Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

WK Outdoors – Fishing the Kentucky River

fishing ky riverWESTERN KY (5/17/13) – It flows through the heart of Kentucky for some 255 miles from the confluence of the North and South forks at Beattyville to the Ohio River at Carrollton.
 
The Kentucky River is a scenic waterway with numerous quiet backwaters and tree-shaded tributary streams. For the enterprising angler who is willing to spend some time looking at maps and driving back roads, the search for places to launch a fishing kayak or bass boat will reap many rewards.
 
"The Kentucky River offers a variety of fishing opportunities, said Jeff Crosby, central district fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The more I work on the river, the more impressed I am with it."
 
Improving water quality, inherent fertility and annual stockings of sport fish by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife are three reasons why the Kentucky River produces quality fish populations. A good source of information on Kentucky River fishing is the 2013 Fishing Forecast. To view it online, go to fw.ky.gov and click on Fishing & Boating, then 2013 Fishing Forecast.
 
The fish species found in the river include: bluegill, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, hybrid striped bass, white bass, walleye, sauger, largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, and muskellunge.
 
It's not a stretch to say that the Kentucky River is overlooked and underutilized by anglers. This is probably because of limited access and the inability to motor through most of its 14 locks. "Access is a lot better than it used to be," said Crosby. "But, in some pools, there's only one place to launch, and anglers have to motor some distance to get to a tailwater."
 
The Kentucky River Authority will operate Lock 3 and Lock 4 on weekends and holidays for anglers and recreational boaters this year from May 24 through Oct. 27. For hours of operation, log on to the finance.ky.gov webpage and search the "Kentucky River Authority" website.
 
In part because of the access issue, fishing pressure on the Kentucky River is a lot lower than other Kentucky waters. Also, rock cliffs in the upper stretches of the river, and high, dirt banks in the lower pools, are limiting factors to access for fishing from the banks.
 
To find a list of fishing and boating access sites on the Kentucky River, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. Click on the Fishing & Boating tab, then Find a Place to Fish and follow the link.
 
Fish populations in the Kentucky River are influenced a great deal by environmental factors and water conditions that can mimic both a lake and a river.
 
"In drought years, during low flow, the shad spawn is good, and there's plenty of food for the game fish species," said Crosby. "But in the years when there's high water in the spring and it acts more like a river, the standing water species like largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill aren't as successful at spawning."
 
The dramatic fluctuations in the river's level can have some beneficial impacts as well. For example, the 1997 flood created sand bars, cut ditches and deposited a lot of wood in shallow water, creating structure used by a wide variety of fish species.
 
Some of the best fishing is when the current slows and the river becomes a series of lake-like pools. "The muskie fishing is really good right now," said Crosby. "We've been able to stock a few surplus fish in each pool of the lower river and we're seeing good results. There's some quality fish to be caught."
 
Get out this summer and enjoy the overlooked jewel right in the backyard of many Kentucky residents.
 
The current license year expired Feb. 28, 2013. You'll need to buy a new fishing license, available in the sporting goods section of department stores and tackle shops. Licenses and permits may also be purchased online from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife homepage at fw.ky.gov or by calling 1-877-598-2401. The entire Spring Fishing Frenzy series will be posted at this same website for future access to these articles.
 
Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by Seth Stewart (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Civil War Comes to The Homeplace

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (11/27/14) — Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area presents Civil War Comes to The… Read More

Lakes Area Players Chosen Among All-WKC Team

LAKES, Ky. (11/28/14) — All-WKC football teams announced The 2014 All-Western Kentucky Conference football teams have… Read More

Most Read This Week

November 22, 2014 5410

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 24, 2014 3573

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper
November 21, 2014 3496

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 25, 2014 2816

Call for Help Results in Arrest for Possession of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 2759

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 22, 2014 2696

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 2513

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 2504

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 24, 2014 2488

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
November 24, 2014 2477

Madisonville Police Charge Woman with Terroristic…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 26, 2014 1786

Greene Leaf Boutique Offers Style for Less

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1443

Madisonville Man Charged with Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Lt. William W. Poe
November 27, 2014 1345

Sons of American Revolution Hold Triple Grave…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 26, 2014 1299

Don't Let Your Thanksgiving Go Up in Smoke

in General News For All Sites by Kip Diggs
November 27, 2014 1292

Caretender's Staff Cares About Feeding Needy…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 27, 2014 1265

MCTI Presents 'The Santaland Diaries'

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1216

Thanksgiving is Top Day for Cooking Fires

in Top News For All Sites by Ricki Gardenhire
November 27, 2014 1197

MSA Thanksgiving Food Box Drive

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
November 26, 2014 1079

Gift Exchange Dos and Don'ts

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 893

Ready Your Home for Holiday Guests

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss