2018 Bear Seasons: The muzzleloader season for bears opens December 8 in zone 3 only. The modern gun season for bears opens December 15 in zones 1 and 2. Please call 800-858-1549 after 9pm EST each night of the season to determine if the season is open the following day.​ 
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South Fork Kentucky River

South Fork Kentucky River begins at the confluence of Red Bird River, Goose Creek, and Bullskin Creek in Clay County and flows North through Owsley County to its confluence with the North and Middle Forks of the Kentucky River in Lee County. From its origin, the South Fork Kentucky River flows downstream through the communities of Oneida, Booneville, and Beattyville, KY. Overall, South Fork Kentucky River is relatively broad in width with shallow to medium depths and is characterized by mud banks, rock bars, and occasional riffles. The South Fork Kentucky River provides anglers with the opportunity to fish for a wide variety of species that include: smallmouth bass, spotted bass, rock bass, channel catfish and muskellunge.

 

 

 

 

 

 


South Fork Kentucky River Access Site to Site Mileages

Put In Access Site

Take Out Access Site

Total River Miles

Oneida Ramp Rocky Branch Road Access 6.8
Rocky Branch Road Access Cedar Valley Road Access 2.5
Cedar Valley Road Access Bishop Bend School Road Access 4.7
Bishop Bend School Road Access Hacker Branch Road Access 3.3
Hacker Branch Road Access Upper Wolf Creek Ramp 2.9
Upper Wolf Creek Ramp Kay Wood Road Access 5.6
Kay Wood Road Access Fish Creek Boat Ramp 7.9

 

 


Recommended River Levels for Boating/Fishing*

South Fork Kentucky River @ Booneville, KY
Rating Gauge Height in Feet (ft)
Low <4.8 ft
Good 4.8-6.0 ft
High >6.0 ft
South Fork Kentucky River @ Booneville, KY
Rating Flow in cubic feet per second (cfs)
Low <350 cfs
Good 350-900 cfs
High >900 cfs
*These ratings are only recommendations. Skill and experience will dictate level appropriate for each angler.

Resources for River Levels:

U.S. Geological Survey
(Provides real time stream flows on rivers and stream around the state)
Current Stream Levels On South Fork Kentucky River @ Booneville, KY

 

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South Fork Kentucky River Public Access Site Descriptions

 

Oneida Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

A single lane, concrete boat ramp is located directly north of the Oneida Elementary School off of Newfound-Oneida Road. A large, paved parking area is available at the top of the ramp with no other amenities available. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes, kayaks, and small john boats.

 


 

Rocky Branch Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This gravel/dirt access is situated next to the Rocky Branch road bridge crossing. It is located 1.5 miles off of KY-11 and is 5.0 miles north of Oneida and 16.0 miles south of Booneville. Parking is limited at this site. This site is suitable for canoes and kayaks. There are no other amenities at this location.

 


 

Cedar Valley Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This gravel/dirt road access is located 9.5 miles north of Oneida and 19.0 miles south of Booneville. Parking is limited at this access point. This site is suitable for canoes and kayaks. Bank fishing is also available here, however, it is limited to the access site as adjacent property is privately owned. There are no amenities available at this location.

 


 

Bishop Bend School Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

 

This gravel/dirt road access is located on KY-11 7.0 miles north of Oneida and 12.0 miles south of Booneville. Parking is limited to a small dirt parking area located midway down the access road. This site is suitable for canoes and kayaks. Bank fishing is also available here, however, it is limited to the access site as adjacent property is privately owned. There are no amenities available at this location.

 


 

Hacker Branch Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This gravel/dirt access is located just off of KY-11 next to the bridge on Hacker Branch road. It is 10.0 miles north of Oneida and 9.5 miles south of Booneville. Parking is limited to the side of the road at this site. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes and kayaks. There are no amenities available at this location.

 


 

Upper Wolf Creek Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete boat ramp is located 0.2 miles off of KY-11 and is 12.5 miles north of Oneida and 7.2 miles south of Booneville. A gravel parking lot able to accommodate around 10 vehicles is located at the top of the ramp. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes, kayaks, and small john boats. No other amenities are available here.


 

Kay Wood Road Access: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This gravel/dirt access is located off of KY-11 S next to the bridge on Kay Wood road. It is 17.7 miles north of Oneida and 2.3 miles south of Booneville. Parking is limited to the side of the road at this site. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes and kayaks. There are no amenities available at this location.


 

Fish Creek Boat Ramp: (Additional Information/Directions)

 

This single lane, concrete boat ramp is located on the north side of Booneville just off of Fish Creek road. A gravel parking lot able to accommodate up to 5 vehicles with trailers is located at the top of the ramp. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes, kayaks, and small john boats. No other amenities are available here.

 

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Fishing Tips

Smallmouth Bass
Best fishing is in the areas of the river that are not impounded. Anglers report good success targeting areas directly above and below gravel shoals and targeting rocky banks with current. Try fishing ¼ oz spinner baits and crawfish imitating crank baits. Texas-rigged 3 inch craws and 3 ½ inch tube jigs work well for a slower presentation. When the bite gets tough don’t overlook a 3 inch white or motor-oil colored curly-tailed grub.
Spotted Bass
Best densities are located in the slower pools, especially in areas with large chunk rock or woody debris. Anglers have good luck fishing crawfish imitating soft plastic baits Texas-rigged, medium running crank baits, spinners and a variety of top water baits. Match bait colors to the water conditions: natural patterns work best in clearer water (white, watermelon seed), while in muddier conditions use dark (black) or very bright (chartreuse) colored baits that produce vibration.
Rock Bass
Target chunk rock banks with woody debris and log jams in the slow, shallow pools. Best fishing is in areas of the river that are not impounded. Try fishing small inline spinner baits, 2 inch crawfish crank baits or 2 inch black grubs over the rocks. Rock bass can also be taken on live bait fished near or on the bottom. Try fishing minnows, red worms and small crayfish.
Channel Catfish
Target deeper pools with log jams with slow to moderate current. Fish baits like chicken livers, worms, cut bait and stink baits on the bottom. Best luck would be around dusk and dawn or low light conditions when catfish are more active.
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Fisheries Overview

 

The following length frequencies are representative of the top 4 species sampled in South Fork Kentucky River.

Smallmouth Bass length frequency graph 

 

Kentucky Spotted Bass length frequency graph 

 

Rock Bass Length frequency graph 

 

Channel Catfish Length frequency graph 

  

 

 

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