As a voluntary program, fishing event organizers are strongly urged to use the Tournament website at fw.ky.gov/tournamentschedule.aspx to register and report on their events. Tournament planners can avoid space conflicts with other previously registered events by adjusting the date, time, specific launch areas or weigh-in site for their activities.
Other recreational anglers and boaters can check the web site to see when and where fishing events are scheduled. This will assist them in planning their activities and also help avoid potential space conflicts. Additional permits may be required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Forest Service or Kentucky State Parks.
If the launch site for your tournament involves using a marina ramp, please contact the marina operator before scheduling your tournament.
There are over 1,000 fishing tournaments held annually in Kentucky waters. These can be a valuable source of information to our fishery biologists. Following each scheduled event, tournament organizers are asked to report their catch data directly on the tournament web site or on forms which can be sent via postal mail. Voluntary cooperation from tournament organizers will be used in making fishery management decisions. At the end of the tournament season, a summary of tournament results will be sent to all providers. If not provided with one, contact your local fisheries district office. They will provide a packet.
Fishing tournaments involving 100 or more boats are regulated and permitted by the Division of Law Enforcement, 1-800-858-1549.
KEEPING YOUR BASS ALIVE
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife recommends tournament anglers and directors follow some simple procedures to keep bass alive during summer tournaments that run from June through August. Summer tournament fishing places great stress on bass due to high water temperatures. You can view a list of these procedures here.
Q: Can you sell fish caught while possessing only a valid Kentucky sport fishing license?
A: No. It is illegal to sell any fish caught without the proper commercial fishing license and gear.
The Kentucky Department of Fish
and Wildlife regularly creates and maintains
fish attractors and habitat structures
in lakes across Kentucky. These
structures vary in material and benefit
sport fish populations while providing
anglers productive fishing areas. GPS
locations of many of these structures
are found here.
HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria found in lakes in Kentucky and throughout the United States. They occur naturally, but if their numbers get too high they can pose health risks to humans and animals. Anglers, hunters, boaters and all others who might use these water resources should be aware of the potential risks associated with these blooms. Both the Kentucky Division of Water and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have initiated testing of lakes in Kentucky to document these blooms and provide updated information
to the public.
FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORIES
The Kentucky Departments for
Environmental Protection, Health
Services and Fish and Wildlife Resources jointly issue a fish consumption advisory to the public when fish
are found contaminated. Trace contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), mercury and chlordane
are found in some fish in Kentucky. An
advisory cautions people about potential health problems that may result
from eating fish caught from a particular area. An advisory does not ban
eating fish; it is a guide to reduce your
risk. This guide provides information
on how often fish may be safely eaten.
Most fish are healthy to eat and are an
excellent source of low-fat protein.
Women of childbearing age, children 6 years of age or younger, pregnant and nursing women and women who plan to become pregnant should follow the advisories in the “Sensitive Population” category.
All waters are under advisory for mercury. Women of childbearing age and children 6 years of age or younger should eat no more than six meals per year of predatory fish and no more than one meal per month of panfish and bottom feeder fish. The general public should eat no more than one meal per month of predatory fish and no more than one meal per week of panfish and bottom feeder fish.
Organic mercury can occur naturally in the environment and does not affect swimmers, skiers or boaters. Fish can accumulate low levels of mercury by eating plankton and other small aquatic creatures.
A new method for reporting fish consumption advisories has been adopted. Consumption rates for specific fish have been developed based on a meal of ½ pound of fish (before cooking) eaten by a 150-pound individual. Following these guidelines and spacing your meals of those fish species will limit your health risks by reducing your total exposure. See table below for fish consumption advisories.
Due to expanded testing on more
waterbodies and additional fish species, the fish consumption advisories
changed this year due to a wider presence of organic mercury than previously found.
Fish consumption advisories now delineate between
predatory fish, bottom feeder fish and
panfish. Predatory fish include black
bass (smallmouth, largemouth and
spotted), white bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, sauger, saugeye, walleye,
muskellunge, flathead and blue catfish,
yellow bass, chain pickerel and all gars.
Panfish include bluegill, crappie,
rock bass as well as green, longear and
redear sunfish. Bottom feeder fish include the bullheads, buffalo species,
channel catfish, common carp, redhorse
species, shovelnose sturgeon, drum,
creek chub as well as the white, spotted,
northern hog and carp suckers.
For the most up-to-date consumption advisory information, visit the Fish Consumption Advisory page.
REDUCE YOUR RISK
Risks from eating contaminated fish can be reduced by the following:
- fillet the fish, remove the skin and trim all fat
- do not eat fish eggs
- broil, grill or bake the fillets instead of frying or microwaving
- do not eat or reuse juices or fats that cook out of the fish