An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Four species of invasive carps have become established in the Ohio River
and are also found in many of Kentucky’s inland tributaries. Two species in
particular (bighead and silver carp), are reproducing at alarming rates and
threaten the ecology, natural aesthetics, and recreational opportunities for
many of Kentucky’s waterways. These fish are competing with native species for food,
becoming over populated, and because of their propensity to jump, can be hazardous
to boaters. Where conditions are suitable for population growth and reproduction,
their impact is difficult to manage. Thus, KDFWR has partnered with many states
and agencies throughout the basin in an attempt to slow the expansion and
reduce their numbers.
Historically, large walleye had been caught with regularity throughout Kentucky into the early 20th century and as late as the 1950’s in the Cumberland River of south central Kentucky. These native walleye populations were thought to have been lost until rumors of a remnant population of walleye existing in the Rockcastle River, a tributary to the Cumberland River, led to efforts in 1995 to collect fish for genetic testing. Results confirmed that walleye inhabiting the Rockcastle River were genetically unique and a plan was developed to restore native walleye to their former ranges in Kentucky. More...
The 2013 Ohio River Catfish Project was an effort by KDFWR to increase data collection for catfish in the Ohio River. The goal of the project was to determine the overall status of blue, flathead, and channel catfish in the Ohio River and determine if trophy-sized fish are being harvested disproportionately to their abundance.
Reservoir ranching consists of stocking paddlefish into reservoirs, ponds, or other impoundments for the purpose of rearing the fish to maturity. Young paddlefish (approximately 12 inches) are stocked into private reservoirs or ponds and allowed to grow for 7-10 years to maturity. Once mature, gill nets are used by the ranchers to harvest the fish. Paddlefish flesh and roe (eggs) are then sold to commercial buyers, and roe prices typically range from $25 to over $100 per pound. Paddlefish flesh is not in high demand, and the presence of roe is necessary to make reservoir ranching profitable. There are efforts in progress to increase the market value of paddlefish flesh.
What does the Stream Team do?
The Stream Team offer landowners free repairs to eroding and unstable streams and wetlands. That's right. Free.
The team consists of a group of stream restoration specialists in the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR). Their job is to identify and undertake stream restoration projects statewide
How does this work?
The Stream Team works with private landowners and others to identify stream restoration projects. Projects are funded from the Mitigation Fund held in trust solely for repairing streams and wetlands. No state tax general funds or hunting/fishing license dollars are used.
As part of our yearly duties, the Fisheries Division collects a variety of information on fish abundance, sizes and growth rates. We also gather information on fishing effort and catch rates of recreational anglers from creel surveys as well as angler attitudes and concerns from questionnaires. The yearly results from these studies are contained in our Annual Lakes and Tailwaters reports. These are primarily scientific documents, but there is a wealth of information available in them concerning the fisheries of Kentucky.
To provide hours of good fishing, a pond must be properly stocked. Many pond owners may try to stock their ponds with locally caught or purchased fish. This practice is highly unadvisable because it usually results in an unbalanced or undesirable fish population. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) offers help to those wanting pond management advice and pond stocking service.
The Fisheries Management Section has seven district offices throughout Kentucky. Each office is staffed with two fisheries biologists and two fisheries technicians. The Fisheries Management Section is involved with the management of the fisheries in their district including recommendations such as size limits, creel limits, and fish stocking changes which involves conducting fish population surveys, construction of fish attractors in public lakes, conducting creel surveys and other duties. They also provide assistance regarding pond management and other fisheries information requests. District staff also serves as a response team to fish kills and pollution incidents. The Fish Hatchery and Fish Transportation sections support the Fisheries Management Section by raising and stocking fish. The Fisheries Research Section assists the Management Section with additional statewide information and assistance.
Nuisance species are non-native species (a.k.a. exotic, alien, or non-indigenous) that have moved outside their native range AND threaten native species and interfere with important commercial, agricultural, and recreational actives.
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists have developed techniques to assess the overall status of the major sport fisheries in lakes around the state. These assessments are used not only to give biologists an idea of the overall well being of the fishery in each water body, but they can also be used by anglers in planning their next fishing trip. For example, anglers can use the assessments to determine which lakes could result in good numbers of quality-size bass or where they might have the best chance of catching their next trophy.