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:

Recently Enacted Amendments

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

  • 301 KAR 1:001 - Definitions for 301 KAR Chapter 1.

    This new administrative regulation establishes definitions for terms used in 301 KAR Chapter 1. This administrative regulation is necessary to avoid confusion when interpreting the meaning of terms used in 301 KAR Chapter 1 - Fish.​

  • 301 KAR 1:115 - Propagation of aquatic organisms.​

    This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for obtaining a permit to propagate aquatic organisms and the associated requirements for all permit holders and is necessary to establish minimum standards for fisheries propagation permit holders to help conserve native aquatic resources. This amendment further clarifies the department may deny a propagation permit of aquatic organisms that are determined to be potentially damaging to Kentucky’s native ecosystems. It also cleans up language pertaining the KRS 13B hearing process.

  • 301 KAR 1:122. Importation, possession, and prohibited aquatic species.

    This administrative regulation establishes the species of aquatic life which are prohibited in the Commonwealth and is necessary to protect Kentucky’s fish populations from the damaging effects of invasive fish species. This amendment will allow individuals of any aquatic species, to be immediately released back into the water body from which they are caught, restrict transportation and sale of live tilapia species for food consumption only, add “possess” to the prohibited actions pertaining to live invasive carp species, allow sport fishing anglers to possess, transport, and sell invasive carp if they are not in water, are dead or dying (replaces the word “moribund”), and are being transported to a fish processing facility. Finally, this amendment clarifies that goldfish may be used as bait.​

  • 301 KAR 1:125 - Transportation of fish.

    This administrative regulation controls the transportation of fish, fish eggs, live bait and other aquatic organisms into, through, and within the state and is necessary to protect the resident fish populations of Kentucky by preventing the unwanted spread of invasive aquatic organisms or diseases. This amendment clarifies the department may deny a transportation permit for transportation of aquatic organisms that are determined to be potentially damaging to Kentucky’s native ecosystems. A non-substantive change was also made to the material incorporated by reference.

  • ​​​​​ 301 KAR 1:201 - Taking of fish by traditional fishing methods.

    This administrative regulation establishes size limits, daily creel limits, and possession limits for sport fish that may be taken from Kentucky waters and is necessary to properly manage the sport fish populations of Kentucky. This amendment places a special size and daily limit regulation on channel and blue catfish at Yatesville Lake, changes the lower boundary for special walleye and smallmouth bass size and daily limits on the Barren River and tributaries due to the removal of Lock and Dam #1 on the Barren River, removes the definitions section due to creation of a new definitions regulation (301 KAR 1:001), and changes “daily creel limit” to “daily limit” throughout the regulation to match the new definitions regulation (301 KAR 1:001).​

  • 301 KAR 1:400 - Assessing fish kill damages.​

    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."

  • 301 KAR 1:410 - Taking of fish by nontraditional fishing methods.

    This administrative regulation establishes the procedures for taking sport and rough fish by nontraditional fishing methods and is necessary to effectively manage the fish populations of Kentucky and to provide for reasonable recreational fishing opportunities. This amendment adds Yatesville Lake to the list of lakes where anglers can only keep one blue catfish or channel catfish over 25 inches per day when hand grabbing. This amendment also removes the definitions section due to creation of a new definitions regulation (301 KAR 1:001), and changes “daily creel limit” to “daily limit” throughout the regulation to match the new definitions regulation (301 KAR 1:001). Finally, the word “Asian” has been replaced with “invasive” when referring to the invasive carp species.​

  • 301 KAR 2:015 - Feeding of wildlife.​

    This administrative regulation establishes restrictions on the feeding of wildlife that help to protect wildlife from disease and toxic substances as well as concentrated predation, which may cause harm to affected wildlife populations. A recent amendment corrected language that was previously filed to establish feeding and baiting restrictions specific to the CWD zone but were instead inadvertently added to the broader definition of feeding; salt, minerals and other food products are prohibited in addition to grains and feeds within a CWD Surveillance Zone. The statewide prohibition on feeding of wildlife now extends March 1-July 31, although salt and minerals may be used for wildlife year-round outside of the 5-county CWD Surveillance Zone.​

  • 301 KAR 2:030 - Commercial guide license.

    This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for commercial hunting and fishing guides and is necessary to establish minimum regulatory standards and qualifications for commercial guides. This amendment creates a requirement that all commercial guide license holders report to the department information related to their guiding activity, establishes parameters for the revocation of the license if the report is not submitted, updates the commercial guide application that is incorporated by reference and clarifies the definition of a commercial guide.​

  • 301 KAR 2:075 - Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.

    This administrative regulation is necessary to provide reasonable standards for those who rehabilitate wildlife in Kentucky. These amendments will define the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Zone and prohibit cervids from being rehabilitated when obtained within the zone. This amendment will also protect public health by placing added restrictions on the handling of rabies vector species, prevent the spread of wildlife diseases by limiting movement across the state, and improve care for wildlife by requiring training before a permit is issued.​

  • 301 KAR 2:081 - Transportation and holding of live native wildlife.​

    This administrative regulation is necessary to provide a defined process for the holding and transportation of live native wildlife. These processes are necessary to provide for the health and welfare of native wildlife and the safety of Kentucky citizens. These amendments will develop an online permitting system, expand the department’s ability to deny or revoke a permit, clarify who is required to purchase a commercial wildlife permit, waive the fee for government agencies doing legitimate wildlife conservation, clarify that each non-contiguous captive wildlife facility needs a separate permit, prohibit the possession of eastern hellbender, eastern spotted skunk, Kirtland’s snake, bobcats, Copperbelly water snake, rabies vector species, and bats, update the prohibited species exemption section, and provide grandfathering for previously held prohibited wildlife species.​

  • 301 KAR 2:082 - Transportation and holding of live exotic wildlife.

    This administrative regulation is necessary to provide a defined process for the holding and transportation of live exotic wildlife. These processes are necessary to provide for the protection of our native ecosystem, the health and welfare of native wildlife from disease, and the safety of Kentucky citizens. These amendments will develop an online permitting system, expand the departm​ent’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.​

  • 301 KAR 2:083 - Holding and intrastate transportation of captive cervids.

    This regulation establishes the manner in which captive cervids may be held in captivity or moved within the state. This amendment references a new regulation by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). 302 KAR 20:066 was repealed and a new regulation, 302 KAR 22:150 was promulgated and is now referenced. This amendment ensures KDFWR is referencing the proper KDA regulation within ours for the captive cervid program.​

  • 301 KAR 2:090 - Means by which migratory game birds may be taken.

    This administrative regulation establishes means by which migratory game birds may be taken to remain consistent with federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 C.F.R. Parts 20 and 21 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This amendment will add descriptions of the type of shotgun shells which may be used to harvest waterfowl. This provision, with no changes, is being moved from 301 KAR 2:222 as the language is more appropriately outlined in this regulation because the rules apply to all waterfowl hunting not just hunting on public lands. This amendment is a “clean up” item.​

  • 301 KAR 2:095 -  Importation, possession, and transportation of [cervid] wildlife meat, carcasses, and parts.​

    This administrative regulation is necessary to prevent the importation of cervid parts most likely to be contaminated with the agent that causes Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and lagomorph carcasses potentially infected with rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV2). This administrative regulation will assist in the administration of the statutes by helping to protect the state’s deer, elk and lagomorph populations from CWD and RHDV2.

  • 301 KAR 2:142 - Spring wild turkey hunting.

    This regulation establishes season dates, shooting hours, and other requirements for spring wild turkey hunting in Kentucky. This amendment will add a definition of “legal wild turkey” for pursuit and take during the spring hunting season. Subsequently, the amendment will change requirements for spring turkey hunting to reference “legal wild turkey”. Most importantly, the amendment will change the bag limit for WMAs to be one legal wild turkey taken per hunter per WMA per season statewide except on certain military installations. Lastly, the amendment will add language clarifying that turkey hunting requirements in this regulation reference the spring hunting season.​​

  • ​​ 301 KAR 2:144 - Fall Turkey Hunting.​

    This regulation establishes season dates, shooting hours, and other requirements during the fall wild turkey hunting season for the effective management of the species. This amendment adjusts limits on taking wild turkeys during fall hunting seasons, including the reduction in bag limit and the addition of a distance-from-bait hunting requirement.

  • 301 KAR 2: 172 - Deer hunting seasons, zones and requirements.​

    This administrative regulation establishes the manner in which white-tailed deer may be harvested in Kentucky. Deer are a public resource entrusted to the state for management. As such, there must be regulations in place to control the method and manner in which deer may be taken. This amendment changes the deer hunting zone designation of Simpson County from a Zone 3 to a Zone 2. The necessity of the amendment for zone designation of Simpson County is due to increasing deer population in this area and will allow the KDFWR to more effectively manage the deer population via a liberalization of the bag limit.

  • 301 KAR 2:185 - Hunter education.

    This administrative regulation establishes hunter requirements for Kentucky hunters and is necessary to establish minimum standards for responsible and safe hunting. This amendment will allow hunters who have successfully completed hunter education to no longer carry a physical card for proof of successful course completion but still require hunters to have documentation of course completion. Additionally, this amendment conforms to this regulation for a change in KRS 150.170 to e​xempt current and former members of the Armed Forces and certified peace officers from the live-fire component of the hunter education course. It also allows hunters required to have hunter education to have multiple ways to demonstrate course completion besides carrying a physical card only.

  • 301 KAR 2:219 Repeal of 301 KAR 2:224 and 301 KAR 2:226.

    These administrative regulations establish hunting zones for migratory birds and establish special youth waterfowl seasons consistent with federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 C.F.R. Parts 20 and 21, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The repeal is necessary as the amendments to 301 KAR 2:221 shall include updated sections to address the subject matter contained in these regulations, thus making these regulations outdated and redundant​.

  • 301 KAR 2:221 - Waterfowl seasons and limits.

    This administrative regulation establishes waterfowl seasons and bag limits within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 CFR Parts 20 and 21 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This amendment will change the closing date for falconry waterfowl season to the last Sunday in February for all species of waterfowl. It removes reference to conservation order light geese seasons as federal rules no longer differentiate between falconry and regular hunting methods during the conservation order. It also corrects a grammatical edit which could be taken to make it illegal for veterans to hunt waterfowl during regular seasons.​

  • 301 KAR 2:222 - Waterfowl hunting requirements on public lands.​

    This administrative regulation establishes waterfowl seasons, bag limits and requirements on public lands within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 CFR Part 20 and 21 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This is an extensive rewrite of an old regulation. Many portions have been changed to improve organization and clarity. Functional changes to the regulation include:

    1. Expands and clarifies definitions section;
    2. Changes to how Boatwright WMA allows waterfowl hunting to be similar to rules at adjacent Ballard WMA including: allowing hunting units, removal of Peal Unit specific hunter/party number allowances, removal of rules associated with layout blinds, require check-station check-in and permits for any regular or special waterfowl season hunts, removes prohibition on boat blinds, and removes allowance for “first come-first serve” hunting;
    3. Removes a complicated formula driven shotshell allowance to be replaced with simple twenty-five (25) shell limit at Boatwright, Ballard and Sloughs WMAs;
    4. Limits boat access on Boatwright WMA from December 1 to January 31 to people participating in Department managed activities;
    5. Clarifies maximum distance party members may be apart is 75 feet at Ballard and Sloughs WMA;
    6. Adds relevant language from 301 KAR 4:020 (Ballard) and 301 KAR 4:050 (Boatwright) so that these regulations may be repealed;
    7. Removes specific dates allowances at WMAs for Special Youth Waterfowl seasons and allows for these Special seasons based on 301 KAR 2:221 timing;
    8. Changes northern boundary of no-hunting zone at Ballard WMA to remove reference to the now removed Dam 53;
    9. Removes the requirement for the department to provide blinds and for hunters to hunt from blinds at South Shore WMA; and
    10. ​Expands section describing rules associated with department limited access waterfowl hunts.​
  • 301 KAR 2:225 - Dove, wood duck, teal, and other migratory game bird hunting.

    The necessity of this administrative regulation is to establish the 2018–2019 migratory bird seasons in accordance with the USFWS. This amendment will create two zones for Canada goose hunting in September. The Eastern zone will retain a September 16-30 hunting season. The Western zone will move the season to September 1-15. This amendment will allow the Department to implement “Mentored Hunter” hunts in addition to our youth dove hunts. Additionally, migratory bird hunters will now have to hunt geese during a September timeframe specified by where they live. Dove hunters wishing to utilize “quota hunt fields” (<10% of total fields) will have to apply for the hunts on the Department website and be drawn via a random drawing. Selected hunters will have to complete a post-hunt survey.

  • 301 KAR 2:228 - Sandhill crane hunting requirements.

    This administrative regulation establishes sandhill crane seasons, bag limits and requirements on public lands within federal migratory bird hunting frameworks established in 50 C.F.R Parts 20 and 21 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This amendment will remove the requirement for leg tags on harvested cranes to be metal. This amendment will simplify the harvest of cranes for hunters. Many lost their tags or waited too late to request their tags. This will allow the department to issue paper tags that can be downloaded and printed.​

  • 301 KAR 2:245 - Wanton Waste and disposal of big game and upland game birds.

    This regulation establishes requirements for the recovery and removal of certain portions of big game animals and upland game birds hunters take or attempt to take when hunting as well as establishes rules for carcass disposal. This administrative regulation will prohibit wanton waste of animals taken, and establishing requirements for the disposal of carcasses. All hunters will have to make reasonable efforts to recover big game and upland game birds they have taken; will have to harvest, at minimum, the required portions of healthy animals recovered; and will have to properly dispose of the carcasses of animals taken.​

  • 301 KAR 2:251 - Hunting and trapping seasons and limits for furbearers.

    This regulation establishes furbearer hunting and trapping seasons, bag limits, legal methods of take, and other furbearer hunting and trapping requirements. This regulation is necessary to provide adequate furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities and to properly manage furbearer populations in Kentucky. The amendment filed will extend the season for night coyote hunting with modern firearms and use of lights. This amendment will further increase the efficacy of coyote removal and provide an increased level of hunter opportunity.​

  • 301 KAR 2:300 - Black bear seasons and requirements.

    This regulation establishes black bear chase and hunt seasons, chase and hunt requirements, bag limits, and legal methods of take. These amendments will allow nonresident hunters to engage in the bear chase and bear hunt with dogs seasons. Additionally, these amendments clarify what licenses and permits are necessary to participate in each type of bear season.​​

  • 301 KAR 3:120 - Commercial nuisance wildlife control.

    This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for commercial nuisance wildlife control permits and nuisance wildlife control operators. This amendment will improve training requirements for nuisance wildlife control operators, limit movement of rabies vector species, require dispatch of exotic species, and clarify the legal use of poison on wildlife. This amendment will limit potential spread of disease and exotic species. Training for nuisance wildlife control operators will be improved.​​

  • 301 KAR 4:110 - Administration of drugs to wildlife.

    This administrative regulation establishes requirements for the administration of drugs to native wildlife. These processes are necessary to provide for the health and welfare of native wildlife and the safety of Kentucky citizens. This amendment improves Department oversight on parties administering drugs to wildlife, providing further protections to wildlife. This amendment also improves health and human safety in regard to non-captive native wildlife. The amendments are needed to conform with recent changes to 301 KAR 2:075 and edit inconsistencies between the two regulations. KRS 321.185, which requires a vet-patient-client relationship, was recently included in amendments to 301 KAR 2:075 to provide clear and concise guidelines to wildlife rehabilitators.

  • 301 KAR 5:001 - Definitions for 301 KAR Chapter 5.

    This regulation establishes definitions for terms used within 301 KAR, Chapter 5. Changes are being made to other regulations in 301 KAR, Chapter 5 to include terms that need to be defined. Terms that are no longer applicable have been removed and additional terms that are to be utilized are included.

  • 301 KAR 5:010 - License agent applications and agreements.

    This regulation establishes the methods for application and operation of license agents and is necessary to create a network of license agents to partner with the department to effectuate the sale and distribution of the department’s licenses, permits, and other items sold by the department. This amendment establishes updated contractual language for license agents as well as fund transfer authorizations.

  • 301 KAR 5:020 - License agent requirements and responsibilities.

    This regulation establishes procedures for agents of the department to sell and issue the department’s licenses and permits and is necessary to define legal sales parameters to protect the interests of agents, customers and the department in implementing 301 KAR, Chapter 5. Provisions that are no longer applicable have been removed and new provisions that are to be used are added. These amendments are necessary to retain and attract entities to be license agents by increasing the amounts received by license agents for sales to offset the deficit resulting from issuance costs incurred by license agents.

  • 301 KAR 5:022 - License, tag, and permit fees.

    This administrative regulation establishes fees and terms for licenses, permits, and tags sold by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The amendment will align this regulation with 301 KAR 2:300 as to mirror the creation of a resident combination bear permit, a nonresident bear chase permit, a nonresident youth bear chase permit and a nonresident youth bear permit; change the expiration date for commercial guide licenses from calendar year to license year to match hunting license expiration dates; and establish price of senior lifetime combination hunting and fishing license to conform with language in KRS 150.175.​

  • 301 KAR 6:001 - Definitions for 301 KAR Chapter 6.

    This administrative regulation provides definitions for terms used in 301 KAR chapter 6 regarding Water Patrol and outlines valuable details as to how terms will be interpreted in other regulations under 301 KAR Chapter 6. The amendment filed will change the existing regulation by updating the statutory authority, improving readability, and amending definitions to address wearable and throwable PFDs. This amendment is necessary to comply with 33 CFR 175.13 which defines wearable and throwable personal flotation devices (PFD).

  • 301 KAR 6:020 - Boating safety equipment.

    The administrative regulation provides specific requirements for safety equipment and usage while on Kentucky waterways as regulated by 301 KAR chapter 6 and is necessary to educate the public on the required safety equipment for recreational activity on waterways. The amendment provides valuable details as to how terms will be interpreted, and lists equipment required on vessels regulated under 301 KAR Chapter 6 relating to personal flotation devices (PFD). These amendments are necessary to comply with minimum standards issues by the US Coast Guard and regulation in 33 CFR 175.17 and CFR 175.25.

  • 301 KAR 11:020 - Procurement of architectural and engineering services.​

    This administrative regulation sets forth procurement procedures necessary for the performance of the department’s duties in accordance with those procedures outlined in KRS 45A and the procurement of architectural and engineering services pursuant to KRS 150.0242 and KRS 45A.800 to KRS 45A.835. This administrative regulation is necessary to comply with state law recently enacted from the 2023 legislative session authorizing the department to outline regulations for procurement as listed in KRS Chapter 45A and Chapter 150.

Regulations with changes made for semantic or modernization language filed per mandatory "sunset law" (HB4, 2019) and now effective:

  • New Regulations are Upcoming​