An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
* 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.
All trout stockings in streams, lakes or tailwaters are subject to weather and road conditions. Check the monthly trout stocking schedule.
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 has a 5 trout aggregate daily creel limit. The newly constructed lower section is open for catch and release only for all trout species and only artificial baits may be used.
The lower boundary of the lower section of Hatchery Creek is delineated as a straight line between opposite points where Hatchery Creek meets the main stem of the Cumberland River.
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 and a five fish daily creel limit on rainbow trout. There is no harvest of trout during the catch and release season from Oct. 1 through March 31.
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.
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 and all trout caught must be immediately released.
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.
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:
The lakes below are stocked with rainbow trout in the months indicated. January-March stockings are scheduled based on weather and road conditions.
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)798-9824 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: