Outside with Chris: News of Proposed Changes on Cave Run



Chris Erwin

The Ashland Beacon


   I was on Cave Run Lake again last week, so I wanted to give you a report on the lake as we are beginning to enter the fall fishing season. I also want to review a few discussion items that the DFWL had at their meeting on Sept 3, 2021. While these items are discussions at this point, they will become law by 2023, if not before. I have been talking with Doug Morgan, 8th District Wildlife Commissioner, about these changes and trying to set up an in-person meeting with Dave Dreves, Director of Fisheries. I hope to understand these changes and voice my opinion about the future of the management of our eastern lakes.

   Current fishing Report: While lake levels are subject to change anytime I am on the water, the lake was near the summer pool. Water temperature (surface) was 78 in the daytime, dropping to 76 degrees after the sun went down. The water had some color; however, it was in good shape for fishing, with water clarity to about two feet. I was on the water by myself in my boat, and my son-in-law and my daughter were fishing from their boat. I managed to catch a handful of small bass on crankbaits and about eight crappies on jigs. Jim Thomas, my son-in-law, hooked a muskie in the 40-inch class on a crankbait the same thing I was throwing, while his wife (my daughter Christy) filmed it on her cell phone, so I got to see the fish with the crankbait stuck right on its nose. The fish did pull out after making a few 360 leaps near the boat. I could tell it was a pretty exciting day for them. I might note this muskie was near the bank in the early morning, proving the water temps are starting to reach a more active period for the fish.

   DFWL expected Changes: The Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting on Sept 3, 2021, covering 42 pages of regulation changes and policy changes to help improve the DFWL going forward, so I don’t have the space here to cover them all. However, I plan to cover the changes of a new WMA (Wildlife Manage Area) in Daniel Boone National Forest after meeting with Doug Morgan in person to take a first-hand look at the area.

   Today I want to cover the changes talked about as far as the fishing on Cave Run Lake. I will also list the other lakes directly affected: Increase the minimum size limit for muskellunge from 36 in. to 40 in. at these waters: Cave Run Lake, Dewey Lake, Green River Lake. (this is a direct quote from the DFWL report) - again this may not go into effect until 2023. These are considered changes.

   Apply a 12-15 inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass only (and standardize to 6-fish daily harvest/creel limit) at the following waters: Beaver Lake, Boltz Lake, Corinth Lake, McNeely Lake General, Butler State Park Lake, Lincoln Homestead State Park Lake, Cave Run Lake, Panbowl Lake Bert T. Combs Lake, Beulah Lake, Smoky Valley Lake (Carter Caves State Park), Lake Pennyrile.

   You can see this would change the regulations on two of our eastern lakes. They are also talking about restricting bow fishing on some lakes, including Greenbo Lake State Park. I heard that this was to stop the taking of grass carp used to control weeds in some small lakes.

   The last thing I wanted to cover was a change that would apply to the Kentucky River: Remove special regulations for largemouth bass and/or smallmouth bass (and change to statewide regulations for both size and daily creel limits: 12 in min length limit and 6-fish daily harvest/creel limit) at the following waters: Kentucky River WMA, Paintsville Lake, Marion County Lake, Fagan Branch Lake, Shanty Hollow Lake.

   As COVID gets worse in our area, please protect yourself and your children, and my God bless you. 


   Chris Erwin is the founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News, an online magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..