Fishing and Boating Guide

MARCH 2015 - FEBRUARY 2016

Fishing and Boating GuidePlease use the navigation items on this page for the different sections of the guide.  There is also an item to download the entire guide.  This is a SUMMARY of the laws regarding fishing and boating.  This guide is intended solely for informational use.  It is not a reprint of any referenced statute or regulation in its entirety and should not be used as such.  Questions about the information contained in this guide should be directed to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 800-858-1549 BEFORE engaging in the activities referenced.  Actual wording of any Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) or Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) can be viewed at


Landowner Permission Required for Hunting and Fishing

A person shall not enter upon the lands of another to hunt, fish or trap without the oral or written permission of the landowner, tenant or person who has au - thority to grant permission. Those who fail to obtain permission are subject to arrest and prosecution. Railroad tracks and rights of way are privately owned property and permission to hunt, fish or trap must be obtained prior to entry. (KRS 150:192)




Created as the Kentucky Game and Fish Commission on March 12, 1912, the agency known today as the Kentucky De - partment of Fish and Wildlife Resources was established in its present form by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1944. An agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, the department today has about 500 full-time employees.


Through the decades the department’s role has expanded to include managing both game and non-game fish and wildlife resources, creating regulations, enforcing wildlife and boating laws, hatching, rearing and stocking fish, assisting landowners with fish and wildlife habitat improvement, educating youth about the importance of fish and wildlife and their habitats, stream restoration, passing on the heritage of archery and shooting sports, buying land for public use, and building boat ramps for angler access to the state’s public waterways.

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member citizens board selected by licensed hunters, boaters and anglers, and appointed by the Governor, meets quarterly in Frankfort to make policy decisions. With input from the agency’s director, program administrators and staff biologists, the Commission adopts regulations that must meet with the approval of the Kentucky General Assembly.


Revenue sources are: hunting and fishing licenses (51%); boat registration fees (7%); federal program funds (34%); program income (3%); interest income, tax check-off donations, and other miscellaneous receipts (5%).

Budgeted expenditures are: capital projects and land acquisitions (4%), administration (11%), wildlife (28%), fisheries (18%), information and education (12%), and law enforcement (27%).

The department receives no tax dollars from the state’s General Fund, and manages fish and wildlife for all citizens.