Fishing and Boating Guide

MARCH 2014 - FEBRUARY 2015

Fishing and Boating GuidePlease use the navigation items on the left 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



Kentucky has a wealth of aquatic resources that provide habitat for many types of sport fishes. We have fishing for cold water fishes like the trouts, coolwater fisheries including walleye, sauger, musky, stripers and their hybrids, and a large variety of warmwater fishes which are plentiful statewide.

As we look forward to a 2014-15 fishing season, the future of Kentucky fishing is bright. Lake Cumberland water levels will return to pre-2007 levels in 2014. The extra water and a short-term increase in stocking numbers for walleye and stripers should promote a quick rebound for those fisheries.

The Lake Cumberland tailwater trout species will also benefit since cold water releases will primarily flow through Wolf Creek Dam’s turbines. The water quality is better at that water level than in the deeper recesses of the lake and the increased amount of cold water released throughout the summer should ensure great habitat for the cold-water trout throughout Kentucky’s 75 miles of water. Approximately 13,000, 15-inch plus trout were stocked in fall 2013 to fast track the quality of the rainbow trout fishery to levels where it was prior to the dam’s emergency repairs.

During 2014, work will also begin on the new Wolf Creek Hatchery Creek project. The old hatchery outflow channel that constantly spewed silt into the Cumberland tailwater will be replaced by a 6,000-foot long, meandering, rocky stream containing a series of pools, riffles and runs, creating some really high quality catch and release trout fishing opportunities to anglers.

The Department is also committed to increasing our reservoir habitat program; already having a positive effect in some of our small and large reservoirs. A new pilot project will be initiated in 2014 that will deploy many new habitat designs extending for as far as a mile in several areas of Cave Run Lake. We hope to build on this habitat model for future projects across Kentucky.

The invasive Asian carp remain as our number one priority in terms of finding ways to control their numbers and reduce the pace of their expansion. The first ever freshwater commercial fishing tournament was held last March in Kentucky and Barkley lakes and over 40 tons of Asian carp were harvested.

Navigate around our website to keep informed on our various projects, find great places to fish, access our regulations, purchase a fishing license, stream floating and fishing opportunities and read about a variety of news and information. Kentucky Afield television’s award winning fishing videos are available as well.

Good luck to each of you when fishing for your Kentucky trophies or creel limits, and always be safe and courteous.

--Fisheries Division Director Ron Brooks


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 authority 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)


Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and boat registration fees. It receives no general fund state tax dollars. The Department manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet.