlands where they live and work.
  • Resident servicemen on furlough for more than three days may fish state-wide without a license, but must carry proper identification and papers showing furlough status.
  • Residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger.
  • Persons fishing on the first Saturday and Sunday in June (June 7-8, 2014) during Free Fishing Days are not required to have a license or permit.
  • Persons fishing within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park

A resident is anyone who has established permanent and legal residence in Kentucky and resided here at least 30 days immediately prior to applying for a license. Full-time students enrolled in an educational institution for at least a six-month term and service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky are also classified as residents. All others are considered non-residents for licensing purposes.

License expiration
Annual license/permit authorization numbers are valid from the date of purchase through the last day in February. New licenses are required annually March 1. A temporary fishing license is valid for the period shown on the license. (301) KAR 3:022

TROUT PERMIT
(301 KAR 1:201)
Unless license exempt, anglers who intend to keep trout must have a trout permit ($10). A trout permit is included with the resident senior/disabled combination license and resident sportsman’s license. All licensed anglers fishing the portion of the Cumberland River from Wolf Creek Dam to the Tennessee state line, its tributaries up to the first riffle and all of Hatchery Creek are required to possess a trout permit. (See the Trout section in this guide for details and for a complete list of waters where trout are present.)

       

RESIDENT SPORTSMAN’S LICENSE (SAVE $50!)
Available to Kentucky residents only, the Sportsman’s License includes a combination hunting and fishing license, spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, statewide deer permit, migratory bird-waterfowl permit (which also covers dove and other migratory bird hunting) and trout permit. Peabody and LBL permits, trapping license, an elk lottery application, elk quota hunt permit (if drawn), out-of-zone elk permit, bear permit and bonus deer permits must be purchased separately. A federal duck stamp (available at post offices) is required for waterfowl hunting

Q: How long is a disability authorization card valid?

A: The disability authorization card is good for 3 years (check the expiration date on your card). Every 3 years, you must provide updated paperwork (following the instructions to the right) and get a new card.

Those who already have a disability authorization card through the Veteran’s Administration, Railroad Retirement Board or Office of Personnel Management may call 1-800-310-1873 to get a new card.

 

PAY LAKES

(KRS 150.660)
A person fishing in a pay lake licensed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources needs either a Kentucky fishing license or a free permit issued by the operator. If the lake is not licensed by the operator, anglers need a valid Kentucky fishing license.

FREE FISHING DAYS
(301 KAR 1:210)
Every year Kentucky offers free fishing days the first weekend in June (June 7-8, 2014). On free fishing days no license (including the Kentucky trout permit) is required of residents or non-residents to fish any Kentucky waters. All other fishing regulations remain in effect. Free fishing days are offered to promote fishing and National Fishing Week.

RESIDENT SENIOR AND DISABLED LICENSES

The following are eligible to purchase the $5 Senior or Disabled Combination Hunting and Fishing License (which includes the same license and permits as the Resident Sportsman’s License, plus additonal deer permits):

  • Kentucky residents 65 years of age or older.
  • Kentucky residents certified totally and permanently disabled by the Federal Social Security Administration, a state Workers Compensation Board, the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System or the United States Railroad Retirement Board.
  • Kentucky resident employees of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, declared totally and permanently disabled by a recognized authority.
  • Kentucky resident veterans at least 50% disabled as the result of a service-connected disability.

Seniors need only show proof of age and residency to purchase this license. Persons with disabilities listed above must first obtain a disability authorization card from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Contacting us
Except for those who qualify for a Disability License through Worker’s Compensation, mail or fax your disability certification to:

KDFWR Disability License
#1 Sportsman’s Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
FAX: (502) 564-9845

You may also bring the documentation in person to the department office in Frankfort at #1 Sportsman’s Lane during business hours8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Monday - Friday

To obtain a disability license authorization card:
If your disability is through the:

  • Federal Social Security Administration: Call 1-800-772-1213 or go online to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to print the form showing your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. It must state that you are disabled and drawing benefits. Send form to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • Veteran’s Administration: Contact your local VA office and request a letter that verifies you are at least 50% disabled as a result of a service-connected disability. Send letter to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • State Worker’s Compensation Board: Request an application from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, fill it out and send it to the State Worker’s Compensation Board.
  • United States Railroad Retirement Board: Contact the Board and request a letter stating you are 100% totally and permanently disabled. Send letter to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • Kentucky Teacher Retirement System: Contact the Teacher Retirement System and request written documentation stating you are on disability retirement. Send documentation to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • United States Office of Personnel Management: Contact the federal Office of Personnel Management and obtain certification of employment and documentation of being 100% disabled. Send documentation to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Once the proper documentation is processed, applicants will receive their authorization card by mail. The authorization card is not a license. It must be presented to the license seller, or the authorization number entered online, at the time of purchase.

License vendors cannot sell a disability license using an expired authorization card.

Senior and Disabled Combination Licenses are valid through the end of February like any other license. If you lose your card, you may contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at the above address for a replacement.

Lost licenses and permits
Persons who need a replacement license or permit have three options:

  1. Print a replacement online by clicking here.
  2. Purchase the same type of license or permit from any license vendor, ask them for a license refund form (or print one here), fill it out and send it to: KDFWR Licensing, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601. You will receive a refund minus a $5 handling fee.
  3. Send $5, your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, and which license(s) or permits you lost to: KDFWR Licensing, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601. The department will replace the license/permit once verification of original purchase occurs. Replacement may take up to 3 weeks.

All Kentucky anglers who fish reciprocal waters must have a valid Kentucky fishing license

OHIO RIVER FISHING
(KRS 150.170)
An angler with a Kentucky fishing license may fish the entire main stem of the Ohio River from a boat, or a bordering state’s bank without buying the other state’s license (bordering states include Illinois, Indiana and Ohio).

This does not apply if fishing a bordering state’s embayments or tributaries, which begin at a straight line between opposite points where the tributary or embayment meets the main stem of the river.

Anglers fishing from a bordering state’s bank must follow the size and creel limits of the state where the angler is located. For example, a Kentucky licensed angler can stand on the Indiana bank and fish the main stem of the Ohio River without an Indiana fishing license, but must abide by Indiana’s size and creel limits. However, anglers fishing from a boat must follow the size and creel limits of the state in which the angler is licensed.

Reminder: snagging is not permitted for any fish species on the Indiana side or in any Indiana waters of the Ohio River. In Kentucky, a person may not snag within 200 yards below any dam on the Ohio River.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
(KRS 150.170)
Anglers licensed in Kentucky may fish Missouri portions of the Mississippi River without buying a Missouri fishing license. Each state recognizes the sport fishing licenses and permits of the other state on the Mississippi River. The river is defined as the main channel and immediate side or secondary channels and chutes. It does not include oxbow or floodplain lakes or any tributary streams. A tributary is delineated by the straight line between opposite points where the tributary connects with the main body of the Mississippi River. Furthermore, the river does not include backwaters that extend onto the floodplain or tributaries when the river exceeds 33 feet at the gauging station at Cairo, Illinois.Need fish

Sport fishing license or permit holders may fish from, or attach any device or equipment to land along the river under the jurisdiction of the other state. Landowner permission is required to fish from the bank.

Sport fishing license holders shall abide by the regulations in the state in whose waters they are fishing and when fishing in waters they are not licensed to fish, shall comply with the most restrictive regulation.

DALE HOLLOW LAKE
Anglers may use either a Tennessee or a Kentucky sport fishing license while fishing in the Wolf River arm of Dale Hollow Lake. This includes the Illwill Creek embayment beginning at a line crossing the Wolf River at its mouth where it joins the Obey River and the main part of the lake.

Anglers must obey the regulations of the state in which they are licensed. Kentucky residents must have a Kentucky license.

KENTUCKY LAKE
On Kentucky Lake, anglers with either a valid Kentucky or Tennessee sport fishing license may fish from Eggner’s Ferry Bridge (U.S. 68 and Hwy. 80) in Kentucky south to the Governor Ned McWhorter Bridge (U.S. 79 and Hwy. 76) in Tennessee. This includes all embayments and tributaries, except the Blood River embayment in Kentucky. Anglers must abide by the fishing regulations of the state in which they are fishing.

BIG SOUTH FORK OF THE CUMBERLAND RIVER
Anglers may use either a Tennessee or a Kentucky sport fishing license while fishing that portion of the Big South Fork from the Leatherwood Ford bridge (Hwy. 297) in Tennessee to the Hwy. 92 bridge at Yamacraw, Kentucky.

Anglers must obey the regulations of the state in which they are licensed. Kentucky residents must have a Kentucky license.

OTHER BORDERING WATERS
On all other bordering waters, boundaries are set by state lines. Obey the laws of the state in which you are fishing.