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Kentucky Catch-and-Release Underway

leah kirk

Kentucky Catch-and-Release Underway.png

Trammel Creek, which rises in Tennessee and flows northward into Kentucky and through Allen County, eventually feeding Drakes Creek, which feeds the Barren River, is one of a handful of stocked trout waters that will come under special regulations beginning Oct. 1. It's the opening of the state’s delayed-harvest trout season, or, as Dave Dreves prefers, the “seasonal catch-and-release” trout season.

“I think the term delayed harvest is confusing to a lot of people,” said Dreves, an assistant director for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and one of the agency’s few cold water/trout specialists. “I have a lot of people ask me what that means.”

What it means is that from Oct. 1 until March 31 the agency will manage 15 of its stocked trout streams as catch-and-release, artificial-lure-only waters. All trout must be released immediately. Bait fishing is not allowed but the artificial lure rule is fairly generous, allowing everything from a No. 26 barbless midge to a multi-hook Rapala-type crankbait. (The seasonal catch-and-release trout season extends to May 31 on Swift Camp Creek, which is located within the Clifty Wilderness Area in Wolfe County.)

Trammel Creek (along with a handful of other waters) stocked earlier this month. Trammel and the other seasonal catch-and-release waters will receive more trout soon.

“Those (seasonal catch-and-release) stockings usually happen during the first week of October,” Dreves noted. “But I know that October is a very busy (fish) hauling month for us so it might be a little later than that for some.”

I moved upstream from the Concord Church Road bridge, which is located off county road 2160 about 6 miles south of Scottsville. This slice of the creek is shaded and the canopy cover seemed make the fish somewhat less skittish and a couple of fish came to hand, including a chunky, brightly colored 13-inch rainbow had been holding a narrow strip of shallow seam water.

Seasonal catch-and-release trout season was launched several years ago on a handful of waters. It has since been expanded to 15 streams, including a 3-mile stretch of Jefferson County’s Floyds Fork (inside The Parklands of Floyds Fork property) and nearly 10 miles of Otter Creek in Meade County, including the sections of the popular stream on the Ft. Knox and state-owned Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area.

Kentucky streams managed as seasonal catch-and-release trout waters include:

Bark Camp Creek, Whitley Co., 3.9 miles.

Beaver Creek, Wayne Co., 2.8 miles.

Big Bone Creek, Boone Co. (inside Big Bone Lick State Park), 2.1 miles.

Cane Creek, Laurel Co., 6.6 miles.

Casey Creek, Trigg Co., 3.6 miles.

Clear Creek, Bell County, 4.5 miles.

East Fork, Indian Creek, Menifee Co., 5.3 miles.

Left Fork, Beaver Creek, Floyd Co., 3.6 miles.

Middle Fork Red River, Powell Co. (inside Natural Bridge State Park), 2.2 miles.

Otter Creek, Meade Co., 9.7 miles.

Rock Creek, McCreary Co., 9.8 miles.

Swift Camp Creek, Wolfe Co. (inside the Clifty Wilderness Area) 8.0 miles. Season catch-and-release regulations extend to May 31.

Floyds Fork, Jefferson Co. (inside The Parklands of Floyds Fork) 3.0 miles.

Trammel Creek, Allen Co., 4.4 miles.

For more information about these waters, including maps and stocking schedules, go to From April 1 to September. 30 regular trout regulations and creel limits apply (June 1 to September 30 for Swift Camp Creek).