catfishKENTUCKY (10/14/19) — Kentucky Department of Fash and Wildlife reports a generous donation of 15,000 blue catfish from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boosted fish populations in the Kentucky River.

“We’re grateful to West Virginia for helping us fortify blue catfish populations in areas where numbers are low and catfishing is popular,” said Paul Wilkes, acting director of fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Earlier this year, the department said Arkansas donated 38,000 surplus cutthroat trout to Kentucky, enabling the state to stock this species for the first time ever in the Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland.

“These are just further examples of where state and federal governments work together to provide more opportunities for anglers everywhere,” Wilkes said.

Kentucky stocked 15,000 of West Virginia’s catfish into Pools 2-6 of the Kentucky River Oct. 10, although Pool 3 was skipped due to low numbers of forage fish. Over time, annual flooding should carry more fish downstream and help restore populations in that section of the river.

The stocked fish from West Virginia averaged 11 inches long, according to the department.

Kentucky operates two hatcheries of its own. Together, the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery near Morehead and Peter W. Pfeiffer Fish Hatchery near Frankfort produce cool and warm water fishes, such as largemouth bass, muskellunge, walleye, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, blue catfish and channel catfish.

The state annually stocks 4.5 million fish measuring at least 1½ inches raised at these hatcheries. Kentucky has also stocked an average of 7.4 million fry a year for the past six years, state officials reported.

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