The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed several new fishing regulations at a special called meeting today.
The commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly and approves all expenditures by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.
If approved by legislators, fisheries regulations proposed at the meeting would take effect March 1, 2018.
In fisheries-related business, commissioners recommended reducing the statewide daily creel limit on crappie to 20 fish per angler per day. They also proposed modifying the statewide daily creel limit on brown trout to one fish per day with a 16-inch minimum size limit. Rainbow trout will be under an 8-fish daily creel limit. Anglers will be able to use dip nets to collect baitfish statewide.
Commission members also proposed changing the way anglers tag jugs, limb lines or trot lines. Instead of using their name and address, anglers using these fishing methods can use the “Customer Identification Number” provided on their fishing licenses to tag their jugs, limb lines or trot lines.
In addition, the commission recommended increasing the crappie minimum size limit to 10 inches on Taylorsville Lake. They also proposed placing channel and blue catfish in Barren River Lake under a 15-fish daily creel limit; only one fish may be longer than 25 inches.
They also proposed removing the 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass on Beaver Lake in Anderson County and placing Benjy Kinman Lake in Henry County under statewide regulations for crappie, bluegill and sunfish.
On Beech Fork Reservoir, also known as Staunton Reservoir, in Powell County, the commission recommended instituting a 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass and a 15-fish daily creel limit on bluegill.
Another proposal recommended placing special regulations on Willisburg Park Pond in Washington County: a 4-fish daily creel limit on channel catfish with no minimum size limit; a 15-fish daily creel limit on sunfish with no minimum size limit; and a 1-fish daily creel limit, 15-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass.
Recommendations also included restricting the use of live shad for bait on all Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes. All restrictions on using shad for bait refer to live shad, not dead or packaged shad, used for bait.
In wildlife-related business, the commission recommended the implementation of a three-tiered classification system for wildlife management areas (WMAs). The system would allow the public to better understand whether an area is actively or passively managed, and the staffing levels for each area.
Finally, commissioners proposed implementation of regulations restricting the movement and rehabilitation of rabies-vector species the U.S. Department of Agriculture surveillance area in eastern Kentucky.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting is currently scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time), Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Meetings are held at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 1 Sportsman’s Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort.