Kentucky waterfowl hunting and fishing regulations proposed

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed several new hunting and fishing regulations affecting waterfowl, bear and various fish species at its quarterly meeting March 8.

The commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly. Legislators must approve all recommendations before they become law.

The following lists contain highlights from the meeting. Click the “read more” link for additional details on each topic.

In fisheries-related business, the commission recommended:

· A 10-inch minimum size limit for crappie on Barren River Lake. Read more

· Removing the Middle Fork of Red River in Natural Bridge State Park from seasonal catch and release trout regulations. Read more

· Designating Gunpowder Creek in northern Kentucky as a seasonal catch and release trout stream. Read more

· Setting statewide regulations for catfish and crappie on select lakes on the Boone tract of Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area in Henry County; rename a pond to honor a retired fisheries biologist. Read more

· Amend special catfish regulations at several wildlife management area lakes and ponds. Read more

· Defining headwater boundaries for fishing regulations at Cave Run Lake, Green River Lake and Rough River Lake. Read more

· Approving a muskellunge research project on the Kentucky River. Read more

· Allowing the sale of Asian carp taken by sport fishing methods. Read more

· Setting a restricted fishing zone around the lock chamber at Lake Barkley. Read more

· Remove weekend commercial fishing restriction for the Asian carp harvest program. Read more

If approved by legislators, fisheries regulations not considered an emergency would take effect March 1, 2020.

In wildlife-related business, commission members recommended:

· Opening wildlife management areas being used for quota pheasant hunts to other kinds of hunting during the quota hunt. Read more

· Establishing framework changes for duck, coot and merganser seasons; ending seasons each year on Jan. 31. Read more

· Reducing bag limit on northern pintail. Read more

· Changing regulations on hunter dispersion within quota hunt units at Ballard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Sloughs WMA. Read more

· Set regulations for taxidermists for disposal of inedible wildlife parts. Read more

· Modifying black bear seasons and requirements. Proposals will be listed in a press release at a later date.

Commission members also proposed the following early migratory bird and waterfowl season dates for the 2019-2020 seasons:


· Sept. 1 – Oct. 26, 2019

· Nov. 28 – Dec. 8, 2019

· Dec. 21, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020

Rails and Gallinules

· Sept. 1 – Nov. 9, 2019

Wilson’s Snipe

· Sept. 18 – Oct. 27, 2019

· Nov. 28, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020

Sandhill Cranes:

· Dec. 2, 2019 – Jan. 26, 2020

Early Wood Duck and Teal

· Wood duck and teal: Sept. 21 – 25, 2019

· Teal only: Sept. 26 – 29, 2019

Early Canada Goose

· Sept. 16 – Sept. 30, 2019

Duck, Coots and Mergansers

· Nov. 28, 2019 – Dec. 1, 2019

· Dec. 7, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020

Canada Goose, White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose and Brant

· Nov. 28, 2019 – Feb. 15, 2020

Snow Goose Conservation Order Season

· Feb. 16. – March 31, 2020

Youth Waterfowl Seasons

· Eastern Zone: Nov. 2 – 3, 2019

· Western Zone: Feb. 1 – 2, 2020


· Nov. 28, 2019 – Feb. 15, 2020

In other business, commissioners elected Dr. Karl Clinard of Somerset as chairman, Paul Horn of Prestonsburg as vice-chairman and Brian Fisher of Bowling Green as secretary.

In final business, the commission tabled a proposal to change hunter education requirements to make optional the range day requirement.

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission next meets in June. The department posts finalized meeting agendas online at Video replays of past meetings of committees and the full commission are posted online via the “Commission and Committee Meeting Archive” link on the department’s homepage.