Some anglers fishing Greenbo Lake for recently stocked rainbow trout were surprised by landing brown trout.
The normal February stocking of 5,500 rainbows was supplemented by 2,000 browns, said Justin Heflin, fisheries biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Brown trout, like rainbows, require cool water to make it in any body of water year-round. The decision to stock brown trout was made after surveys showed that some of the rainbow trout stocked in February are living through the hot summer months into the following fall.
Greenbo’s surface water reaches temperatures in the 80s during summer, but the 50-foot water at the dam stays much cooler down deep.
The department’s tanker trucks released the trout into the lake Feb. 26. Roger Rice was fishing for them three days later when he battled in a brown. Although fishermen may keep eight rainbows daily, regulations call for catch-and-release on the browns.
But Heflin said a special regulation for Greenbo will allow anglers to keep one brown trout per day. They must measure at least 16 inches long. There is no size limit on rainbow.
The browns, averaging eight inches long at stocking, should reach 16 inches by fall or early winter. The rainbows average about nine inches at stocking. Fall fishermen have caught rainbows from Greenbo measuring 16 and 17 inches long.
An additional 5,500 rainbow trout will be stocked into Greenbo in October.
The Kentucky record brown trout weighed 21 pounds and was caught by Tom Malone of Corbin April 30, 2000.
The state record rainbow, caught by Jim Mattingly of Somerset on Sept. 10, 1972, weighed 14 pounds, 6 ounces.
Both fish were caught from the Lake Cumberland tailwaters.
Ohio Trout stocking
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Fisheries reports the state will stock more than 100,000 rainbow trout in the state’s public lakes this spring.
Adams Lake in Adams County and Pike Lake in Pike County will both be stocked April 8, Rocky Fork Lake April 6, Lake Vesuvius will receive trout April 18 and Jackson City Reservoir April 20.
Turkey Creek Lake will be stocked with rainbows April 27 in conjunction with the annual Portsmouth Trout Derby.
Record deer kill
Kentucky hunters set a state record deer kill for the 16-day gun season held in November.
The department reported that 106,797 deer were killed for the season. That’s up nearly 1,400 deer than the previous record set in 2015.
An increase had been expected because of several deer regulation changes put in place early last year, said Fish and Wildlife Resources Deer and Elk Program Coordinator Gabe Jenkins.
The changes included making the modern gun season 16 days statewide. That meant six more hunting days in some parts of the state.
Jenkins said 23,553 deer were checked in during those last six days.
Other changes included adjusting permits to allow harvesting up to four deer, and changing zone classifications in 32 counties to loosen restrictions there.
The statewide limit for bucks – antlered deer – was still one per hunter — regardless of zone, method or season.
Officials reminded hunters who took advantage of bagging more deer than they could use can donate legally harvested deer through Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry.
The nonprofit works with processors to donate legally harvested venison to people in need. For information on how to donate deer, visit: kyhuntersforthehungry.info.
Ohio didn’t break it down for a report on how many deer were taken during its 7-day modern gun season.
But, according to the last report filed on Feb. 3, hunters took 172,040 whitetails during all the 2018-19 seasons.
Ohio has a lot of bow hunters. Of that total, 79,893 were taken by archery.
Reach G. Sam Piatt at [email protected] or 606-932-3619.