FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2018) – A reduction in the statewide daily creel limit from 30 fish to 20 fish for crappie highlights the new fishing regulations for 2018. The regulations go into effect March 1.

“Anglers requested this regulation,” said Ron Brooks, director of Fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The amount of hours spent crappie fishing and the fishing pressure on crappie are increasing across the state. Crappie are popular to eat. Crappie anglers recognized the increase in fishing pressure and requested this regulation to protect the resource.”

Concerns about fishing pressure on brown trout also prompted a reduction in the statewide daily creel limit and an increase in the minimum size limit for the coming fishing license year. Previously, the statewide daily creel limit on brown trout was three fish with a 12-inch minimum size limit. Beginning March 1, the statewide daily creel limit on brown trout will be one fish with a 16-inch minimum size limit.

“When we stock brown trout, we hope they hold over to the next year at least,” Brooks said. “We only put them in streams where they have a chance to hold over and grow bigger. They are not a put-and-take opportunity. This regulation should help the size structure improve on brown trout.”

Brooks notes the daily creel limit on rainbow trout remains eight fish. “We didn’t want to take the opportunity to harvest eight rainbow trout away from anglers,” he said. “They will be able to harvest one brown trout at least 16 inches long in addition to the eight rainbow trout.”

There is no minimum size limit on the statewide regulations for rainbow trout.

Anglers using jugs, trot lines or limb lines must now use the Customer Identification Number provided on their fishing license to tag their jugs, trot lines or limb lines beginning March 1. Anglers employing these devices previously used their name and address, but this new requirement will protect the identity of those anglers.

Also on March 1 per the fishing regulations, anglers may use dip nets to collect baitfish statewide.

Anglers should remember the current license year expires Feb. 28. Anglers fishing after this date must purchase their 2018-2019 fishing license.

Warm winds will soon blow across Kentucky, driving anglers to the water. Keep these new fishing regulations in mind when fishing this spring.  Find complete details and the updates on special regulations by viewing the full release on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website.

Find information on fishing Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley on our Fishing Page.