The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission recommended the 2013-2014 early migratory bird season dates and increased bear hunting opportunities at its quarterly meeting June 7. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.
Proposed early migratory bird seasons for 2013-2014 include:
Sept. 1 – Oct. 24; Nov. 28 – Dec. 6;
Dec. 28, 2013 – Jan. 3, 2014
September Canada Goose
Sept. 1 – 15
Wood Duck and Teal
Sept. 18 – 22
Nov. 1 – Dec. 15
Virginia and Sora Rail, Common Moorhen and Purple Gallinule
Sept. 1 – Nov. 9
Sept. 18 – Oct. 27; Nov. 28, 2013 – Feb. 2, 2014
Dec. 14, 2013 – Jan. 12, 2014
Season lengths and bag limits remain the same as last year, except the daily bag limit for the September Canada goose season increased from two to three birds a day. The commission also allowed for more youth dove hunts at Camp Webb in Carter County.
In other wildlife-related business, the commission proposed establishing an archery/crossbow season for bears that would run from Nov. 23 through Dec. 1, with a 10 bear season quota and a one bear season bag limit. Commission members also recommended an expansion of the bear zone to include Martin, Floyd, Pike, Knott, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Harlan, Bell, Knox, Clay, Laurel, Whitley, McCreary, Pulaski and Wayne counties. Currently, Kentucky’s bear zone consists of Bell, Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties.
The commission proposed other changes to the upcoming bear seasons. The bear chase area was expanded to include three areas in Bell, Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties. A five bear quota was also proposed for the Dec. 23 through Dec. 27 bear quota hunt with dogs. The bear quota hunt with dogs requires hunters to apply online at the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov.
Commissioner members also increased the maximum size of bear chase parties from five to seven people, as long as the chase group includes two youths under the age of 16. The chase-only bear season runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. The December chase-only bear season is now removed.
The 2013 modern gun and muzzleloader bear season runs from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16. Hunters may use archery equipment during this season as well.
The commission recommended changes to the upcoming late season elk depredation hunt. Members proposed expanding the Knott County Elk Management Unit both eastward and southward. The commission also proposed changing the hunter eligibility for the late season elk depredation hunts to those hunters who reside in counties containing portions of an Elk Management Unit. Those counties include Knott, Floyd, Letcher, Bell, Harlan and Leslie.
In fisheries related business, the commission proposed new regulations that would go into effect beginning March 1, 2014.
Recommendations include restricting the use of wild-caught live Asian carp, shad or skipjack herring to only the tributaries, rivers and reservoirs from which these fish were collected. This restriction will not prohibit the transport of invertebrate baits species such as crayfish as well as wild caught or commercially sold minnows.
The commission also recommended allowing the use of cast nets to collect live bait in all streams, except for Hatchery Creek in Russell County. Commission members proposed placing Trammel Creek in Allen County under the seasonal trout catch-and-release season from Oct. 1 through March 1 annually. There will also be a 16-inch minimum size limit and one fish daily limit on brown trout in Trammel Creek.
The commission also proposed increasing the minimum size limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass to 15 inches for Floyd’s Fork Creek in Jefferson and Bullitt counties, with a one bass daily creel limit.
On channel and blue catfish in Dewey Lake in Floyd County and Fishtrap Lake in Pike County, the commission recommended establishing a 15-fish daily creel limit of which only one fish daily may be longer than 25 inches.
Commission members also recommended banning commercial fishing in the Big Sandy River and Levisa Fork of Big Sandy River.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16. Meetings are held in the Arnold Mitchell Building, located at 1 Sportsman’s Lane in Frankfort.
Persons interested in addressing the commission must notify the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife commissioner’s office in writing at least 30 days in advance to be considered for placement on the meeting agenda. People who are hearing impaired and plan to attend the meeting should contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at least 10 days in advance and the agency will provide a translator. To request to address the commission, write to Commissioner Jon Gassett, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601.
Logo courtesy Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources