Meet the Commissioner


Rich Storm, Commissioner

It's my honor to serve you as Commissioner of a department dedicated to conserving, protecting and enhancing Kentucky's fish and wildlife resources.

Odds are, we have several things in common.

I'm a third-generation farmer; born and raised in Nicholas County. Working on the family farm taught me the significance of each day and about the values of hard work and time spent with family. My wife, Heather, and I are raising our two daughters in Carlisle to know the importance and power of having those values along with a strong faith.

I'm also an avid hunter, angler, wildlife viewer and recreational shooter.

I started very young. Some of my earliest memories are from the outdoors, including attending sportsmen's club meetings with my dad. I was with him when I caught my first fish. When I harvested my first deer with a bow, I was a teen; I can remember my hands and feet trembling with excitement.  I am still excited to get outdoors.

My interest in the outdoors has evolved into one of my biggest passions in life, and I enjoy introducing others to the outdoors. Developing the next generation of anglers, hunters, trappers and boaters through education and mentoring is an investment in the future of conservation. If we replace ourselves in the field with at least one person each, then the traditions and legacy continue with the next generation.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife's legacy makes me proud as a Kentuckian.

Visionary leadership, dedicated staff, willing partners and strong, unified support from sportspeople and other conservation-minded people have been crucial to the department's success through the decades. Look no further than the restoration of deer, turkey, elk, otters or ospreys. These historic achievements would not have been possible without each of those ingredients.

Many people think the department is only about hunting and fishing.

However, it is an agency tasked with being a steward of many of Kentucky's public natural resources, and we take seriously the protection of them.

Conservation officers are out there every day in all types of conditions working to ensure compliance with fish, game and boating laws. The highly trained men and women who wear the law enforcement badge are among our greatest ambassadors and professionals. I encourage you to get to know the officer in your county or to take a moment to thank him or her for their service.

The department must be proactive against threats facing Kentucky's fish and wildlife resources. Threats like invasive carp, chronic wasting disease, zebra mussels, wild pigs, hydrilla and bush honeysuckle to name a handful.

The protection of species that aren't hunted, fished or trapped is vital to the health and balance of our ecosystems. They are facing threats, too, and you can help them by supporting the Kentucky Wild program.

With greater than 90 percent of the state privately owned, cultivating partnerships that work toward habitat improvement on land and water is essential. Quality habitat and clean water are keys to the health and sustainability of all species, and each of us can do our part.

At age 16, my family entrusted me with managing a family farm, and later on family business projects. After graduating from Morehead State University with a degree in agricultural science, I was blessed to acquire additional managerial experience in various industries – mining, automotive and manufacturing. I've also served as general manager of a mid-size staffing company. I've worn many hats in my four decades of life.

A variety of life and work experiences has helped make me who I am, and it suits my personality.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I've never met a stranger. I enjoy meeting and working with people, and I welcome your feedback about the department. What are we doing well? What can we improve? How can we work together to move the needle on important issues related to Kentucky's fish and wildlife? I plan to be out and about and attend as many outdoor events as my schedule will allow.

Let's work together for the greater good, to preserve the natural resource prosperity that we've grown accustomed to here in Kentucky and even create new opportunities that ensure we leave things better than we found them. That's how I was raised, like many of you. If you're new to the outdoors, I want to welcome you and encourage you to help us fulfill our mission by getting involved in conservation and sharing your newfound passion with others. 

A commitment to continued excellence by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is my commitment to you.


Rich Storm

Rich Storm

Rich Storm, Commissioner