Administrative Regulations

​The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources currently has the following proposed amendments to our administrative regulations filed and pending, or recently enacted. For filed and pending amendments, persons interested in commenting after reviewing these pending amendments should contact the department per instructions at the end of each regulation. Proposed changes are indicated by strike-through marks over deleted text, and underlines for added or moved text.

Proposed Amendments
Substantive changes that are filed and pending:

Semantic or modernization changes filed and pending per mandatory "sunset law" (HB4, 2019) periodic review for accuracy:

Recently Enacted Amendments
Changes to regulations or statutes in recent months that are now effective:

This administrative regulation establishes requirements for importation, transportation, and possession of exotic wildlife. These amendments will develop an online permitting system, expand the department’s ability to deny or revoke a permit, prohibit the importation and possession of wild rabbits, hares, pikas and lynx species, improve protections from rabies meeting statutory requirements, update the prohibited species exemption section, and provide grandfathering for previously held legal prohibited wildlife species. Amendments are necessary to protect native rabbit species from disease, which could impact populations, protect the public from potential exposure to rabies, provide better customer service in the form of an online system, and meet statutory requirements pertaining to endangered species. Additionally, these amendments improve health and human safety regarding the possession of live exotic wildlife.

This administrative regulation prohibits certain actions inconsistent with the intended purpose of Wildlife Management Areas, establishes requirements for other uses and stipulates the procedure for obtaining group use permits on these areas. This amendment cleans up and simplifies language in the existing regulation in regard to feeding of wildlife.

This administrative regulation simplifies the process for obtaining method exemptions and special use permits for mobility-​impaired individuals and promotes nature-related recreational access to department-managed lands. This amendment cleans up and simplifies language in the existing regulation.

Amendments to this regulation place a 20-inch minimum size limit and 1-fish daily creel limit on largemouth bass at Highsplint Lake in Harlan County, make the entire stretch of Clear Fork a tributary of the Gasper River catch-and-release fishing only (prohibit the harvesting of sport fish), provide specific fishing methods allowed while fishing from the spilling basin platform below Green River Lake Dam, and add Robert J. Barth Park Lake to the list of Special Lakes and Ponds incorporated by reference. This amendment also corrected several lake names and a county name error in the Special Catfish Size Limit Lakes and Special Lakes and Ponds lists which are incorporated by reference. These amendments are necessary to protect several fish species from excessive harvest, help restore Clear Fork fish populations suffering from a fish kill, and to establish another Fishing in Neighborhoods (FiNs) lake.

This amendment changes several requirements to clarify or make the program more efficient. Included in the changes are: clarifying restricted waters definition and adding language to prevent harvest of roe-bearing species; expansion of type of net sets allowed; correction of language for call-in requirements for program participants and harvest submission timelines; requirement for program participants to mark the end of their nets with floating buoys and to harvest, possess and transport fish claimed under this program separately from fish harvested by any other method; removing distancing and occupancy wording as it applies to multiple program participants when on the water; adding explanation to allow program participants to fish in waters open to commercial fishing (not just restricted waters); adding language to allow the department to restrict fishing in locations where there would be excessive user conflict; and allowing program participants to use unlicensed helpers.

This amendment will update the “Material Incorporated by Reference" portion of the regulation to reflect the newest edition of the publication used to assess fill kill replacement values. The current administrative regulation to assess the replacement values of fish killed in violation of KRS 150.460 (1) or (3) references an outdated edition of the American Fisheries Society publication. This amendment will reference the 2017 edition, which is American Fisheries Society Special Publication 35, "Investigation and Monetary Values of Fish and Freshwater Mollusk Kills."

Early in the elk restoration process we experienced elk damage issues in certain areas of the elk zone. The post-season quota hunt was a means to address these issues on private lands. With continued hunting pressure and over time, the damage issues involving hay fields or crops have been eliminated. The added hunting pressure and elk habitat use have led to these concerns no longer being valid. The removal of the post-season hunt requirement is needed to simplify the regulation now that the post-season hunt is no longer necessary.

This amendment will set the Sandhill Crane hunting season to match the second segment of regular duck season (December 7 – January 31). Sandhill Crane season was changed in 2017-2018 to coincide with duck season. With the change in the season framework for the 2019-2020 duck season, moving the closure to January 31, the crane and duck seasons are again different. Season frameworks allow for a January 31st closure for Sandhill Cranes. This amendment to the regulation makes the closure the same for ducks and cranes.

Amendments establish a mandatory free bobcat permit for all hunters of bobcats, plus an incentive program wherein for every two bobcat jawbone submissions a hunter or trapper will receive a bonus non-transferable bobcat permit to be used the following season. The amendments also start the bobcat season one week earlier (on the 3rd Saturday in November) to increase hunter opportunity to harvest a bobcat during the modern gun deer season. Bobcats are valuable furbearers, monetarily to fur trappers and taxidermists, and considered a trophy harvest by many hunters and trappers. Wildlife Division efforts to monitor bobcats by collecting data voluntarily submitted by hunters and trappers have not yielded adequate sample sizes for population analyses. The bobcat hunting permit required for all licensed bobcat hunters will yield the hunter contact information needed to survey bobcat hunters each season, thus yielding adequate sample size to collect requisite hunter effort and related data to manage the bobcat population.

Amendments established Leslie, Perry and Pike counties as independent bear zones for the archery, modern gun and bear hunt with dogs seasons. Each county now has a female bear harvest quota of 2 female bears for each season. Formerly, these counties were subject to closure of the bear season as part of Zone 2 upon its reaching the quota. This change will allow more opportunity in these zones and in the updated Zone 2 counties.