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 Outdoors with the Commissioner

Commissioner Johnson loves to be outdoors and enjoys interacting with the employees and our sportsmen and women. Here are a few pictures that show the great memorable experiences the Commissioner experiences with folks while he is out in the state.


The rain finally stopped, so I got to walk down to our FIN (Fishing In Neighborhoods) lake at FW Headquarters and visited with this family from Frankfort busy catching fish. Pictured with me are Trinity and Braylin Manley and their dad Brandon Manley. They have a nice channel cat and liked the fish id posters I presented to them. And yes, they did pick out the right catfish off the poster that matched the one they caught. Don’t forget to take a child fishing, and visit our FIN lakes for great memorable moments.

This past Saturday I headed for Forks of the Elkhorn where our Mussel research facility is located. The heavy rains were flooding many of the buildings. As always your KFW staff are on top of things. Pictured is Mark “Slick” Roberts, a Foreman with our Transportation Section. He had been busy helping other staff move facility support equipment away from the flooding waters. Many thanks to all the staff that worked at this facility and our Frankfort Pfeiffer Fish Hatcher during the flooding this past weekend.

Pfeiffer Hatchery Director Steve Marple and Deputy Commissioner Charles Bush
at the hatchery discussing operations and current shipment of catfish
going out to the FIN lakes that day. 
Many thanks to Steve and his crew, and also to Dane Balsman (FIN Coordinator).

Crew at the Pfeiffer Hatchery in Frankfort weighing catfish for
shipment to FIN lakes.
Time to fish those FIN lakes, nice sized catfish this year.

Great day with hatchery crew at Pfeiffer Hatchery in Frankfort.
Here the crew is loading up 70 lbs. worth of catfish heading on their
journey to FIN lakes for our fishing public to enjoy.  A hard working
crew totally committed to their job.  Judging by smiles I saw on
the faces of fishermen later that day at the Department Headquarters FIN lakes,
the work of the hatchery crew is very much appreciated.

The three Forest Management/Grouse Initiative Public Meetings were huge successes!!
Held in Morehead, Paintsville, and Corbin, over 200 people attended to
enthusiastically voice their suggestions on a Forest Management/Grouse
Intitiative strategy for east Kentucky.  This picture is the group at
Tri County Quail Club in Corbin, KY.  Many thanks to that club,
and also the KY Grouse Hunters Assocation, for hosting these events!!
Next step is a draft strategic plan that will be shared for public comment.
Stay tuned...

Spent some informative time at the Liberty Nature Center in Somerset, KY.
Great effort in rehabbing raptors and other birds and animals plus the wildlife educational value
for volunteer students and surrounding schools. Pictured from left to right are
Major Larry Estes, KFW; Frances Carter, Director-Liberty Nature Center; Kinley Spencer, Volunteer;
Ben Gonzales, Volunteer; Anna Jacobs, Volunteer; Hunter Kinney, Volunteer;
Kinley Spears, Volunteer; James Ashley, Volunteer; Commish Johnson; Colonel Joe West, KFW.


Kinley Spencer, Volunteer at the Liberty Nature Center in Somerset, KY
displays an injured Screech Owl. Volunteer students take care of the wildlife residents
at the Center and in the process learn about the life history of the animals,
how to properly take care of the injured animals, and test career goals and aspirations. 
I recently visited the Center and was impressed with their mission and connection to the community.


Josh Lillpop (currently Wildlife Management Foreman at Taylorsville WMA)
is presented an award from Fifth District Federation of KY Sportsmen
President Chet Hayes.  Chet presented the award for Josh's work on
Lloyd WMA and in the surrounding area supporting activities of
Sportsmen's clubs.  Specifically for Josh's outstanding dedication 
and service to the Outdoor Community of Kentucky, and for
unwavering support for youth programs.
As Commissioner, I was very proud to be in attendance at this meeting
to see Josh get this award.  It is representative of all the great work all our
folks do across our Department working with our partners.
"Good job Josh and thanks for all you do" - Commissioner Johnson.

Brush pile work paying off at Peabody WMA as illustrated by this recent point.
Thanks to Chuck Juengling of Commonwealth Chapter of Quail Forever for this pic.
Their Chapter purchased a $12,000 shear for Peabody WMA to cut small timber
and build brush piles.  This provided brushy shelter areas for Bobwhite quail
to use in the homogeneous fields lacking significant brushy cover.
KDFWR worked with the Boy Scouts to build 82 of these brush piles.
In addition to the field work, the Boy Scouts were exposed to lots of outdoor
activities including camping, shotgun shooting, rifle shooting, archery,
lessons on prescribed burning, and quail biology among others.

Commissioner Johnson was the Keynote Speaker for the Kentucky State Chapter
of the National Wild Turkey Federation meeting recently  held in Elizabethtown, KY. A great meeting where
mutual appreciation was extended by the Commissioner and the NWTF for the teamwork all are involved in. 
Pictured with the Commissioner from left to right are Joe Carpenter, Vice President of the KY State Chapter NWTF;
the Commissioner Johnson; and Scott Davies, President of the KY State Chapter NWTF.

Officer Tracy Bell was recently recognized by the Kentucky State Chapter of the
National Wild Turkey Federation as “Officer of the Year.” Officer Bell will also be eligible for the
NWTF National Officer of the Year award, which will be presented at the NWTF national convention
in Nashville, TN during February. Officer Bell was recognized for his support of youth turkey hunts,
his communication and relations with the public, work with the NASP, teaching hunter education,
cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, and his overall support of the
NWTF and the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Pictured are left to right Commissioner Johnson,
Officer Tracey Bell, and Scott Davis-President of the KY State Chapter of NWTF. Congratulations Officer Bell!!!!

Commissioner Johnson and 2nd District Commission Member Frank Williams accepted
one of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Highest Awards

Well folks, this pic is just me - I finally found time to get a little waterfowl hunting
in this last Saturday.  Did it rain, and rain and rain and more rain. 
But did manage to bag a nice drake and hen mallard and two geese.
Make sure all you sportsmen and women get out this waterfowl season and enjoy;
and take a youngster or novice waterfowler with you.