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A Hard March to Spring

March 30, 2015

By Chris Erwin

One has to wonder if we are finally over winter… The weatherman doesn’t want to make any promises; but the trend toward warmer temperatures is a welcome change from the snow and ice of a few weeks back.

I’m pleased to report that we actually got some new fishing reports this week! Yatesville Lake is now again below summer pool making it the best fishing lake right now not counting Greenbo Lake. Yatesville I look for more repost to come in as the crappie and bass become more active.

Grayson Lake is still four feet over summer pool, but we look for it to fall and become more active in the next couple weeks. Cave Run Lake remains out of its banks, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reporting the lake near 25 feet over winter pool. One of the things I noticed about Cave Run is it is starting to clear even at these high levels. We did get a few reports of muskie catches this week on the main lake. The Ohio River is expected to fall 15 feet this week making fishing a real option at the Greenup Dam.

I did a lot of walking in the woods this week, and I can report that areas that receive morning sun are starting to see growth. My peach tree near the lake is ready to start budding out. Early spring wild flowers are starting to bloom and anyone who has tulips are also seeing them on the verge of flowering.

One of the other events that signal the beginning of the spring season is the Kentucky’s spring turkey season youth hunt. It will take place April 4-5 this year. Regular spring turkey season is set for April 18- May 10.

There is a change this year for calling turkey in the spring season. The law now says, “A person shall not mimic the sound of a turkey in an area open to turkey hunting and where turkeys are reasonably expected to be present from March 1 until the opening of the youth-only turkey season, and from the close of the youth-only turkey season until the opening of the state-wide turkey season.” However, locating turkeys with an owl, crow, coyote, or woodpecker call is permitted when scouting.

Another event this spring being offered to the public is the Kentucky Native Plant Society’s annual Wildflower Weekend April 10-12 at Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The weekend will feature field trips led by professional and amateur biologists around the state park and adjoining areas. Trips will include walks on the Rock Garden Trail, Whittleton Arch Trail and Sheltowee Trace. Field trips start Friday morning. Cost is $10 for adults, $3 for children ages 13-17 and free for children ages 12 and under. All trips leave from Hemlock Lodge.

Carter Caves State Resort Park is also hosting several kayak and canoe trips this spring. The Tygart Creek Paddle Excursion and Grayson Lake Paddle Trip will be offered starting March 28 through June 13.

Check out one of the state park’s guided kayak and canoe trips this spring — you might find a new outdoor sport that you just love! (Photo provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

Check out one of the state park’s guided kayak and canoe trips this spring — you might find a new outdoor sport that you just love! (Photo provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

Tygart Creek Paddle Excursions – Trips will be held March 28, April 4, April 26, May 9. This is a 6-mile canoe or kayak trip down Tygart Creek, which cuts through Kentucky’s most scenic limestone gorge. Paddlers will be on the creek for about 3.5 hours. The park will provide canoes, paddles, life vests, and a shuttle ride from the Welcome Center along with guides for your trip. The park does not have kayaks, although paddlers have the option to bring their own. Participants should have some paddle experience before signing up. Paddlers will see high cliff sides and the natural beauty that the spring has to offer, in addition to taking a side trip into one of Kentucky’s largest natural limestone tunnels. Required equipment includes: the correct attire for cool weather paddling, a complete change of clothes, treaded footwear, flashlight (for natural tunnel visit), sack lunch, bottled water and a dry bag for your supplies. Cost is $25 per person. Limited space is available and registration is required.  Call 1-800-325-0059 to register. Participants meet at the Welcome Center at 9:30 a.m. This trip can be canceled due to high or low water levels or extreme weather conditions.

Grayson Lake Paddle Trip May 10 and June 13: Grayson Lake is a cliff-lined reservoir considered by some to be the most aesthetically pleasing paddle within 75 miles of this area. The guided Grayson Lake paddle is a 7-mile loop by canoe or kayak on flat water. The park does not have kayaks, although paddlers have the option to bring their own kayak for the trip. Paddlers will meet at Carter Caves State Resort Park Welcome Center and take the 40-minute commute to the launch area. Expect to be on the water for about 4-5 hours. Guides plan to find a nice rock outcrop for a lunch break and a leg stretch. Canoes, paddles and life vests will be provided along with transportation to and from the put-in, in addition to a guide. Participants, who plant to bring their own kayak, please make this known when registering. This trip can be canceled due to extreme weather conditions. Equipment suggestions include sunscreen, hat, camera, lunch, water and a dry bag for your equipment. The cost is $35 per person. The trip will meet at the Welcome Center at 9 a.m. Limited space is available, and you must call the park at 1-800-325-0059 to register.

Carter Caves State Resort Park is located at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill. The park has a lodge with a restaurant, cottages and campground. Besides cave tours, activities include hiking, horseback riding, swimming, boating and fishing.

Directions: From Interstate 64, Exit 161, take U.S. 60 east. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left on KY 182 north. The park entrance is 3 miles from the left turn onto KY 182 north.

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