Statewide Fishing Regulations: Creel and Size Limits

Special Fishing Regulations Reference

Before you head out, consult the "Special Fishing Regulations" section for any specific size and daily creel limits of different waterbodies. While rough fish generally don't have size or creel limits, exceptions may apply under statewide or special regulations.

Daily Creel Limit and Fishing Day

A fishing day is defined as one calendar day for the purpose of daily creel limits and fishing licenses. Except for trout, anglers can cull (replace) fish of a particular species until reaching the daily limit. Any catch over the daily creel limit must be immediately released.

Fish Species Regulations Table

Below is a detailed table of fish species with corresponding daily creel limits, possession limits, and minimum size limits. Note that some species have specific notes or exceptions, and regulations may vary depending on the location.

Fish Species Daily Creel Limit* Possession Limit Minimum Size Limit Special Notes
BLACK BASS
Largemouth Bass 6 12 12”
Smallmouth Bass 6 12 12”
Kentucky (Spotted) Bass 6 12 none
Coosa Bass 6 12 none
Rock Bass 15 30 none
SUNFISH
Redear Sunfish 20 40 none
WALLEYE FAMILY
Walleye, Sauger & Hybrids 6 12 14”
PIKE FAMILY
Muskellunge 1 2 30”
Chain Pickerel 5 10 none
Northern Pike none none none
BASS
White & Hybrid Striped Bass 15** 30** none**
Striped Bass 5 10 15”
OTHER SPECIES
Yellow Bass none none none
Crappie (Black & White) 20 40 none
Paddlefish 2 4 none
TROUT
Rainbow Trout 8 16 none
Brown Trout 1 2 16”
Cutthroat Trout 1 2 20”
Brook Trout Catch and release only*** - - Check Special Regulations
CATFISH
Trophy Channel Catfish 1 (28˝ and above) 1 none
Trophy Blue & Flathead Catfish 1 (35˝ and above) 1 none
Regular Channel Catfish none none none
Regular Blue & Flathead Catfish none none none
STURGEON
Lake Sturgeon Catch and release only - - -

*Singly or combined; a total of these species **No more than 5 fish in the daily creel limit may be more than 15 inches long. ***Except for the Cumberland River downstream of Wolf Creek Dam and the upper section of Hatchery Creek, see Special Regulations section for details.

STATEWIDE SIZE and DAILY CREEL LIMITS

(301 KAR 1:060, 1:201; KRS 150.010)

Fishing season is open year-round in Kentucky, except on waterfowl refuges and as otherwise noted in this guide. Statewide size and creel limits apply to all Kentucky waters, public and private, except some waters have different limits (see “Special Fishing Regulations” bellow).

MEASURING FISH

(301 KAR 1:201)

Kentucky Fishing Size & Creel Limits

Measure all fish from the tip of the lower jaw (closed) to the tip of the tail with fish laid flat on rule with tail lobes squeezed together. Fish not of legal size must be returned immediately to the waters from which they were taken in the best possible physical condition

HOW IS A DAILY CREEL LIMIT DIFFERENT THAN A POSSESSION LIMIT?

The daily creel limit is the number of a particular sport fish species you may keep in one day’s fishing. A possession limit is two times the daily creel limit for all fish species with a daily creel limit and excludes processed fish.

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS

(301 KAR 1:080, 1:180, 1:201, 2:222 4:100, KRS 150.010, 150.025)

SPECIAL REGULATION WATERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY

The public waters listed below have different size and/or daily creel limits than statewide regulations allow. Statewide size and daily creel limits apply unless otherwise mentioned below. Special boating regulations are listed in the Boating section of this guide. Some privately owned waters may have special size and daily creel limits as posted by signs.

FINs LAKES:

Lakes in the Fishing In Neighborhoods (FINs) program have uniform regulations for daily creel and size limits:

  • Rainbow Trout: 5-fish daily limit. Trout stamp required if you intend to keep trout.
  • Catfish: 4-fish daily limit.
  • Sunfish: 15-fish daily limit.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily limit.
  • Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

CATFISH MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT

There is a 12-inch minimum size limit on catfish on the following lakes stocked by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

FINs LAKES COUNTY TROUT CATFISH
Feb. Mar. Oct. Nov. Mar. Apr. May June
Anderson County Community Park Lake Anderson 500 500 500 200 200 200 200
Camp Ernst Lake Boone 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,250 1,250 1,250 1,250
Millennium Park Pond Boyle 500 500 500 400 400 400 400
Alexandria Community Park Lake Campbell 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,400 1,400 1,400 1,400
Robert J. Barth Lake Campbell 750 750 750 700 700 700 700
Southgate Lake Campbell 500 500 500 400 400
Panther Creek Park Lake Daviess 750 750 750 800 800 800 800
Waymond Morris Park Lake Daviess 1,500 1,500 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Yellow Creek Park Lake Daviess 750 750 750 600 600 600 600
Jacobson Park Lake Fayette 3,000 3,000 3,000 2,300 2,300 2,300 2,300
Kentucky Horse Park Rolex Lake Fayette 1,500 1,500 1,100 1,100
Flemingsburg Old Reservoir Fleming 1,500 1,500 1,100 1,100
Lower Sportsman's Lake Franklin 500 500 500 600 600 600 600
Upper Sportsman's Lake Franklin 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200
Lake Pollywog Grant 750 750 750 700 700
Leary Lake Grant 1,500 1,500 1,500 900 900
Kess Creek Park Lake Graves 500 500 500 400 400 400 400
James D. Beville Park Lake Grayson 750 750 750 600 600 600 600
Kingdom Come State Park Lake Harlan 500 500 500 500 500
Rotary Park Lake Hickman 500 500 500 200 200 200 200
Madisonville City Park Lake South Hopkins 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,250 1,250
Cherokee Park Lake Jefferson 750 750 750 800 800
Fisherman's Park Lake #3 Jefferson 500 500 500 400 400
Fisherman's Park Lake #4 Jefferson 500 500 500 400 400
Tom Wallace Park Lake Jefferson 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Waverly Park Lake Jefferson 1,500 1,500 1,500 900 900 900 900
William F. Miles Angler Lake Jefferson 750 750 750 700 700 700 700
William F. Miles Green Heron Lake Jefferson 500 500 500 200 200 200 200
Lake Mingo Jessamine 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Southland Church Lake Jessamine 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Middleton Mills Long Pond Kenton 500 500 500 300 300 300 300
Middleton Mills Shelterhouse Pond Kenton 500 500 500 300 300 300 300
Prisoners Lake Kenton 750 750 750 800 800
Brickyard Pond Knox 1,500 1,500 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Logan Hubble Park Lake Lincoln 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,800 1,800
Whitehall Park Lake Madison 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200
Mike Miller Park Lake Marshall 750 750 750 800 800
Maysville-Mason County Rec. Park Lake Mason 1,500 1,500 1,150 1,150
Lake Montgomery McCracken 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100
Carlson Lake (Ft. Knox) Meade 1,400 1,400 1,400 1,400
Easy Walker Park Pond Montgomery 500 500 500 400 400 400 400
Bloomfield Park Lake Nelson 500 500 500 500 500
Lusby Lake Scott 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Scott County Park Lake Scott 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Three Springs Lake Warren 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,450 1,450 1,450 1,450
12-INCH CATFISH LAKES COUNTY
AJ Jolly Lake Campbell
Audubon State Park Lake Henderson
Ballard County WMA Gravel Pit Pond Ballard
Beaver Lake Anderson
Benjy Kinman Lake Henry
Bert T. Combs Lake Clay
Beulah Lake Jackson
Big Bone Lick State Park Lake Boone
Blackberry Creek Park Pond Pike
Boltz Lake Grant
Briggs Lake Logan
Bullock Pen Lake Grant
Cannon Creek Lake Bell
Carnico Lake Nicholas
Carpenter Lake Daviess
Carter Caves (Smoky Valley Lake) Carter
Cedar Creek Lake Lincoln
Central Kentucky WMA Lake Madison
Chenoa Lake Bell
Clear Creek Lake Bath
Corinth Lake Grant
Cranks Creek Lake Harlan
Doe Run Lake Kenton
Eagle Lake Rowan
Elk Horn Park Pond Floyd
Elmer Davis Lake Owen
Fagan Branch Lake Marion
Fishpond Lake Letcher
Fleming County WMA Lake Fleming
Flemingsburg New City Reservoir Fleming
Fort Knox Crystal Lake Hardin
Fort Knox Lower Douglas Lake Hardin
Fort Knox Sanders Lake Hardin
Fort Knox Upper Douglas Lake Hardin
General Butler State Park Lake Carroll
Golden Pond (Land Between The Lakes) Marshall
Grants Branch Lake Pike
Greenbo Lake Greenup
Guist Creek Lake Shelby
Higginson and Henry WMA lakes Union
Highsplint Lake Harlan
Jenkins City Reservoir Letcher
Jericho Lake Henry
KY River WMA Prather and 6-acre ponds Henry
Kincaid Lake Pendleton
Kingfisher lakes (new and old) Daviess
Kleber WMA Lake Franklin
Lake Beshear Caldwell
Lake Chumley Lincoln
Lake George Crittenden
Lake Linville Rockcastle
Lake Luzerne Muhlenberg
Lake Malone Muhlenberg
Lake Reba Madison
Laurel Creek Reservoir McCreary
Liberty City Reservoir Casey
Lincoln Homestead Lake Washington
Long Run Park Lake Jefferson
Lower Thomas Lake Owen
Marion County Lake Marion
Martin County Lake (Milo) Martin
Martin County Reservoir Martin
Martins Fork Lake Harlan
McDougal Lake LaRue
McNeely Lake Jefferson
Metcalfe County Park Lake Metcalfe
Mill Creek Lake Monroe
Mill Creek Lake Powell
New Haven Optimist Club Lake Nelson
Olive Hill Lake Carter
Panbowl Lake Breathitt
Peabody WMA lakes Muhlenberg, Hopkins, Ohio
Pennyrile Lake Christian
Pikeville City Lake Pike
Rebel Trace Lake Menifee
Reformatory Lake Oldham
Shanty Hollow Lake Warren
Shelby Lake Shelby
Spurlington Lake Taylor
Sympson Lake Nelson
Taylorsville WMA ponds Spencer
Thurman Hutchins Park Lake Jefferson
Vastwood Park Lake Hancock
Washburn Lake Ohio
Watterson Park Lake Jefferson
West Fork Drakes Creek Lake Simpson
West Kentucky WMA lakes McCracken
Wilburn Park Lake Oldham
Wilgreen Lake Madison
Willisburg Lake Washington
Willisburg Park Pond Washington
Wood Creek Lake Laurel
Yellowbank WMA ponds Breckinridge

BARK CAMP CREEK

Whitley County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

BARKLEY, KENTUCKY LAKES

(and their connecting canal)

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

BARKLEY TAILWATER - SEE CUMBERLAND RIVER

BARREN RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES UPSTREAM OF BARREN RIVER LAKE; DOWNSTREAM OF THE LAKE TO LOCK AND DAM 1 AND ALL TRIBUTARIES

  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

BARREN RIVER LAKE

The boundaries of Barren River Lake are from the dam upstream to the KY 100 bridge, Long Creek to the KY 100 bridge, Beaver Creek to the KY 1297 bridge, Skaggs Creek to the Matthews Mill Road bridge and Peter Creek to the Peter Creek Road bridge.

  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 25 inches.
  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: inch minimum size limit except 1 fish in the daily creel limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.
  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

BEAVER CREEK

from the KY 90 bridge upstream to the KY 200 bridge Wayne County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

BEAVER LAKE

Anderson County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

BEECH FORK RESERVOIR

Powell County

  • Bluegill: 15-fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

BERT COMBS LAKE

Clay County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

BIG BONE CREEK

Boone County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

BOLTZ LAKE

Grant County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

BRIGGS LAKE

Logan County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

BUCKHORN LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Muskellunge: 40-inch minimum size limit.
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.

CANE CREEK

Laurel County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

CARNICO LAKE

Nicholas County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Bluegill and other sunfish: 15-fish daily creel limit.

CARR CREEK LAKE

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

CARTER CAVES STATE PARK LAKE

(also called Smoky Valley Lake)

Fishing during daylight hours only. Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released; 6-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 15 inches.

CASEY CREEK

Trigg County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

CAVE RUN LAKE

Gigging and snagging prohibited in lake and all tributaries up to the first riffle or upper boundary as listed below. Lake upper boundaries: Scott’s Creek to the KY 801 culvert; Beaver Creek to the KY 1274 culvert; North Fork Creek to the confluence of Craney Creek; Ramey Creek to include pool of water north of KY 801; Licking River to KY 722 bridge.

  • Largemouth Bass: 13- to 16-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 13 and 16 inches in length must be released immediately.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit.
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.

CEDAR CREEK LAKE

Lincoln County

  • Largemouth Bass: 20-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily creel limit.

CHIMNEY TOP CREEK

Wolfe County

Only artificial baits may be used.

CLEAR CREEK

Bell County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

CLEAR FORK

Logan and Warren counties

Catch and release for all sport fish.

CORINTH LAKE

Grant County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

(301 KAR 1:035)

Special fishing regulations are in effect on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. For complete fishing information on this area contact: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, P.O. Box 1848, Middlesboro, KY 40965, phone (606) 248-2817.

CUMBERLAND RIVER

upstream from Cumberland Falls and all tributaries:

  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.
  • Lake Sturgeon: Catch and release only.

CUMBERLAND RIVER

from Wolf Creek Dam to the Tennessee state line

All licensed anglers must possess a trout permit on this portion of Cumberland River. This includes Hatchery Creek and all tributaries up to the first riffle.

Anglers may not attract or chum trout with bait, corn or other attractants designed to draw numbers of trout to a specific area. This includes all tributaries up to the first riffle and in Hatchery Creek. For additional regulations on Hatchery Creek, refer to the Hatchery Creek section.

  • Brown Trout or Cutthroat Trout: 20- inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily creel limit, also applies to all tributary streams, except HatcheryCreek.
  • Rainbow Trout: 15- to 20-inch protective slot limit. All trout caught between 15 and 20 inches in length must be immediately released.Five fish daily limit, only one rainbow trout may be longer than 20 inches. Also applies to all tributary streams, except Hatchery Creek.
  • Brook Trout: 1-fish daily creel limit with a 15-inch minimum size limit. Also applies to all tributary streams, except Hatchery Creek.

CUMBERLAND RIVER

from Lake Barkley Dam downstream to confluence with Ohio River

Gigging and snagging regulations along with special regulations for the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley. Fishing prohibited at the mouth of the lock chamber at Barkley Dam as designated by signs.

DALE HOLLOW LAKE

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit, 15-fish daily creel limit.
  • Black Bass creel: includes largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky (spotted) bass – 5 fish daily creel limit on black bass singly or combined, only two of which may be smallmouth bass.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 16- to 21-inch protective slot limit. One fish over 21 inches and one fish under 16 inches may be kept daily.
  • Sauger: 10-fish daily creel limit.
  • Rainbow and Brown Trout: 7-fish aggregate daily creel limit.
  • Walleye: 16-inch minimum size limit, 5-fish daily creel limit.

DEWEY LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 25 inches.
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.

DIX RIVER

from Herrington Lake Dam downstream for two miles

Only artificial baits shall be used.

DOE RUN LAKE

Kenton County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3-fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: Four fish daily creel limit.

DOG FORK

Wolfe County

Only artificial baits with a single hook shall be used. Brook trout must be immediately released.

EAST FORK INDIAN CREEK

Menifee County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

ELKHORN CREEK

in Franklin County from confluence of North and South forks downstream to Kentucky River

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12- to 16-inch protective slot limit. Largemouth and smallmouth bass caught between 12 and 16 inches in length must be immediately released. Daily creel limit of 6 may include no more than 2 fish longer than 16 inches.
  • For regulatory purposes, the boundary of Elkhorn Creek is a permanent marker just below the first shoal upstream from its confluence with the Kentucky River.

ELK SPRING CREEK

Wayne County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

ELMER DAVIS LAKE

Owen County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released.

FAGAN BRANCH LAKE

(also called Lebanon City Lake)

Marion County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth and smallmouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be released immediately.

FISHTRAP LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish in the daily creel limit may be longer than 25 inches.
  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

FLOYD’S FORK

from U.S. 60 bridge downstream to U.S. 150 bridge Jefferson County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily creel limit.
  • Rainbow Trout: All trout caught from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

GENERAL BUTLER STATE PARK LAKE

Carroll County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3-fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit.

GOLDEN POND

(Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area)

  • Channel Catfish: 15-inch minimum size limit, 5-fish daily creel limit.

GRAYSON LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

GREENBO LAKE

Greenup County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Bluegill and other sunfish: 15-fish daily creel limit.
  • Areas marked by signage and buoys near the Jesse Stuart Lodge are periodically closed to fishing.

GREEN RIVER LAKE

Lake upper boundaries: Green River to Snake Creek Boat Ramp; Robinson Creek to KY 76 bridge; Casey Creek to Arnolds Landing Boat Ramp.

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Muskellunge: 36-inch minimum size limit.

GREEN RIVER LAKE TAILWATER

from Green River Lake Dam and extending downstream to the end of the concrete wall

Taylor County

Fishing shall be limited to rod in hand using either: (a) An artificial bait with a single hook; or (b) Live bait attached to a single hook.

GUNPOWDER CREEK

Boone County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

HATCHERY CREEK

Russell County

All licensed anglers must possess a trout permit to fish Hatchery Creek.

  • Brook, Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brown Trout: Upper section: As designated by signs, 5-trout aggregate daily creel limit, no minimum size limit.

Lower section: Catch and release only and only artificial baits may be used. The lower boundary of Hatchery Creek is delineated as a straight line between opposite points where Hatchery Creek meets the main stem of the Cumberland River.

HIGHSPLINT LAKE

  • Walleye: 2 fish daily creel limit, an 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

KENTUCKY, BARKLEY LAKES

(and their connecting canal)

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

KENTUCKY LAKE TAILWATER

see Tennessee River

KENTUCKY RIVER

upstream of Lock and Dam 14, the North Fork and tributaries including Carr Fork below Carr Creek Lake along with the Middle and South Forksand all tributaries

  • Walleye: 2 fish daily creel limit, an 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

KENTUCKY RIVER WMA BOONE TRACT,

HENRY COUNTY

BENJY KINMAN LAKE:

  • Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit, no daily creel limit.
  • Idle speed only.

Prather Pond and 6-acre pond:

  • Catfish: 12-inch minimum size limit, 4-fish daily creel limit.

Prather Pond, 6-acre pond and 15-acre pond

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit; 1-fish daily creel limit.
  • Bluegill and other sunfish: 15-fish daily creel limit.
  • Trolling motor only.

LAKE BLYTHE

Christian County

  • Largemouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released.

LAKE CHUMLEY

Lincoln County

Fishing during daylight hours only.

LAKE CUMBERLAND

The boundaries of Lake Cumberland are defined as Cumberland Falls on the Cumberland River, Devils Jump on the Big South Fork, the Narrows of Rockcastle River and Laurel River Lake Dam on Laurel River.

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit.
  • Lake Sturgeon: Catch and release only.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit.
  • Striped Bass: 22-inch minimum size limit, 2-fish daily creel limit.

LAKE JERICHO

Henry County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

LAKE MALONE

  • Largemouth Bass: 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth bass caught between 12 and 15 inches in length must be immediately released.

LAKE REBA

Madison County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

LAKE SHELBY

Shelby County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3-fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit.

LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

(301 KAR 1:031)

Special fishing regulations are in effect for ponds and small lakes within Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. For complete fishing information on this area, anglers should contact: Land Between The Lakes Na- tional Recreation Area, Golden Pond, KY 42231, phone (270) 924-2000.

LAUREL RIVER LAKE

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit, 2 fish daily creel limit.
  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit, 15-fish daily creel limit.

LEARY LAKE

Grant County

Fishing during daylight hours only.

LEBANON CITY LAKE

- see Fagan Branch Lake

LEVISA FORK and all tributaries upstream of Fishtrap Lake

  • Walleye: 2 fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

LINCOLN HOMESTEAD STATE PARK LAKE

Washington County

Fishing during daylight hours only. Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit; 3-fish daily creel limit.

MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Special fishing regulations are in effect for ponds, streams and Green River within Mammoth Cave National Park. For complete fishing information on this area, anglers should contact: (270) 758-2180.

MARION COUNTY LAKE

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

MARTIN’S FORK LAKE

and all tributaries

  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

MCNEELY LAKE

Jefferson County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

MILL CREEK LAKE

Powell and Wolfe counties

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit; 3-fish daily creel limit.

NEW HAVEN OPTIMIST LAKE

Nelson County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 3-fish daily creel limit.
  • Channel Catfish: 4 fish daily creel limit.

NOLIN RIVER LAKE

Lake upper boundary is the Wheelers Mill Road bridge in the Nolin River arm and to the KY 728 bridge in the Bacon Creek arm.

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch size limit, except 1 fish in the daily creel limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.

OHIO RIVER

– see also, “Bordering Waters"

  • White Bass, Striped Bass and their

Hybrids: 30 fish daily creel limit, only 4 fish may be 15 inches or longer.

OTTER CREEK

Meade County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 12- to 16-inch protective slot limit. All largemouth and smallmouth bass caught between 12 and 16 inches in length must be immediately released; 6-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 16 inches.

All trout caught in Fort Knox Military Reservation and in Otter Creek Park from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period. There is a one-mile section of Otter Creek as posted by signs in Fort Knox Military Reservation where trout fishing is open to statewide regulations. Fort Knox Military Reservation requires the purchase of a $10 permit to fish and is closed to fishing on Tuesdays. Anglers must check-in with the Fort Knox Hunt Control Office at (502) 624-2712 before each day’s fishing.

PAINTSVILLE LAKE

  • Smallmouth Bass: 18-inch minimum size limit.

PAINTSVILLE LAKE TAILWATER

from the KY 40 bridge downstream to first U.S. 460 bridge

Johnson County

16-inch minimum size limit and 1 fish daily creel limit on trout and only artificial baits shall be used.

PARCHED CORN CREEK

Wolfe County

Only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook trout must be immediately released.

PEABODY WMA LAKES

In addition to a fishing license, a $15.00 user permit is required of persons age 16 and over while on Peabody WMA.

Permits can be purchased where fishing licenses are sold. Fishing open Mar. 16 - Oct. 14 on Goose, Island and South Lake, all other lakes open year-round.

PIKEVILLE CITY LAKE

Pike County

  • Largemouth Bass: All largemouth bass caught must be immediately released.

POOR FORK

and its tributaries Letcher County

Downstream to the first crossing of Hwy. 932, only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook trout must be immediately released.

ROCK CREEK

from Tennessee state line downstream to Bell Farm bridge McCreary County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

ROCKCASTLE RIVER WMA

Pulaski County

All Ponds Collectively:

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily creel limit.
  • Bluegill and other Sunfish: 10-fish daily creel limit.
  • Catfish: 4-fish daily creel limit.
  • Crappie: 15-fish daily creel limit.

ROUGH RIVER LAKE

Lake upper boundary: Rough River to the KY 84 bridge.

  • Crappie: 9-inch minimum size limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit except 1 fish in the daily creel limit or 2 in the possession limit may be less than 15 inches long.

SHANTY HOLLOW LAKE

Warren County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

SHILLALAH CREEK

Bell County

Outside the Cumberland Gap National Park as posted, only artificial baits with single hook shall be used. Brook trout must be immediately released.

SPORTSMAN’S LAKES

Franklin County

Fishing during daylight hours only.

SPURLINGTON LAKE

Taylor County

Possession or use of live shad for bait is prohibited.

SWIFT CAMP CREEK

Clifty Wilderness, Wolfe County

All trout caught from October 1 through May 31 must be released immediately and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

SYMPSON LAKE

Nelson County

  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

TAYLORSVILLE LAKE

Lake upper boundary is Dry Dock Road on Salt River.

  • Crappie: 10-inch minimum size limit, 15-fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Blue and Channel Catfish: 15-fish daily creel limit, only 1 fish may be longer than 25 inches.

TENNESSEE RIVER

from Kentucky Lake Dam downstream to confluence with Ohio River

Gigging and snagging regulations along with special regulations for the Tennessee River.

TRAMMEL CREEK

Allen County

All trout caught from October 1 through March 31 must be immediately released and only artificial baits shall be used during this period.

  • Rainbow Trout: 5-fish daily creel limit.

WILLISBURG PARK POND

Washington County

  • Channel Catfish: 4-fish daily creel limit.
  • Largemouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish daily creel limit.
  • Sunfish: 15-fish daily creel limit, no minimum size limit.

WOOD CREEK LAKE

Laurel County

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.
  • Walleye: 2-fish daily creel limit; 18- to 26-inch protective slot limit. All walleye caught from 18 to 26 inches long must be immediately released.

YATESVILLE LAKE

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: 15-inch minimum size limit.

OTHER SPECIES

BULLFROGS (301 KAR 1:082)

The taking season for bullfrogs opens at noon on the third Friday in May (May 20, 2022) and runs through Oct. 31. If a gun or bow and arrow are used, a hunting license is required. If frogs are taken by pole and line, a fishing license is required. If frogs are taken by gig or by hand, then either a hunting or fishing license is valid. The daily noon-to-noon creel limit for bullfrogs is 15. The possession limit is30.

TURTLES (301 KAR 1:058)

Kentucky Fishing Size & Creel Limits

Anglers may take snapping turtles (except alligator snapping turtles) and softshell turtles year round by the same methods legal for taking rough fish species or with a turtle trap. Commercial fishing gear may not be used to take turtles. A hunting license is required when taking turtles by gun or by bow and arrow. Otherwise a fishing license is required. Turtles cannot be sold.

Turtle traps may be one of two kinds: either a barrel or drum with a tilting trigger board or a floating log raft with an enclosed twine or wire mesh bag. Turtle traps must be inspected daily. All turtles must be removed daily except one decoy turtle may remain. Any other species (except softshelled and snapping turtles) caught in a turtle trap must be released unharmed.

GRASS CARP HARVEST PROHIBITED (301 KAR 1:201)

Harvesting grass carp is prohibited in any lake owned or managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Anglers who catch a grass carp from one of these lakes must immediately return the fish to the water where it was caught. Grass carp are used to control aquatic vegetation.

LIVE BAIT FOR PERSONAL USE

(301 KAR 1:130, 1:122)

No live fish, live bait fish or live bait organisms that are not native or established in Kentucky waters shall be bought, sold, possessed, imported, or in any way used or released into waters of this Commonwealth. Blueback herring are not native to Kentucky and may not be imported or possessed in this state.

Holders of sport fishing licenses may take live bait from public waters and may possess up to 500 live bait fishes which include shad (except on lakes where possession or use of live shad is prohibited) and herring, 500 crayfish, 25 spring lizards or dusky salamanders, 5 frogs (other than bullfrogs), 5 tadpoles, 100 native lampreys, 500 other aquatic invertebrate organisms other than mussels, and any number of unshelled Asiatic clams. Live wild caught Asiancarp, herring and shad, as well as the species mooneye and goldeye, may only be used in the waters from which they were collected. A commercial license is required to take live bait from public waters open to commercial fishing for the purpose of selling.

Regardless of size or how obtained, it is illegal to use any sport fish for bait (except redear sunfish less than 6 inches long). Live bait fishes are defined as redear sunfish less than 6 inches long and rough fish except blackside dace, palezone shiner, Cumberland darter, relict darter and tuxedo darter or any other federally threatened or endangered species. Also, see fw.ky.gov for a description of these protected fish species. Bluegills are not sport fish and may be taken for bait as described above.

Live bait may be taken with the following gear:

  • Dip Nets: Maximum size of 3 feet in diameter is legal statewide.
  • Minnow Traps: Maximum legal size statewide: 3 feet long, 18 inches in diameter, 1-inch openings for catching.
  • Seines: Maximum legal size statewide: 10 feet long, 4 feet deep, ¼-inch mesh. Maximum legal size in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and Kentucky and Barkley lakes: 30 feet long, 6 feet deep and ¼-inch bar mesh.
  • Sport Cast Nets: Maximum sport cast net size is 20 feet in diameter with maximum 1-inch bar mesh statewide except in the following waters. Sport cast nets prohibited in: 1) lakes having fewer than 500 surface acres, 2) Hatchery Creek in RussellCounty.

All sport fish incidentally taken while capturing live bait with seines, dip nets, cast nets or minnow traps must be released immediately unharmed into the water.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.