The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission modified furbearer seasons and restricted the sale, release and possession of Asian carp at its quarterly meeting March 8.
The commission recommends all hunting, fishing and boating regulations for approval by the General Assembly and approves all expenditures by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. All recommendations must be approved by legislators before they become law.
In wildlife-related business, the commission proposed allowing the hunting of coyotes at night. This season is contingent upon the completion of the legislative process for House Bill 60. If this bill becomes law, it will take effect 90 days after the last day of the current legislative session.
If this hunting season secures final approval, coyote hunters could use lights or night-vision equipment from Feb. 1 through May 31. From June 1 through Jan. 31, coyote hunters could not use lights or night-vision equipment. Lights or night vision equipment could not be connected to or cast from any mechanized vehicle. No weapon other than a shotgun could be used for hunting coyotes at night and shotgun shells could not contain a single projectile.
When using an air rifle to take furbearers, hunters must use a .22-caliber minimum.
In fisheries-related business, the commission recommended several new fishing regulations to take effect March 1, 2014.
* A 12- to 15-inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass on Smokey Valley Lake in Carter Caves State Resort Park in Carter County. There will be a daily creel limit of six fish; only one of the harvested bass could be longer than 15 inches.
* Cast nets could be used to gather bait in the tributaries of the Cumberland River from Wolf Creek Dam downstream to the Tennessee line, with the exception of Hatchery Creek. All trout caught in cast nets must be immediately released.
* People could not buy, sell, possess, import or release live the Asian carp species of bighead, black or silver carp.
* James D. Beville Park Lake in Grayson County and Jacobson Park Lake in Fayette County are now enrolled in the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program.
In boating-related business, the commission proposed extending the minimum length of pontoon boats on Guist Creek Lake in Shelby County from 22 feet to 24 feet.
The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time), Friday, June 7. Meetings are held at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters, located at 1 Sportsman’s Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort.
Persons interested in addressing the commission must notify the commissioner’s office of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife 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 an interpreter. To request to address the commission, write to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Commissioner Dr. Jon Gassett, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40601.