Trout Waters

 

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TROUT REGULATIONS

 

SPORT FISH SPECIES Daily Limit Possession Limit Minimum Size Limit
Rainbow trout Daily limit 8, only 3 may be brown trout* none
Brown trout 12”
Brook trout** Catch and release only (except on Cumberland River)
* Possession limit is double the daily creel limit on these species
**See “Catch and Release Brook Trout Streams” and also special regulations for Cumberland River.
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EXCEPTIONS

On the Dix River (Herrington Lake tailwaters), fishing is permitted with artificial baits only. Live or organic bait may not be possessed while fishing this two-mile section of Dix River. The only public access to Dix River below Herrington Dam is via the Kentucky River.

The Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland from the Wolf Creek Dam downstream to the Tennessee state line is a trophy brown trout area. A 20-inch minimum size limit and a one fish daily creel limit applies to brown trout. A 15- to 20-inch protective slot limit on rainbow trout is in effect for the same section of the Cumberland River. All rainbow trout caught between 15 and 20 inches must be immediately released. Only one rainbow trout of the five fish daily creel limit may be longer than 20 inches. Brook trout have a 1 fish daily creel limit with 15-inch minimum size limit. All anglers on this section of the Cumberland River, including all tributary streams up to the first riffle and all of Hatchery Creek, must now possess a valid Kentucky trout permit (regardless of species sought). Anglers may not chum or cull trout.

On Hatchery Creek in Russell County, the upper section as designated by signs is open under Cumberland River trout regulations.  The newly constructed lower section is open for catch and release only for all trout species and only artificial baits may be used.

Get permission

Many of the streams listed in this guide are located on, or adjacent to, privately owned lands. Anyone entering upon or crossing private property must have the permission of the land owner.

On Paint Creek in Johnson County (Paintsville Lake tailwater), there is a 16-inch minimum size limit and one fish daily creel limit on trout from the KY 40 bridge downstream to the first U.S. 460 bridge crossing. Only artificial baits may be used.

On Chimney Top Creek, including Right Fork Chimney Top Creek (Wolfe County), there is a 16-inch minimum size limit and one fish daily creel limit for brown trout and only artificial baits may be used.

On Trammel Creek in Allen County, there is a 16-inch minimum size limit and a one fish daily creel limit on brown trout.

 

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TROUT STOCKING

 

STREAMS

The streams listed in this section are stocked with rainbow trout by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the months indicated. Brown trout are stocked once each year for a put-grow-take fishery. All trout are produced at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery.  View monthly trout stockings here.

Q: Where can you find out about upcoming trout stockings?

A: Click Here

CATCH AND RELEASE STREAMS

Some streams indicated in the table have a catch and release season (no harvest) from October 1 through March 31, except in Swift Camp Creek where the catch and release season is October 1 through May 31. Only artificial baits may be used during the catch and release season. Statewide regulations apply April through September.

 

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STREAMS

 

STATEWIDE STREAMS County Total
Rainbows
Months Total
Browns
Catch and Release
(No Harvest) Season
Bark Camp Creek* Whitley 3,750 3,4,5,6,10 500 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; 3.9 miles
Beaver Creek Wayne 1,500 4,5,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; Hwy 90 bridge upstream to Hwy 200 bridge– 2.8 miles
Big Bone Creek Boone 1,200 4,5,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; inside the Big Bone Lick State Park – 2.1 miles
Big Caney Creek Elliott 4,000 4,5,6,10 250
Cane Creek* Laurel 3,750 3,4,5,6,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; 6.6 miles
Casey Creek Trigg 8,000 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; 3.6 miles
Chimney Top Creek* Wolfe 6 450
Clear Creek Bell 1,200 4,5,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; Hwy 190 bridge down stream to mouth – 4.5 miles
Craney Creek* Rowan 1,000 10,11
East Fork, Indian Creek* Menifee 4,500 3,4,5,10 400 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; 5.3 miles
East Fork, Little Sandy River Boyd 400 4
Elk Spring Creek Wayne 1,600 4,5,6,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; 2.8 miles
Floyds Fork Jefferson 3,600 3,4,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; US 60 downstream to
US 150 - 20 miles
Goose Creek Casey 1,000 4,5
Greasy Creek Leslie 400 4
Hatchery Creek Russell 27,000 monthly
Jennings Creek Warren 7,000 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 500
Laurel Creek Elliott 2,750 4,5,10 250
Left Fork, Beaver Creek Floyd 1,200 4,5,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; Hwy 122 bridge upstream – 3.6 miles
Looney Creek Harlan 1,500 4,5,10 700
Lynn Camp Creek Hart 2,500 4,5,6,7,10
Middle Fork, Red River* Powell/Wolfe 3,000 3,4,5,10 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; inside of Natural Bridge State Park – 2.2 miles
North Fork, Triplett Creek* Rowan 1,050 3,4,5
Otter Creek, Fort Knox
Otter Creek ORA
Meade 4,000
7,500
3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
2,3,4,5,10,11
500
(fort only)
Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; Ft. Knox Military Reservation and Otter Creek ORA – 9.7 miles
Raven Creek Harrison 400 4
Right Fork, Beaver Creek Floyd 1,200 4,5,10
Right Fork, Buffalo Creek Owsley 500 4,5
Rock Creek* McCreary 15,600 3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31; Bell Farm bridge upstream to Tennessee border – 9.8 miles
Round Stone Creek Hart 2,800 4,5,6,7, 8, 9,10 200
Royal Springs Scott 1,600 6,7,8,10
Russell Fork Pike 2,250 4,5,10
Sinking Creek Breckinridge 1,200 4,5,6
Station Camp Creek Estill 500 4
Sturgeon Creek Lee 400 4
Sulphur Spring Creek Simpson 2,500 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 200
Swift Camp Creek* Wolfe 1,000 4,10 Oct. 1 - May 31; within Clifty Wilderness Area – 8.0 miles
Trammel Creek Allen 8,750 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 600 Oct. 1 - Mar. 31 - 4.4 miles
Triplett Creek Rowan 1,200 3,4,5,
War Fork* Jackson 2,500 3,4,5,6,10
West Hickman Creek (Veteran's Park) Fayette 1,000 2,10
*Daniel Boone National Forest stream; stockings are not announced.

 

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TAILWATERS

 

Leave a note

When planning a boating trip, leave a note, or float plan, with someone to let them know where you are. Include your departure and expected return times, the waters where you will be boating, a description and/or license number of the vessel and where you can be reached in case of emergency.

The following tailwaters receive rainbow and brown trout. Stocking begins in spring and continues into the late fall; monthly totals will vary. Monthly schedules are available through Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-800-858-1549 or clicking here.

TAILWATERS Total Rainbows Total Browns Months
Buckhorn 5,000 0 4,5,6,10,11
Carr Creek 5,000 0 4,5,6,10,11
Cave Run 6,800 0 4,5,6,10,11
Cumberland* 161,000 38,000 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
Dewey 4,000 0 4,5,10,11
Fishtrap 10,000 0 4,5,6,10,11
Grayson 5,000 0 4,5,6,10,11
Herrington 4,500 1,000 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,11
Laurel River 500 250 3,4,5,6,10
Martins Fork 3,750 0 4,5,6,10,11
Nolin River 9,000 0 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
Paintsville 20,000 300 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
Taylorsville 3,000 0 4,5,6,11
Yatesville 2,250 0 4,5,11
*Stocking dates for Cumberland River (Lake Cumberland tailwater) will not be announced. Also, triploid rainbow and brook trout are stocked in March.

NEW THREAT TO TROUT FISHERIES

The invasive algae known as Didymo(Didymosphenia geminata) recently appeared in the Cumberland River(Lake Cumberland tailwater). Didymo, native to northern Europe and Canada, is a white, gray, light brown or beige mass on the stream bottom that resembles shag carpet. Didymo can choke the stream bottom with mats that cover up native plants and crowd out native insects that trout need for food. To prevent the spread of Didymo into other Kentucky tailwaters and streams, anglers who fish the Cumberland River and out-of-state waterways should:

  • Inspect all wading gear and boat hulls, livewells, lower units and trailers for any vegetation after leaving the water and remove.
  • If algae or vegetation is discovered later, 1. disinfect with a 2 percent solution of household bleach or, 2. a 5 percent solution of salt or, 3. you may also soak in undiluted vinegar. 4. Allow to air dry for at least 2 days.

 

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LAKES

 

The lakes below are stocked with rainbow trout in the months indicated. January-March stockings are scheduled based on weather and road conditions.

LAKES Acreage Total
Rainbows
Months
Alexandria Community Park Lake 7 6,250 2,3,11
Anderson Co. Community Park 1 1,500 2,3,11
Bert Combs 36 4,000 1,4,5,10
Beulah 87 4,000 1,4,5,10
James D. Beville Park 3 1,500 2,3,10
Bloomfield Park 2 1,500 2,3,11
Bob Noble Park 6 6,250 2,3,11
Brickyard Pond 10 6,250 2,3,11
Camp Ernst 25 6,250 2,3,11
Cannon Creek 243 6,000 2,10
Cedar Creek Lake 786 21,000 2,9
Cherokee Park 4 3,750 2,3,10
Cranks Creek 219 5,000 1,4,5,10
Dickerson Lake 2 1,500 2,3,11
Easy Walker Park 2 1,500 2,3,11
Fagen Branch 126 2,000 2,11
Fisherman’s Park #3 and #4 4 (2 lakes) 3,000 2,3,10
Fish Pond 32 5,000 1,4,5,10
Grant’s Branch 40 2,000 3
Highsplint 6 2,750 1,10
Greenbo 181 11,000 2,10
Jack C. Fisher Park 1 (2 lakes) 1,500 2,3,10
Jacobson Park 46 12,000 2,3,10
Ky. River WMA Boone Tract, Six Acre Lake 6 2,000 2,10
Kingdom Come State Park 3 3,750 1,3,10
Laurel River 6,060 45,000 1
Lower Sportsman’s 3 1,500 2,3,10
Lusby 2 1,500 2,3,11
Madisonville City Park Lake North 14 6,250 2,3,11
Maysville-Mason Co. Park Lake 12 6,250 2,3,11
Metcalfe Co. 22 500 3
Middleton Mills Park, Long Pond 1 1,500 2,3,10
Middleton Mills Park, Shelterhouse 1 1,500 2,3,10
Mike Miller Park 4 3,750 2,3,11
Mill Creek 41 6,000 1,4,5,10
Millennium Park Pond 2 1,500 2,3,11
Martin Co. (Milo) Lake 5 6,250 2,3,11
Mingo 2 1,500 2,3,10
Morton’s Lake, Higginson/Henry WMA 1 1,000 2
Paintsville 1,139 4,500 2
Panbowl 75 6,000 3,10
Panther Creek Park 4 3,750 2,3,10
Peabody WMA, Access Pond 1 2,250 1,11
Peabody WMA, Flycatcher Pond 1 1,500 1,11
Peabody WMA, Rob’s Pond 11 1,500 1,11
Pollywog 4 3,750 2,3,11
Prisoner’s 4 3,750 2,3,10
Sandy Watkins Park Lake 3 1,000 2,3
Scott Co. Park 3 1,500 2,3,11
Southgate 2 1,500 2,3,11
Stanford 43 1,000 4
Three Springs 29 6,250 2,3,11
Tom Wallace Park 5 6,250 2,3,10
Upper Sportsman’s 7 6,250 2,3,10
Watterson Park 4 3,750 2,3,10
Waverly Park 5 6,250 2,3,10
Waymond Morris Park Lake 5 6,250 2,3,10
Whitehall Park Lake 6 6,250 2,3,10
William F. Miles Angler Lake 4 3,750 2,3,10
William F. Miles Green Heron Lake 1 1,500 2,3,10
Wood Creek 672 8,000 2,10
Yellow Creek Park 3 1,500 2,3,10

 

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OTHER AREAS

 

FORT CAMPBELL AND FORT KNOX

Little West Fork, Fletchers Fork and Kinser Pool on Fort Campbell (Tennessee portion) and Otter Creek on Fort Knox (Bullitt, Meade and Hardin counties) military reservations are stocked with rainbow or brown trout. Special fishing regulations apply and a post fishing permit is required in addition to a valid Kentucky fishing license and trout permit. Contact Community Recreation Division, Hunting and Fishing Unit, Fort Campbell, KY 42223-5000; phone: (270)798-2175 or Hunt Control Office, Fort Knox, KY; phone: (502) 624-2712.

CATCH AND RELEASE BROOK TROUT STREAMS

Four streams are catch and release only year-round and only artificial flies and lures with a single hook may be used on these streams:

  • Dog Fork – Wolfe County
  • Parched Corn Creek – Wolfe County
  • Poor Fork – Letcher County, from the headwaters to Hwy 932
  • Shillalah Creek – Bell County, outside the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park