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Fish & Wildlife stocks rainbow trout at county parks

On Tuesday, February 2nd, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) added 750 rainbow trout to each of the lakes at Panther Creek Park and Yellow Creek Park.

Both parks participate in the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program, launched in 2006 to provide anglers with quality fishing opportunities close to home.  The program includes 44 lakes statewide.

“Both Panther Creek and Yellow Creek are stocked throughout the season, in the winter with trout, and in the summer with catfish,” explained Ross Leigh, Director of Parks & Recreation.

Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program sign at Panther Creek Park

“I think there are a lot of people who enjoy visiting our parks and knowing they are a healthy environment to catch a good number of fish on a regular basis,” he added.

The county does not permit boats on the water at either park.  Other requirements are set by Fish & Wildlife, including a mandated fishing license for anglers 16 years of age and older.

“The trout permit is required in order to keep trout,” Leigh said.  “So if you are actually catfishing and were to catch a trout and release it, that’s fine.  But if you are going to keep the trout, you need to be sure and have the trout permit.”

Fishing regulations are posted at each park and on the FINs program webpage.

Species Daily Limit Size Limit
Rainbow Trout 5 None
Catfish 4 None
Largemouth Bass 1 15 in.
Bluegill/Other Sunfish 15 None

“One of the critical things that I’ve learned as a Park Director bringing my own family out, you have to have a separate method of keeping up with those fish,” Leigh said.  “So if I have three people fishing at Panther Creek Park, I need to have three separate buckets or three separate stringers.”

“I can’t just put 15 rainbow trout in one bucket and say we are splitting that up among three people,” he added.  “You have to have three individual methods of keeping those separate.  So if the Game Warden came up to visit you, they have to see what you’ve caught.”

While fishing is often considered to be a recreational activity, catching food for the family table is also important, especially in hard times.

“People may take advantage of this opportunity to stock their freezers,” Leigh said.  “Maybe they lost their job or some employment due to the pandemic.  I feel sincere in thinking there are people who are able to come out and catch something to feed their family.”

Panther Creek Park and Yellow Creek Park are operating on winter hours, open daily from 8am to 5pm. After April 1st, both parks will stay open until 11pm each day.

Leigh expects to see more anglers with the arrival of warmer weather.

“Even on some of these winter days where it may get up into the 50s or 60s, we will always find people out here fishing and enjoying the environment. Come out and visit us.”

For more information about the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program, click here.

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