Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Update - July 8, 2022

KDFWR - 7-8-22 Update

Photo provided by Conservatio Officer Sgt. Daniel Richardson

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife in the news

Outdoor Life

WPSD (Paducah)

Murray Ledger & Times

The Lake News (Calvert City)

The News-Enterprise (Elizabethtown)

WDRB (Louisville)

89.3 WFPL (Louisville)

FOX 19 (Cincinnati)

Northern Kentucky Tribune (Edgewood)

The Daily Independent (Ashland)

Laker Country WJRS 104.9 (Russell Springs)

WYMT (Hazard)

Alligator sighting leads to charges against Harlan County man

Officer Clark with alligator

Photo provided by Conservation Officer Kyle Clark

A Harlan County man is facing numerous charges following an investigation by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources into reports of an alligator in a creek near the community of Big Laurel.

Cameron Cornett, 23, of Big Laurel, is charged with illegally transporting and possessing an inherently dangerous exotic (non-native) animal, not reporting its escape to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and not having a permit or documentation for other exotic animals in his possession.

The carcass was recovered by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife law enforcement during the course of its investigation.

Read more

Dreves completes National Conservation Leadership Institute

Dave Dreves

Congratulations go to Fisheries Division Director Dave Dreves, who recently completed the National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) as part of Cohort 15.

Learn more about NCLI at

Report your wild turkey observations

Joe Lacefield hen with poults

Photo by Joe Lacefield

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources encourages anyone who observes wild turkeys in Kentucky during July or August to enter some basic information about their sightings into an online survey portal. Data collected through this survey enable the department to better understand turkey trends over time.

The online survey portal for reporting sightings may easily be found by searching using the key words “turkey survey” at A printable form of the survey may also be downloaded, printed and filled out, then scanned or photographed with a smartphone and emailed to

“This simple survey provides important data to help us better understand what is happening with the population over time,” Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Wild Turkey Program Coordinator Zak Danks said. “More observations also give us increased data points and enhance our survey coverage statewide.”

The turkey program compiles data from these observations from interested citizens and staff into a statewide index of hatch and survival of young turkeys, or “poults.” This index helps department biologists to assess reproductive success, which is important to the sustainability of the wild turkey population.

In recent years, many hunters across the southeastern U.S. have reported seeing fewer turkeys. State fish and wildlife agencies are currently conducting research to shed more light on the status of turkey populations, and whether decreased observations reflect natural population fluctuation, or if it may indicate a downward trend in wild turkey numbers. In addition to scientific research, observation data from staff and the public through this survey are vital for long-term conservation.

“Citizen science can help conservation efforts in many ways,” Danks said. “Our summer wild turkey survey is a great example, and we welcome everyone’s contributions.”

Conservation officer recruits complete basic training at DOCJT

DOCJT Class 528

Photo by Rachel Cummings

A group of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer recruits graduated June 30 from basic training at the state Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond.

Aaron Amshoff, Tayler Davis, James “Dylan” Fields, Stone Harris, Derrick Moore, Jimmy Rice, Christian Roberts and Mitchell Weekley were part of Class 528 and received 800 hours of basic law enforcement training in firearms, defensive tactics, search and seizure and arrest over 20 weeks.

Davis received the Firearms Proficiency (Top Shot) Award and was recognized as Special Projects Officer and for physical fitness excellence. Roberts received the Outstanding Performance for Physical Fitness award and was recognized as the Honor Code representative as well as for physical fitness excellence. Moore, Rice and Weekley were squad leaders in Class 528 and recognized for physical fitness excellence. Amshoff was recognized as the Adjutant Officer and for physical fitness excellence. Fields and Harris were recognized for physical fitness excellence.

A replay of the graduation ceremony is available through DOCJT's Facebook page.

The recruits now return to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Academy for additional training. A graduation ceremony is scheduled Aug. 26.

Online now: 2022 fall hunting, trapping guide

2022-23 Fall Hunting/Trapping Guide cover

The new Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide is now available through the department's website.

The cover features artwork by Kentucky Afield artist Rick Hill and celebrates the 25th anniversary of Kentucky's successful elk restoration project.

Printed copies of this regulations summary are expected to arrive next month.

View and download the guide at

In the spotlight...

Staff Spotlight - Zack Couch, Wildlife

In the "Staff Spotlight" this week is Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator Zack Couch.

Fun fact about Zack: Fun fact about Zack: When he’s not at work or church, Zack's usually at a football game or volleyball game with one of his children. Any other spare time is spent hunting or fishing as a family.

“Staff Spotlight” introduces you to the variety of our employees and the breadth of their expertise, as well as the diversity of jobs, programs and initiatives of the department.

To learn more about current employment opportunities with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, please visit

Great Outdoors News: Green River Lake pier

GON Green River Lake Fishing Pier

Staff from the Fisheries and Engineering Divisions of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife teamed up to provide enhanced fishing opportunities at Green River Lake. A new accessible fishing pier was constructed at Green River State Park in Taylor County with fish-attracting structures on the lake bottom a short distance from the pier.

Thanks to partners Friends of Green River Lake and the Kentucky Department of Parks for providing funding. The pier features 960 square feet of surface area and is easily accessible via a concrete pathway.