An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Click a topic below to expand for Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any more questions, please reach out to our information center at
email@example.com or 1-800-858-1549.
Kentucky offers thousands of miles of shoreline for foot access and numerous boating access sites on public lakes and streams. Search our
Find a Place to Fish or Boat website app.
Learn to Fish page for lots of great resources designed just for you. We also offer Hook and Cook and other angling courses periodically; please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for information about upcoming courses.
To get started, check out this article,
Three Things to Consider for Spring Fishing, by a Kentucky fishing expert!
Statewide fishing regulations apply to all water bodies that do not have specific “special” regulations particular to them. Please refer to our annual publication of the
Kentucky Sport Fishing and Boating Guide for guidance as well as our
Statewide Species and Size Limits page on our website.
As many as you want, there is no limit on the number of fishing poles (or fishing rods) an angler may use at one time.
Anglers are prohibited from removing any part of the head or tail of any fish for which there is a size or creel limit until done fishing and off the water.
This is an undesirable method of stocking private ponds because it typically results in an extremely unbalanced fishery and can result in a violation if you relocate species prohibited from relocation. Instead, contact the department's Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 or
Info.Center@ky.gov about how to get expert advice from one of our Fisheries biologists including proper stocking information, or first, visit our
Managing Your Farm Pond page.
Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINS) page for stocked municipal ponds, or search our
Find a Place to the Fish app to search for sites with fishing piers or other attributes.
The following are great publications where you can start:
Please visit our
State Record Fishes page.
We provide the Trophy Fish Program - Master Angler Award. Check out our
Master Angler Award page for further information.
Check out this article,
Best Kayaks for Flatwater Fishing, by a Kentucky Kayak fishing expert!
Fish Consumption Advisories page for the recommended limits for eating certain kinds of fish based on annual testing of toxin accumulations statewide or in specific water bodies. For immediate inquiries, you may contact your local fisheries biologist from the
Find My County Contact app.
Yes. Check out the article
Tips to Encourage Your Young Angler's Interest This Summer from Kentucky Afield Magazine for helpful tips.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website sells all available licenses and permits; most can also be purchased at local retailers who are
license agents or by phone at 877-598-2401.
All persons fishing in any Kentucky waters (public or private lands) must possess a current fishing license (combination or sportsman's type qualifies), except:
Kentucky Fishing and Boating Guide (our annual regulations summary booklet), which is publicly available from our website,
fw.ky.gov, at local sporting goods retailers, or from our Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 or
Fishing licenses and trout permits are required beginning at age 16; youths 15 or younger are exempt.
Yes. Unless license-exempt, any person aged 16 or older is required to have a valid fishing license. 1-day licenses are available for both residents and non-residents at our website at
Someone who only assists another angler--who retains control of the fishing pole or rod and reel--is not required to have a fishing license as an assistant. However, assistance must not extend to taking control of the pole, or rod and reel, out of the grasp of the angler being helped. For example, assisting someone with tying on or baiting a hook, landing a fish, or removing a fish from the hook are all legal assisting functions where a license is not required. An unlicensed assistant could even help a child to cast or reel, but the child would have to retain control of the rod and reel while being assisted. To avoid a potential violation, we encourage assistants to obtain a valid fishing license and join in the fun!
Unless you are license-exempt, you need either:
See the following KRS explanation:
PAY LAKES (KRS 150.660).
Yes. Unless license-exempt (See the above guidance or consult the
Licenses and Permits section of the
Kentucky Fishing & Boating Guide), any person 16 or older is required to have a valid fishing license.
Kentucky's Stream Fisheries page for a list of streams in Kentucky. In addition, our Blue Water Trails page provides detailed information on fishing trips including species available to catch.
Public marinas on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes have contractual agreements that address lease space on public waters. The Corps presently allows public marina owners or operators to post signs that prohibit fishing within 150 feet of their floating structures. These agreements do not prohibit a person from fishing in their boat rental slip. This policy does not apply to privately owned boat docks on Corps lakes.
Landowners or tenant workers, their spouses, and dependent children (claimed as dependents on federal tax returns) are license-exempt when fishing on property that they own or reside and work on. Also exempt are resident military service personnel on furlough for more than 3 days, who carry proper identification and papers showing furlough status; and youths aged 15 or younger (residents or nonresidents).
Others must have a valid license to fish or hunt on private land.
On our website is a list of all
lakes with fish attractors (including a Google map and GPS download links).
No, wading streams (including rivers) in Kentucky require the permission of the owner(s) of the lands over which the streams flow. The only exceptions are Elkhorn Creek in Franklin County and the streams that flow across public lands, but even in these cases access must be through public land or by permission from the landowner. Although stream waters are themselves public, the ground that lies beneath is private, unless public property such as state or federal land. Thus, boating or paddling on a stream without permission is legal, whereas wading a stream channel requires landowner permission. Check out this
informative article about wade fishing by Lee McClellan, Associate Editor of Kentucky Afield Magazine.
Search our Find a
Place to Fish app for locations, launch types, and other relevant information.
Most fish populations are sustained through natural reproduction. Some department-managed lakes, however, are stocked for fishing and fish conservation purposes with fingerlings (juvenile fish). Our website has a
Fish Stocking page with maps showing the number and location of fish stockings.
Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes are stocked periodically throughout the year with harvestable-size catfish, trout, and sunfish. Trout are stocked in October, November, February, and March. Catfish are stocked in March, April, May, and June. Sunfish (bream or panfish) are typically stocked in May or June.
Schedules are posted on our website as follows:
Our decision to stock a lake is based on many different factors. If it is a species that is not currently in the lake, and the species will not harm the population of other species in the lake, then we may initiate a stocking program for that species. For species that already spawn naturally in the lake, our decisions are based on extensive surveying, creel information, and data analysis. We look at spawning success over time, growth rates, numbers of that species already present in the lake, and angler use and harvest, among many other parameters.
The species that we manage, which includes surveying, is vast. Basically, any sport fish species that you can catch in Kentucky is managed by our Fisheries Division. Sport fish species include Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, and Coosa Bass, Redear Sunfish, Crappie, Walleye, Sauger, Trout, White Bass, Striped Bass, Rock Bass, Musky, and their hybrids. We also manage other species through restoration efforts, such as lake sturgeon and alligator gar. Catfish are also managed in many lakes. Also, invasive species such as invasive carp are heavily managed in order to limit their population.
Through our surveying efforts, basically all fish species are managed.
Check out the
Fishing Forecast for guidance.
Look for stream/river water temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s and at the upper end of lakes. The
United States Geological Survey (USGS) website has real-time temperatures for some of these waters or nearby waters that can be used to gauge your local white bass run. Angling folklore times the white bass run at about the same time that redbud trees start blooming, which generally tends to correspond with the right water temps.
As long as regulations for a specific water body do not prohibit it, bluegill and other sunfish (except Redear Sunfish six inches and longer) may legally be used as bait.
Unless license-exempt, anglers must have a trout permit ($10) if they:
Trout Stocking Schedule.
The daily creel limit is the number of particular sport fish species you may keep in one day's fishing. A possession limit is the maximum number of sport fish a person may hold in the field after two or more days of fishing.
Yes, legally speaking statewide regulations apply to private ponds. However, private pond owners/managers may place more restrictive limits than statewide regulations on the harvest of fish from their ponds, if they so choose.
Invasive Carp Information page for more information and contact
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Please see the
Commercial Fishing page for more information. You may also contact our Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 and request to be put in touch with the Commercial Fisheries Specialist or a Conservation Officer.
All tournaments with more than 100 boats are required to register with the Division of Law Enforcement at least 15 days prior to the event. For information and application materials, contact the Division of Law Enforcement at 1-800-858-1549. In addition to the requirements from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are requirements for tournaments held at Kentucky State Parks and Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs. If you are planning a tournament that will launch from a State Park ramp, check for more information on the State Park
Fishing Tournament Registration page. Also, check out our
Tournament Fishing page for more information.
Anyone who has a boat dock or wishes to construct or rebuild a boat dock on Beaver, Boltz, Bullock Pen, Carpenter, Corinth, Elmer Davis, Guist Creek, Kincaid, Kingfisher, or Malone lakes must apply for a Boat Dock Permit through Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. Depending on the type of dock and ownership status, there are specific procedures to follow to acquire the permit, all of which are detailed in the Boat Dock Application. Please note that a Shoreline Use Permit is also required for any structures or development activities on Department property. The
Boat Dock Permit Application,
Shoreline Use Permit Application,
A Guide for Construction on KDFWR Lakes and Land Buffer Areas, along with the accompanying Kentucky Administrative Regulation
301 KAR 1:016, can all be found on the department's
For information regarding the acquisition of private boat docks or permits on any other lake or waterbody, please contact the entity that owns the waterbody. Here is a current listing of
Lake Information that provides ownership and contact information.
No, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife does not stock privately owned lakes. However, there are many private fish suppliers available. A comprehensive list of these suppliers can be found on this
Fish Suppliers listing.
This service is not available. Our online
Farm Pond Management Guide offers guidance and details on how to deal with farm pond issues. You'll also find contact information for our Fisheries Biologists.
There are many variables that go into a fish stocking recommendation. Please refer to the
Farm Pond Management Guide. You can also contact your
Local Fisheries Biologist for more information. As far as where to purchase the fish, they can be obtained from any
licensed fish vendor.
There are numerous potential causes for this. However, the most common cause is oxygen depletion. This can commonly be caused by an overabundance of planktonic algae, aquatic vegetation, or turnover. For a complete list of all potential fish kill causes, check out the
Troubleshooting Common Pond Problems page.
Mechanical aeration can help while these kills are in progress. Installation of an aeration system may be helpful if a die-off occurs regularly. Die-off in the spring of all fish species present, especially after a rain, is probably due to a toxin — usually a pesticide treatment. Do not apply any lawn pesticides in the pond drainage with rain in the forecast.
Below are some resources to help control vegetation in your pond.
Typically, this is due to overcrowding caused by improper stocking or lack of harvest. If the overcrowded fish are sunfish or catfish the quickest and surest solution is to renovate with Rotenone (a chemical specially formulated to kill fish. Pond owners must buy it from a commercial source) and start over. If this cannot be done, then try stocking 3 to 6-inch largemouth bass at a rate of 150 an acre for two to three years in a row. You might also want to add 8- to 11-inch channel catfish at 50 per acre.
If the problem is occurring with bass this may be a result of improper stocking, overprotection of bass, bluegill overharvest, or limited bluegill spawning areas. Reduce the number of bass by fishing and harvesting. A
special management permit from KDFWR will be required to remove bass less than 12 inches. Also, while removing bass, you need to protect the bluegill. More bluegill will provide more food for the remaining bass. Your
local fisheries biologist can provide more information. Here is further guidance for
Solving Pond Problems.
If the leak is in the bottom of the pond, drain it and pack at least 12 inches of clay (possibly mixed with Bentonite) with a "sheep’s foot" roller. If the leak is in the dam, dig it out and repack with clay, or have a commercial grouting procedure done.
Slow reduction of water level due to evaporation is normal, but rapid water level loss down to a certain point is a sign of a leak. Prolonged leakage is usually evident by wet or seep areas somewhere below the dam. These usually have cattails, rushes or black willows growing in them.
Drought conditions can cause cracking, leakage and pond water levels to drop drastically. During pond construction, make sure the builder ties the clay core of the dam well into each bank. Bentonite should be mixed with dry soil to get best results; dumping Bentonite in the water in the area of the leak will probably not cure most leaks. To prevent future leaks, do not plant trees or allow trees to grow on the dam.
If the worms are in the meat of the fish they are more than likely trematodes (fluke worms). These worms require one or more hosts (usually snails and fish-eating birds) in addition to fish to complete their life cycle. Their larval stages, commonly known as black grubs, yellow grubs, or white grubs, will encyst under the skin over the entire body of the fish. Severely infected fish may be covered with black or yellow spots. These parasites normally do not kill fish, but may appear unsightly. Proper cleaning and cooking will render the parasite harmless to humans. There is no known control of trematodes in ponds other than breaking the life cycle by removing one of the hosts.
However, fish can potentially contract a number of parasites, including nematodes (roundworms) and cestodes (Tapeworms). For a full list of these (including identification information) please refer to the
Troubleshooting Common Pond Problems Guidance page.
Turtles are a natural and harmless part of any pond environment and commonly migrate from pond to pond in the spring and on cool rainy nights in the summer. They occasionally become a nuisance to anglers by stealing bait or stealing fish from a stringer. Although turtles feed on sick or diseased fish, they do not harm healthy fish in the pond.
The normal diet of most turtles found in Kentucky farm ponds is about 75 percent vegetable matter, 20 percent animal matter, and about 5 percent fish. If pond owners wish to reduce the turtle population in their ponds, there are several ways to trap them. Devices that are commonly used include baited bank lines, trot lines, or pitfall traps. Pitfall traps can be constructed in several different forms and allow turtles to be relocated unharmed.
We have completed several projects and have more currently in progress attempting to prevent the spread of this invasive species. Please see the
Invasive Carp Information page to read about specific measures we are taking.
Invasive carp can be found in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and most tributaries to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers up to the first dam. They are also present in Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. To prevent their spread into other reservoirs, it is very important not to move any bait you catch. In fact, it is illegal to transport live, wild-caught shad, herring, mooneye, or goldeye from the body in which they were collected.
When the term Invasive Carp is used it is typically in reference to either silver carp or big head carp. However, two other invasive species are also included in this grouping, the grass carp and the black carp. Silver and big-head carp are filter feeders and voraciously feed on the plankton that native mussels and fish species rely on. Grass carp feed on macrophytes (aquatic vegetation). Due to this, they are often used to control aquatic weeds. The grass carp stocked by the department for this purpose, while considered invasive, are sterile and cannot reproduce. Black carp are similar in appearance to grass carp, but they differ in their feeding habits. Black carp target mollusks and mussels which makes them a significant threat to our already vulnerable native species.
Invasive Carp are detrimental to natural ecosystems because they grow quickly and can get very large. Big head carp, for example, can exceed one hundred pounds. Some females are capable of producing over 1 million eggs annually, causing their numbers to grow at an alarming rate. In turn, they can easily and quickly out-compete native species for resources. They are filter feeders and eat the plankton that native baitfish species rely on. This can cause the number of baitfish to drastically decline when Invasive Carp populate a waterbody. Without baitfish, larger predatory fish populations can decrease.
Yes. However, if used as live bait, this can only occur on the waterbody that they were caught from. It is illegal to transport Invasive Carp from one waterbody to another due to preventative measures in place to keep these species from spreading. This includes the transportation of Invasive Carp from below a dam to the lake above it. Dams are major blockades in the spread of Invasive Carp.
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Here is the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Division of Law Enforcement Boating Safety Equipment Checklist:
Be sure to check out the
Kentucky Boater Education Certificate Information page.
There are liability concerns when letting someone else operate your boat when you are present but not driving. Please reference
Also, there are concerns when a parent lets a child operate their boat by themselves. Should the boat not have all the required equipment, the parent can be held responsible. Please reference
The motor size restrictions located on the Manufacturers Capacity Plate, certified by the Coast Guard's safety standards, are derived from a very lengthy and involved process to ensure safety in the vessel's operation.
There would be a significant safety risk, both for the operator and passengers of the boat, along with anyone else sharing the water if this rating is exceeded. Hull integrity, stability, and weight distribution can all be adversely affected by doing this. It is not safe. In addition, if an injury or damage occurred due to exceeding the rated motor size, criminal or civil negligence very well could apply.
Boats operating past sunset must have navigation lights clearly displayed. Displaying any other light prohibits or complicates boat operators from being able to see navigation lights. See the below excerpt from
301 KAR 6:020 Section 2 Category 4:
(4) On a vessel underway between sunset and sunrise, an operator shall not display other lights which could be mistaken for the lights specified in this section.
Yes. For each person on board a vessel, federal and state law requires a Type I, II, or III wearable device (PFD) on all boats.
Children under 12 years of age must wear a PFD while in the open part of a boat that is underway. Though our department highly recommends wearing a PFD at all times while on the water, if not worn the PFD must be readily accessible and cannot be stored in the hull or similar compartments.
For each person on board a vessel, state and federal law requires a Type I, II, or III wearable device (PFD) that is Coast Guard approved and has the proper weight rating. It also must be readily accessible. Boats 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks, must also carry one Type IV throwable PFD.
Persons under 12 years of age must wear a PFD while in the open part of a boat that is underway.
Operators and passengers of personal watercraft("jet-skis")
must wear a PFD.
No. A floatable throw cushion is considered a type IV throwable PFD. These PFDs are designed to be thrown to persons in the water who can hold on to them until help arrives. They are not designed to be worn and could cause drowning if worn on the back. Each person on board is required to have a properly fitting, serviceable, Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, or III wearable PFD. Boats 16 feet and over, except canoes and kayaks, must also carry one Type IV throwable PFD.
Though they are not required by regulation, every boater should have an oar, bucket, and even an anchor. In emergency situations, these items can be invaluable. It's best to take them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Kentucky law requires that all boats equipped with a petroleum product (gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc.) consuming device (engines, lanterns, stoves, etc.) shall have on hand a portable fire extinguisher (Type B) in serviceable condition and be located for immediate use. The best fire protection is well-maintained equipment and proper safety habits. There are fuels other than gasoline that cause fires. Many houseboats use bottled gas (propane) for stoves and other appliances. Also, many fishermen will use a lantern while fishing at night; if tipped over it can cause a fire.
Kentucky does not require it to be titled or registered if the boat is manually propelled (paddle, push pole, peddle drive systems, etc.). If the boat has any form of mechanical propulsion (trolling motor, electric motor, gas motor, etc.), then it must be titled, registered, and the appropriate KY numbers and registration sticker must be displayed appropriately on the boat. These rules apply to any watercraft used in the state of Kentucky.
From the date of purchase from a licensed boat vendor, you have up to (15) fifteen days to register. You must have in your possession a bill of sale from the vendor indicating the purchase date and be able to show it to an officer upon request.
Please refer to information from the
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on details regarding boat titling and registration.
Yes. You must be able to produce a copy of your registration upon request. Paper copies are best as we highly discourage relying on a cell phone or other electronic means to produce the document due to the risk of failure.
Boats registered in other states may be used for up to 60 consecutive days in Kentucky without registering here. Note that any watercraft with mechanical propulsion must be registered if used in Kentucky. If there are exceptions in your state such as motor size, and your mechanically propelled vessel is not legally registered in your state, then it cannot be used in Kentucky.
Yes. Once boats are assigned a registration number and decals, they must be displayed correctly. Ensure that the area you're placing the numbers and decal is appropriately cleaned and the surface is prepped to allow them to stick prior to applying. If necessary, most marine dealerships will do this for a fee. If the boat has a surface that will absolutely not allow adhesion (such as an inflatable), you will want to consider constructing a removable panel where you can display the numbers and stickers so that when applicable they can be appropriately placed and displayed on the boat and removed when not in use.
Eliminate the colors red, white, blue, and solid black from your turkey hunting outfit. Red or white are the colors hunters are looking for when differentiating a gobbler's head from the hen's grayish-blue head, while big black blobs could be mistaken for the body of a turkey. These colors not only put you in danger, but they can be seen by turkeys as well.
Sit with your back against a tree so that it provides a barrier between yourself and another hunter. If you see another hunter walking into your area don't move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert them to your presence. A quick movement may draw fire. Yell in a loud voice, "Hey, I'm here", and remain hidden. Be particularly careful when using a gobbler call. The sound and motion may attract other hunters and could draw fire.
Never shoot at only a sound or movement. Always be certain of your target and what is beyond it. Assume that every sound you hear is made by another hunter.
When hunting with a turkey decoy, place the decoy about 20 yards from your calling position. To be safe, you need a clear line of sight beyond the decoy of at least 80 yards. This will enable you to see any approaching hunter and keep you at a safe distance if another hunter were to shoot at your decoy.
Keep your shotgun unloaded when not in the field and open the action or unload your shotgun when climbing a steep hill, stepping over a fence, or fording a creek.
Bring an article of hunter orange clothing with you to wear when walking in/out of your hunting area or to use to cover a harvested bird while packing it out.
Check out the Gobbler/Hen Identification photos found in
Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide to help with identification.
Yes. Please contact our Information Center either by phone at 1-800-858-1549 or by email at
email@example.com to request one.
Turkey populations fluctuate in response to many factors. Weather conditions during spring nesting and early summer brood-rearing periods have a major influence on reproductive output, or what is commonly referred to as "the hatch." For more information on Kentucky's turkey population, please contact the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Turkey Biologist Zak Danks, at
We conduct a summer survey to monitor turkeys. Check out the
Summer Turkey Survey page for information on how to participate.
Traditionally, the season opens on the closest Saturday to April 15th. For a more detailed explanation of the reasoning check out this informational article,
Considerations for Timing of Spring Wild Turkey Huntings Seasons in the Southeastern United States.
Hunters may only use the following to take turkeys during the spring seasons:
Unless exempt, all spring turkey hunters ages 16 and older must carry with them in the field proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and a valid spring turkey permit. Short-term (1- or 7-day) hunting licenses are not valid for turkey hunting. The spring turkey permit is valid for the general spring season and allows a hunter to harvest up to the spring season bag limit of turkeys. Persons aged 16 and older may not hunt turkeys during the youth-only season.
Youths younger than age 12 are exempt from license and turkey permit requirements. Unless exempt, all spring turkey hunters ages 12-15 must carry with them in the field proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and a valid Spring Turkey Permit. Youth ages 12-15 are eligible to purchase a Youth Turkey Permit, which is valid for the harvest of one turkey during a license year. Youth hunters must abide by season bag limits and harvest restrictions. The resident-only Youth Sportsman's License includes two (2) Youth Turkey Permits.
Youths who hunt turkeys with a firearm must be accompanied by an adult who shall remain in a position to take immediate control of the firearm at all times.
The youth hunting license and permit is valid for the entire license year if purchased before their 16th birthday. If the child wishes to hunt for any species not covered by the youth license (waterfowl/migratory bird, bear, etc.) they must purchase those specific permits. They will also need to purchase a fishing license if they plan to fish, as it is not required for those 15 or under.
No, it is illegal to hunt for turkey over bait and in an area that is considered baited. If the bait influences the movement or behavior of the turkey, that area is considered baited. There is no set "distance from the bait" regulation, but there is a "time since baiting" requirement. An area is considered baited thirty days after the bait has been removed, and the area cannot be hunted until those thirty days have passed. However, a person may hunt wild turkeys on an area where grain, feed or other substance exists as the result of a bona fide agricultural practice or a manipulated crop for a wildlife management purpose. When assessing large areas that are baited, the determination of classification of baited area becomes difficult. If you have a large area that has been baited for animals such as deer and you are considering turkey hunting, we highly recommend contacting your
Local Biologist or Conservation Officer before hunting.
From March 1 through July 31, it is illegal to feed wildlife with grain, seed, or manufactured animal feed outside the curtilage of the home (the area immediately surrounding a home or group of homes). This regulation does not apply to normal agricultural practices or food plots, or municipal areas are not open to legal hunting or trapping.
A person shall not mimic the sound of a turkey in an area open to turkey hunting and where turkeys are reasonably expected to be present from March 1 until the opening of the youth-only turkey season, and from the close of the youth-only turkey season until the opening of the state-wide turkey season. However, locating turkeys with an owl, crow, coyote, or woodpecker call is permitted when scouting.
No, the use or possession of an electronic or digital calling device for turkeys is illegal.
All harvested turkeys must be logged and tele-checked. See the
Recording, Checking, Tagging and Transporting page of our website. Reporting your harvest is important, as it helps Kentucky Fish and Wildlife assess turkey populations.
Yes, you can call for them. Anyone may call turkeys or assist in the hunt. Callers and assistants are not required to possess a hunting license or turkey permit and may assist in carrying equipment while in the field.
Yes. Children ages 15 and younger may hunt turkeys during the youth-only hunting weekend and the general spring season (unless they reach their two-bird bag limit during the youth-only weekend).
No, the use of a dog during the spring turkey season is not legal.
For turkey hunting, a shotgun must be plugged to hold no more than two shells in the magazine/tube and one in the chamber for a total of three maximum.
No. You must leave the birds where they lie and immediately contact a Conservation Officer for guidance on the next steps to take. Please contact your
Local Conservation Officer.
No, hunting for turkey from a boat, or from any type of vehicle unless prescribed by regulation (see
Hunting Method Exemptions in the
General Information section of the
Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide) is prohibited. However, hunters may use boats to access areas to hunt, including public lands open to turkey hunting and private lands where they have permission.
No, it is illegal to harvest a roosted turkey.
No, the use of live decoys to hunt for turkey is illegal.
Yes, a decoy can be motorized.
"Reaping" or "fanning" is legal, but is not encouraged due to safety reasons, particularly on public land. We don't recommend stalking a turkey, especially using a large decoy to conceal your body. The odds of being mistaken for a live turkey significantly increase if other hunters are in the area. We recommend that you work to find spots where you can intercept a bird coming to your calls.
Hunters are not required to wear hunter-orange clothing during the spring turkey seasons. However, wearing an article of hunter-orange clothing while carrying a harvested turkey is a simple and effective way to help prevent hunting accidents that can occur when a hunter is mistaken for game.
No. Due to the potential for the spread of disease and genetic pollution, it is illegal to possess live wild turkeys. For the same reasons, domestic or pen-raised turkeys should not be released into the wild. It is also illegal to possess or attempt to hatch wild turkey eggs. The best method to increase your turkey population is to improve concealment cover for nesting hens and to provide food sources for poults. A strict trapping regimen that will remove nest predators may also help.
The annual bag limit is one (1) bear per person per year, regardless of the season.
Yes. Hunters cannot kill bears less than seventy-five (75) pounds. This restriction will protect bears of the year and smaller females.
No. For 2022, the quota has been removed, and harvest will be regulated by a set season length for each of the two bear zones (1 and 2).
Unleashed dogs can be used only during the chase-only and bear quota hunt with dogs seasons. Leashed tracking dogs may be used to recover wounded bears during any open bear season on public or private lands with permission. Any dog used for hunting bears must be on the department-approved breed list.
Successful hunters must first telecheck the bear by 8 p.m. on the day of the harvest, and then call the KDFWR at 800-858-1549 (press 2 for special season information) within 24 hours of harvest and before exiting the bear hunting zone, to arrange for KDFWR personnel to attach a metal kill tag and inspect the carcass. There will be no permanent check stations. Instead, the successful hunter and biologist will decide on a place to meet.
Hunters traveling outside the bear zone must call and arrange to have their bear checked prior to leaving the bear hunting zone.
Yes. To check a legal bear, the hunter must present an intact hide that contains the skull and proof of sex, at a minimum.
No. Successful hunters must first telecheck the bear, then call the KDFWR at 800-858-1549 (press 2 for special season information) within 24 hours of harvest and prior to leaving the bear zone, to arrange for KDFWR personnel to attach a metal kill tag and inspect the carcass. The Department no longer has permanent check stations. Instead, the successful hunter and biologist will decide on a place to meet.
No. Garbage cans and open dumpsters are classified as baiting and hunting over or near these attractants is illegal.
No. It is illegal for anyone to disturb or harass a bear from its den. This includes during all bear hunting seasons.
No. It is illegal for hunters to harvest a female bear with any young. In nearly all cases in the fall of the year, a group of bears will actually be a female with her young. Other age groups of bears do not interact or travel in groups.
Yes. Non-resident hunters may take part in the archery or firearms seasons. Non-resident hunters may not take part in the chase-only or quota hunt with dogs seasons.
No. Bear permits ($30), Youth Bear Permits ($10), and Non-resident Bear Permits ($250) are available over the counter from all licensed vendors. Unless license exempt, all persons hunting bears must have a Bear Permit in addition to an Annual Hunting License.
Unless license-exempt, a person must possess an Annual Hunting License and a Bear Chase Permit ($30) or Junior Bear Chase Permit ($10).
No. Bear Chase Permits and Youth Bear Chase Permits are only available for purchase on the
Bear Chase Permits are available for purchase during the entire license year.
Archery/Crossbow season: archery equipment and crossbows only.
Modern firearm season: archery, crossbow or firearms. Muzzleloader firearms must be at least .45 caliber, and modern firearms must be at least .264 caliber (6.5mm) to hunt bears.
Bear quota hunt with dogs: archery, crossbow or firearms. Muzzleloader firearms must be at least .45 caliber, and modern firearms must be at least .264 caliber (6.5mm) to hunt bears.
Yes. Firearms, crossbows and archery equipment are legal weapons during the modern firearm season.
No. Hunter orange is not required for bear archery/crossbow season.
Yes. Because this season is open to firearms, all hunters must wear hunter orange, visible from all sides on the head, back and chest.
No. The intentional or unintentional feeding of black bears is illegal in Kentucky, especially during the hunting season.
No. Any substance capable of luring a bear is considered bait, and the area where it is used is considered a baited area.
No. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area are each closed to all bear hunting. Only portions of wildlife management areas within the Bear Zone are open to bear hunting.
Almost a decade of research has shown that this WMA on Pine Mountain serves as an important denning area for female bears. Currently, bear hunting is being prohibited in this immediate area to protect reproducing females while denning with young.
Yes. In 2019, the restricted area around Hensley-Pine Mountain WMA was removed.
Yes. Public land restrictions were removed in McCreary County for the 2019 season. Archery and Modern Gun season are open on any public land in McCreary County except for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, which is a bear sanctuary closed to hunting.
Yes. In any bear zone, a dog can be used to chase a bear on public hunting areas or on private land with permission of the landowner except the chase-only and quota hunt with dogs seasons are closed in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Miller-Welch Central Kentucky WMA, Beaver Creek WMA, Cane Creek WMA, Mill Creek WMA, Pioneer Weapons WMA and Redbird WMA.
The chase-only season will not open on Wildlife Management Areas until the third Saturday in August due to leash law restrictions designed to protect young wildlife during the summer months.
Unless license-exempt, all hunt party members must possess an Annual Hunting License, Bear Chase Permit, and Bear Permit in order to participate. Youth hunters must have a Youth Hunting Permit, Youth Chase Permit, and Youth Bear Permit to participate.
No. Bears may only be chased during the Chase-Only Season and during the Bear Hunt with Dogs season.
No. It is illegal to harass or disturb bears in den sites for the purpose of chase or harvest.
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Grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and Fox squirrels (Sciurus niger).
A person 16 years old or older is required to have a 1 or 7-day hunting license, an annual hunting license, a sportsman's license, or a disability/senior license. A youth who is 12 - 15 years old will need either an annual youth hunting license or a youth sportsman's license. Youth younger than 12 are license exempt.
Legal harvest methods for squirrels include:
The daily bag limit for squirrels is six (6). That is the maximum number of squirrels an individual can take in one day.
The possession limit for squirrels is twelve (12). That is the maximum number of squirrels an individual is allowed to keep before processing.
One-half hour before sunrise through one-half hour after sunset. Hunters may be in the field before and after shooting hours.
Though it's a good idea to always wear an article of hunter orange, it is only required when your hunt overlaps a large game modern gun or muzzleloader season. All hunters, and persons accompanying them, must wear outer garments of hunter orange visible from all sides on the head, back, and chest when hunting during daylight hours for any species during modern gun, muzzleloader, and youth firearm deer seasons, or a firearm elk or firearm bear season.
Hunting from boats is permitted for small game and furbearers.
Yes, dogs may be used to aid in the hunt.
The taking season for bullfrogs opens at noon on the third Friday in May and runs through midnight on October 31st.
If a gun or bow and arrow are used, a hunting license is required. If frogs are taken by pole and line, a fishing license is required. If frogs are taken by a gig or by hand, then either a hunting or fishing license is valid.
Bullfrogs may be taken with a gig, by hand, bow and arrow, firearm, or hook and line from public and private waters.
The daily noon-to-noon creel limit for bullfrogs is 15. The possession limit is 30.
Coyote hunting is open year-round, day or night (with restrictions).
Yes, unless you are license exempt. A person 16 years old or older must have either a 1 or 7-day hunting license, an annual hunting license, a sportsman's license, or a disability/senior license. A youth who is 12 - 15 years old will need either an annual youth hunting license or a youth sportsman's license. Youth younger than 12 are license exempt.
Legal harvest methods for coyotes include:
On public land after daylight hours, a person shall not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with a multiple projectile shell. On private land after daylight hours, coyote hunters may not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with a multiple-projectile shell, except that from December 1st - March 31st hunters may also use a rifle of 6.5mm (.264 caliber) or smaller bullet diameter; a muzzleloader of .54 caliber or less; or a shotgun shell with a single-projectile. Night hunting shall not be allowed in a county or area where a deer or elk firearm or muzzleloader season is open.
Yes, AR-platform rifles can be used to hunt coyotes. If hunting occurs at night the caliber must be 6.5 mm or smaller and it may only be used on private land. There are no magazine restrictions for coyote hunting, but please note if you intend to use the same configuration for deer hunting the magazine must be manufactured to only hold ten rounds.
The use of suppressors for hunting is legal, so long as the hunter has on their person the proper federal paperwork that is required for the possession of the suppressor.
Hand or mouth-operated calls and electronic calls that imitate wounded prey or coyote calls are legal.
It is legal to hunt coyotes over animal carcasses. Animal carcasses are considered bait. A hunter shall not place or distribute bait or otherwise participate in baiting wildlife on all WMAs, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, Land Between the Lakes, or state parks open to hunting. If coyote hunting in a CWD Surveillance Zone, please refer to our website's
CWD Special Hunting Regulation Updates on the latest baiting restrictions in those areas.
During the day, yes. However, night hunting for coyotes shall not be allowed in a county or area where a deer or elk firearm or muzzleloader season is open.
Yes, coyotes can be hunted at night year-round but can only be hunted using lights or night vision equipment from December 1st - May 31st.
There is a season to use lights, which runs from December 1st - May 31st. Lights or other means to make coyotes visible at night cannot be connected to or cast from a mechanized vehicle.
There is no bag limit for coyotes.
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All hunting and fishing licenses and permits expire on February 28 each year.
This will depend on who you receive your disability benefits from. Please refer to the
Senior and Disabled Licenses page on our website or in the
Kentucky Hunting and
Fishing Guides for detailed information.
To qualify for the Department's senior license, a person must be 65 years or older. A senior license is not available to anyone who has not yet turned 65.
To qualify for a license-exempt status you must be a full-time, permanent resident of Kentucky. Due to that, all non-residents are required to purchase non-resident licenses and permits to hunt/fish in Kentucky regardless of land ownership status.
No. Active-duty Kentucky residents returning on leave are licensed and permit-exempt during their leave period. You must carry with you a copy of your leave paperwork and must be able to produce it upon request of a Conservation Officer.
Only Kentucky resident property owners of 5 acres or more, their spouses and dependent children (must be claimed as a dependent on federal taxes) hunting or fishing upon their own property during an open season are license and permit exempt. Any other situation, regardless of familial relationships requires a valid hunting or fishing license and permits.
Those that do not have a social security number can still purchase a Kentucky hunting or fishing license. However, they will first need to contact the Department's licensing branch at 1-800-858-1549 and have a number assigned to them. This number serves as an identification number for the issuance of the license. With this number, a license can be purchased online through the Department's
website or at our many
license agents throughout the state.
No. Youths 11 and under are license and permit exempt. Resident and non-resident youth children younger than 12 are not required to purchase licenses and permits, except for the elk hunt drawing application. Ages 16 and older are classified as adults in terms of licensing. This includes non-resident youths.
Anyone with a youth sportsman's license that turns sixteen during the license year can still use the youth sportsman's license for the remainder of the license year. However, once a hunter turns 16, he or she will not be able to hunt during the Department youth hunts. Also, please note that the youth sportsman's license does not include everything that an adult's does. Please refer to the licensing section of either a hunting or fishing and boating guide for a full list of what each includes. If the child wishes to participate in any activity not covered by the youth sportsman's license, they will need to acquire the proper adult license to do so (i.e., fishing, migratory bird/waterfowl, etc.).
Youths younger than 12 years old who harvest turkey or deer during the youth seasons or general seasons can telecheck the harvest by using their social security number and selecting "statewide license."
Full-time students enrolled in a Kentucky educational institution for at least a six-month term, and service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky are classified as residents.
Boat registrations expire on April 30th each year.
No. Boat registration is handled by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Your local county clerk's office can assist you.
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For most infant wildlife we recommend leaving them where you find them. Many species will leave their babies alone as they forage for food and then come back for them later. Often, when found, this is the situation. Leaving them where you find them gives them a better chance at survival.
However, if you find a baby and know the mother is deceased (you can physically see it) or if the baby appears to be in some type of distress (panting, covered in ticks/parasites, crying), you should immediately contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Click to find our
list of Licensed Rehabilitators. Wildlife rehabilitation is the process of rescuing, raising, and arranging for veterinary medical care of orphaned, sick, displaced, or injured wildlife with the goal of releasing the wildlife back to its natural habitat.
Kentucky statutes do not allow you to keep orphaned wildlife unless you are a licensed rehabilitator. For your safety and the safety of the wildlife, do not touch the wildlife unless instructed to by the rehabilitator.
Injured wildlife can only be rehabilitated by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You will need to get in contact with one as soon as possible. Do not touch or move the wildlife until you have spoken with a rehabilitator and have been instructed to do so. Click to find our
list of Licensed Rehabilitators. If you cannot find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area, or cannot get in contact with one, you must leave the wildlife alone. It is illegal to possess wildlife without proper permitting/licensing.
Our department highly discourages the practice of feeding wildlife as it typically leads to negative human-wildlife interactions. However, the practice is legal with some restrictions. Wildlife may be fed year-round within the curtilage of a home. Outside the curtilage of a home, wildlife cannot be fed from March 1st through May 31st.
Bears are not included in this, as it is illegal to feed bears at all times.
No. We receive a lot of speculation about mythical stockings of certain species for various reasons. Our department will never “stock” a species that pose a significant safety risk or environmental risk. Dedicated and scrutinized research is always used when considering what and how animals are introduced into an ecosystem.
To have a nuisance animal removed from your property, you will need to contact a nuisance control operator, which is essentially pest control for wildlife. A list of licensed nuisance control operators can be found in the
Nuisance Control Lookup here. Our department does not remove the nuisance, injured, or orphaned wildlife.
Over the years as their natural habitat disappears, some coyotes and foxes have developed an urban lifestyle. These species are found in every county and city statewide and it's not uncommon to see them in urban areas. In most cases, we suggest leaving them alone. They typically will stay away from people. However, any food outside for your pets or even bird feeders along with open garbage can be an open invitation for them to enter your yard. If a coyote or a fox is in your neighborhood, we suggest you eliminate these attractants to keep them at bay. Spread the word to neighbors and inform them of this good practice.
Check out this Guidance Document,
Coyotes in the Suburbs containing suggestions for keeping coyotes and foxes away. You can also watch the videos found on the
Nuisance Wildlife page for more help.
For more quick tips, you can do the following:
If these tactics do not work and the coyote or fox is staying around, you can also call a Nuisance Control Operator through our
Nuisance Control Lookup for assistance.
Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators are individuals who are permitted by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Services to provide professional wildlife control assistance for a fee.
If you live in an area where bears reside, you may have the occasional encounter with a bear on your property. To keep bear issues at a minimum, we suggest eliminating outside feeding for pets, or only giving pets food they can eat at one feeding. Keep garbage secure and grills clean and eliminate bird feeders when you know a bear is in a neighborhood. They are looking for a quick meal and aren't very picky about where they find it.
Following these simple guidelines will minimize any unnecessary and potentially dangerous encounters:
You can also visit the
Nuisance Wildlife page for more information on nuisance bears.
If the bear is causing property damage, you need to contact your
Local Private Lands Biologist for assistance as soon as possible.
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If you received a ticket or citation, you would need to speak with the county attorney or district court clerk in the county where cited for additional information such as payment, court dates, appearance required or prepayment, as well as contests.
We do not give out private contact information for a Conservation Officer. The best way to get in contact with them is via email. If you have an immediate need or an emergency that requires their attention, you will need to contact your nearest State Police Dispatch Post. You can find both the Conservation Officer's email along with the contact number for dispatch in your county through the
Find My County Contact page.
Conservation officers may enter private property without permission to investigate or in the normal activities of their duties, such as hunting or fishing license checks, investigating possible or reported baiting, poaching concerns, or other violations.
Carrying a firearm for personal protection is legal on state-owned property and private property unless otherwise prohibited from possession. However, on U.S. Army Corps property only legal hunting firearms are allowed, and only during a legal hunting season when they can be used. This includes lakes and rivers as well.
Anyone who may legally possess firearms may carry an open firearm. This includes anyone who is training their dogs out of season. Anyone 21 years of age, who may legally possess firearms, may carry their weapon concealed without the need for a permit where open carry firearms are allowed. We just ask that if approached by a Conservation Officer that you notify the officer that you are carrying a weapon. If you carry a firearm outside of a hunting season, the weapon can only be used for your protection and not the taking of wildlife. Also, we ask you to keep in mind that due to related circumstances an officer can potentially perceive your situation as hunting. If so, there is no guarantee that you won't be cited. You must be able to articulate and clearly distinguish that the firearm is being carried for self-protection and not for hunting purposes.
For employment as a Conservation Officer, you should check with the
State Personnel Website for specific requirements, postings, etc. Employment postings can also be found on our website on our
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WMA is the acronym used for Wildlife Management Areas. These are designated pieces of land that Kentucky Fish and Wildlife either owns or manages for wildlife habitat and public use. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife owns, leases, or manages more than 85 wildlife management areas (WMAs) for public use. To find a listing check out the
Wildlife Management Area & Public Lands Search app.
Most public lands are open to hunting free of additional charge. The
Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area and the
Peabody WMA require permits for entry. The
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area requires a user permit if you are going to hunt/fish on that property. Please contact the
US Forest Service for user fees associated with the
Daniel Boone National Forest or any other federally owned/operated properties.
Many public-use areas have special regulations and hunting season dates that are different from statewide seasons. To check the specific details for a single public-use area please visit the following pages on our website:
In some instances, yes. For specific special regulations, please refer to the
Kentucky Fishing and Boating Fish Boat Guide.
Yes. A group of ten (10) or more people who gather for any event or organized activity on a WMA shall complete a
Wildlife Management Area Use Permit Application and submit it to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at least 30 days before the date of the event. The department shall retain the authority to deny events, or otherwise restrict, institute additional requirements for, or direct the rescheduling of, any event to avoid user conflicts or for other plausible reasons. Permit requests for events that do not meet WMA user guidelines shall be denied, and events may be canceled in progress if participants fail to comply with user guidelines or create hazards or disruption for others.
On some, yes. Open deer hunts are offered in select state parks on specific dates. You can find that information on the
Public Lands Hunting page. You will need to contact the host state park for complete details, including the number of available slots, equipment restrictions, bag limits, and check-in and check-out procedures. Other hunting opportunities on state park property are available in the form of designated quota hunts. You can find more information about those on our
Quota Hunts page.
Yes, with a permit. There are designated Wildlife Management Areas with mobility-impaired access areas that offer those with qualifying mobility impairments who want to hunt or fish special exceptions. Persons interested in applying for a Mobility-Impaired Access Permit should contact the department at 1-800-858-149 or click here for an
application. Please note that the permit is only applicable to the specific areas listed on it.
Applicants for a Mobility-Impaired Access Permit shall fill out the required information on the application and obtain the attestation and signature from a licensed physician describing the mobility impairment.
A mobility-impaired individual shall always have a completed Mobility Impaired Access Permit application on his or her person while participating in such activities, along with the appropriate hunting licenses and permits.
Camping is permitted only in designated areas and only on certain WMAs. Check WMA maps or call the WMA office for camping availability through Kentucky Fish and Wildlife or other campgrounds.
It is unlawful to cut trees or fences, dump trash or litter, or damage any property or habitat in any fashion. Due to this, fires are not allowed on state-owned properties unless in designated camping areas. If it is federal property, you will need to check with the entity that owns it. That information can be found on our
Lake Information page. If it is on private property, you will need landowner permission.
Please refer to the entity that owns the waterbody from our
Lake Information page.
For this question, you will need to determine if the area you wish to camp in is a state, federally, or privately owned. If the area is state-owned or a Wildlife Management Area, camping is only allowed in designated areas. Please refer to maps from the
WMA and Public Lands Search app for more information. If the area is federally owned, please refer to the entity that owns the water body/land. You can find that list and contact information on the
Lake Information page. If it is privately owned, you will need landowner permission.
Yes, dogs are allowed to be with you in a Wildlife Management Area. Unless otherwise noted, persons shall not allow unleashed dogs from March 1 until the third Saturday in August, except during department-authorized field trials, or when training a retriever or other water dog if the activity is authorized by a sign at the body of water. The dog must remain leashed except while training, or within 100 feet of the water, or as stated under the area listing or posted on the WMA.
Yes, so long as doing so does not pose a potential safety risk.
Yes, with restrictions. Horseback riding is permitted on some WMAs during certain times of the year and under certain restrictions. Unless hunting, horses shall only be ridden on designated horse-riding trails or a maintained public road open to vehicular traffic. Horses may not be ridden on WMAs during firearms seasons for turkey, deer, bear or elk unless participating or assisting in a legal elk hunt.
Yes, however many WMAs do not have marked or maintained hiking trails. All persons who enter a WMA must abide by all statewide and specific WMA regulations. Hunter Orange must be worn if the access occurs during any modern gun or muzzleloader season for deer, bear, or elk.
Yes, with restrictions. On all WMAs, Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area and Daniel Boone National Forest, a person shall not use a nail, spike, screw-in device, wire, or tree climber for attaching a tree stand or climbing a tree. A portable stand or climbing device that does not injure a tree may be used. A person shall not use an existing permanent tree stand. Tree stands can be put up two weeks prior to the season and must be taken down within one week of the season's conclusion. If left during the season, tree stands must be permanently marked with the owner’s name and address.
Yes, however, stands must be marked with the hunter’s name and address, placed no more than two (2) weeks before the opening of the season, and removed within one (1) week following the last day of each hunting period. We recommend locking stands to trees for security using a lock and cable or chain.
No, a person shall not place bait or other attractants or hunt over bait on a WMA or public hunting lands.
Yes. Please note, whenever gun deer hunting is allowed on a WMA, state park or Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, a person who will be hunting from inside a ground blind must first attach a hat or vest made of solid, unbroken hunter orange material to the blind, so it is visible from all sides. Hunter orange clothing requirements still apply to anyone inside the blind.
Though it's always a good idea to, you do not always have to wear hunter orange while in public-use areas. Hunter orange is not required except during a deer, bear, or elk modern gun or muzzleloader season. Hunters are not required to wear hunter orange clothing or display hunter orange on ground blinds during a firearms season on a state-owned or managed WMA where firearms hunting for deer, elk or bear is prohibited.
Yes. Before trapping on a WMA or Outdoor Recreation Area, a
Public Area Trapping Registration Form must be completed. Also, please refer to the
Kentucky Fall Hunting and Trapping Guide for public land trapping regulations.
Unless otherwise authorized by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, mechanized vehicles (excluding wheelchairs) are permitted only on maintained roads open to public use.
A bicycle is designated as a mechanized vehicle. Unless otherwise authorized by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, mechanized vehicles (excluding wheelchairs) are permitted only on maintained roads open to public use.
Parking must be confined to designated parking areas if such areas exist. Please refer to the WMA Maps from the
Wildlife Management Area and Public Lands Search app for these designated areas. If no parking area is designated, parking is generally allowed alongside maintained roads in such a manner that does not block a road or gate or prevent access to a portion of the area. Note that vehicular traffic is only allowed on designated roadways and parking is not allowed on any road or area marked with a "No Vehicular Traffic" or "Foot Travel Only" sign.
Yes, unless otherwise marked or designated as a no-access area.
There are boat launch locations on some WMAs. You can find specific information on boating access sites here in the
Waterbodies Search app.
Mobility-impaired access areas have been designated on portions of the following WMAs: Barren River, Fishtrap Lake, Green River Lake, Griffith Woods, Kentucky River, Lake Cumberland, Mill Creek, Miller Welch-Central Kentucky, Mullins, Peabody (Sinclair Unit), Redbird, Taylorsville Lake, West Kentucky, Yatesville Lake and Yellowbank WMAs. For specific information, please refer to the
Mobility Impaired Access Permit.
It is unlawful to cut trees or fences, dump trash or litter, or damage any property or habitat in any fashion on a WMA.
It is unlawful to cut trees or fences, dump trash or litter, or damage any property or habitat in any fashion. It is also unlawful to camp or erect shelters on WMAs unless in designated areas. Please contact the Information Center at 1-800-858-1549 for more information.
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The following list of items we recommend your child will need to bring to camp:
DO NOT BRING food or candy from home, pocket knives, phones, or any electronic devices.
DO NOT MAIL care packages containing food or candy. Due to camper food allergies, we will not distribute food or candy sent from home.
If a child wants to go to camp but can't afford it, scholarships are available on a limited basis. Check with your local Conservation Educator. Contact information for conservation educators can be found
Each camp's staff consists of at least:
The staff to camper ratio is 1 staff for each 6-8 campers.
Each camp hosts approximately 200 campers per week. Camp weeks are co-educational, with nine Monday-Friday camp sessions each summer. Approximately 5,000 campers attend our camps each summer. Camper lodging is in air-conditioned cabins, each with a capacity of 25-30 campers and 2 counselors.
We do our best to make sure the campers are under constant supervision. There are times when that is not always possible. For example, if the counselor in the cabin goes to the bathroom, the cabin will be unsupervised for a few minutes; while the campers are walking to and from their cabin for an activity (such as swimming), they will not be under direct supervision.
All summer staff is hired for the entire season. We strive to hire quality college-aged counselors and teaching staff. Each staff member has passed a background check issued by the Kentucky State Police and Cabinet for Health and Family Services and was personally interviewed by the Camp Director. All summer staff receives two weeks of training prior to the arrival of campers.
Yes. Cabin assignments happen shortly after arriving at camp. Encourage your child to listen carefully to instructions and to group up with the other children they would like to bunk with. We make every effort to keep friends in the same cabin.
Campers are transported to camp by chartered school bus. Bus pickup locations are located within the county your child attends school or a neighboring county. In May, the primary guardian on the camper registration application will receive an email with the transportation information for the camper.
It is the responsibility of the camper to make sure he/she takes their prescribed medication. Camp staff will remind the campers four (4) times a day to take their medication. You should discuss this process with your child before applying for camp. If the parent feels the camper is not responsible enough to take his/her own medication, then camp may not be for them. All medication is kept in the sick bay area of the camp office and is distributed to the camper under the direction of camp medical staff.
Every educator and counselor is CPR and first-aid certified. In addition, each camp has a certified medical professional on staff. If the injury or sickness requires professional attention, we will make every effort to contact a parent before we take your child to a hospital or doctor. We purchase camper insurance for all children that attend our camps. Your child is insured from the time they get on the school bus to leave for camp until they get off the bus upon returning on Friday. This insurance cost is included in the camp fee. It does not cover pre-existing conditions or illness.
Homesickness is probably the most difficult thing to deal with at summer camp. We do our very best to talk the camper into staying, at least the first night. We have found that if they stay the first night, they will usually get over their homesickness and have a great time. If a camper is inconsolable, or still homesick the next day, one of our educators will contact the parent. We do not keep the camper against his/her will. We encourage you to speak with your child about this issue prior to camp, let them know you are proud of them, and encourage them to stay the whole week at camp.
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