Kentucky Fishing Laws & Regulations
The state of Kentucky offers plenty of opportunities for excellent fishing. Kentucky has 45 major lakes, countless ponds, and over 62,000 miles of creeks, and rivers.
To legally fish a valid KY fishing license is needed as well as knowledge of applicable fishing laws in the State. There are free or discounted licenses available to a few select groups that you can review in our who needs a fishing license guide.
Kentucky uses the money from fishing license sales to conserve the quality of fishing for the generations to come.
Types of Fishing Licenses Offered in Kentucky
|Joint/Spouses Annual Fishing||$42.00||Not Available|
|3-Year Fishing (Online Only)||$55.00||Not Available|
|Nonresident 7-Day Fishing||Not Available||$35.00|
|Annual Combination Hunting/Fishing||$42.00||Not Available|
|Senior/Disabled Sportsman’s* (Includes same license and permits as Resident Sportsman’s License, plus additional deer permits.)||$12.00||Not Available|
|Sportsman’s License* (Includes combination hunting/fishing, statewide deer permit, spring and fall turkey permits, state migratory game bird-waterfowl permit and trout permit.)||$95.00||Not Available|
|Youth (ages 12-15) Sportsman’s License* (Includes youth hunting license, youth deer permit and 2 youth turkey permits.)||$30.00||Not Available|
You can purchase a Kentucky license online or buy in person at authorized retailers and tackle shops.
Kentucky has statewide species and size limits in order to maintain a healthy and sustainable population. Some bodies of water have different size and possession limits that you can find in the special regulations section of Kentucky’s fishing guide.
Below you will find the statewide species and size limits in the State of Kentucky:
Kentucky Species Size Limits
|Fish Species||Daily Limit||Possession Limit||Minimum Size Limit|
|Kentucky (Spotted) Bass||6*||12*||none|
|Walleye, Sauger and their Hybrids||6*||12*||14″|
|White & Hybrid Striped Bass||15**||30**||none**|
|Crappie (Black & White)||20*||40*||none|
|Brook Trout||Catch and release only***|
|Lake Sturgeon||Catch and release only|
* Singly or combined; a total of these species
** No more than 5 fish in the daily creel limit may be more than 15 inches long.
*** Except for the Cumberland River downstream of Wolf Creek Dam and the upper section of Hatchery Creek, see Special Regulations section for details.
Learn more about fishing in Kentucky.