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 1:152 - Harvest and sale of Asian carp

    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.

  • 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 necessary to properly manage the sport fish populations of Kentucky. The amendment will help standardize and simplify black bass regulation across the state by better grouping lakes into standardized regulation blocks.

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

    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.

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

    The necessity of this administrative regulation is to establish the means by which migratory birds may be harvested in accordance with the USFWS. These means are 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 remove the restrictions on the use of crossbows while hunting migratory birds. People suffering damage caused by urban geese could also benefit from being able to use a weapon in areas where it is illegal to discharge a firearm. Federal law was changed to allow the use of crossbows and Kentucky is following that lead.

  • 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 2:132 - Elk hunting seasons, permits, zones, and requirements

    This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for the elk permit drawing and quota hunts, the conditions under which special commission permits, landowner cooperator permits, elk restoration permits and cooperator voucher permits can be used and necessary to effectively manage elk populations in Kentucky, while providing optimal elk hunting and related tourism opportunities. The amendments to this regulation expand the elk hunt drawing application period, implement means of rewarding long-time applicants for elk permits who have never been drawn for a permit, and allow military personnel to defer the use of elk permits for up to two years if geographically reassigned. Some members of the military have been unable to use their elk permits, and numerous applicants to the elk hunt drawing have requested consideration after applying many years without being drawn for a permit.

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

    This administrative regulation establishes deer hunting seasons and zones, methods of take, bag limits, harvest recording procedures, and checking requirements and necessary to properly manage Kentucky's deer population while providing ​​​​reasonable and ample recreational opportunity for deer hunters. This amendment establishes a CWD Surveillance Zone, requirements that hunters must abide by while hunting within the CWD Surveillance Zone, establishes where the requirements will be advertised, restricts the movement of harvested deer carcasses within the CWD Surveillance Zone and prohibits the feeding and baiting of all wildlife within the CWD Surveillance Zone with a few exceptions.

  • 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) and necessary to establish the 2021-2022 waterfowl hunting seasons in accordance with the USFWS. This amendment will incorporate relevant portions of two repealed regulations; 301 KAR 2:224 and 301 KAR 2:226. It will change the timing of special youth waterfowl seasons from the first weekend in February to the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the Second Saturday in February. It will also add a special Veterans/Active Duty waterfowl season on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the second Sunday in February. Waterfowl seasons and limits are set on an annual basis following the establishment of federal frameworks by the USFWS each year. It is the department's responsibility to allow quality hunting opportunity within these federal frameworks. The changes in bag limit for these species represent the maximum allowed in federal frameworks.

  • 301 KAR 2:228 - Sandhill crane hunting requirements

    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.

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

    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.

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

    To establish bear hunting season requirements and methods of take to provide reasonable hunting and chasing opportunity, while properly managing bear populations in Kentucky. This amendment will remove the bear quotas that regulated harvest in the past and instead regulate the harvest using season length. The Bear Zone will be redrawn to include four counties in Bear Zone 1, with specific hunting seasons, and 43 counties in Bear Zone 2, again with specific hunting seasons. Additionally, the season dates for the bear hunt with dogs season will be split to not overlap with bear archery season. Finally, equipment restrictions are to be amended to include modern guns of .264 caliber (6.5 mm) and muzzleloaders of .45 caliber ​.

  • 301 KAR 3:010 - Public use of Wildlife Management Areas

    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.

  • 301 KAR 3:026 - Access to Wildlife Management Areas, for mobility-impaired individuals

    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.

  • 301 KAR 4:001 - Selection of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission Nominees

    This regulation establishes the procedure for nominating individuals for consideration as members of the Fish and Wildlife Commission. KRS 150.022 requires the Governor appoint Fish and Wildlife Commission members and provides that vacancies shall be filled from a list of up to five (5) names submitted by the sportsmen of the corresponding commission wildlife district.This regulation establishes the system by which the sportsmen create the list of five (5) names to submit to the Governor. The amendment is necessary to more clearly describe the procedures of a Fish and Wildlife Commission member nomination meeting to conform with the passage of Senate Bill 217 during the 2022 session of the General Assembly.

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