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Warmer days trigger fishing itch, but get licensed before scratching

By STEVE VANTREESE

The onset of warmer temperature â “ and it's about time, spring having sprung â “ has more Kentuckians thinking about fishing.

Those who follow through with those inclinations need to be sure they are licensed properly. You did remember about the license turnover, didn't you?

Indeed, Kentucky plunged into a new sporting license year back with the first of the month. Licenses for fishing and hunting are issued for the period of March 1 through February. Those licenses issued for the 2013-14 year are only good for memories nowadays.

Who needs a fishing license to fish? In Kentucky, a license is required for anyone age 16 and older to fish waters public or private. Younger kids can fish without a license.

A basic resident fishing license, one for a Kentuckian to fish in Kentucky, is $20, although many who both fish and hunt will save a few bucks by purchasing a combination fishing/hunting license for $30 instead of single licenses for each pursuit at $20 a shot.

(It's all different for residents age 65 and up as well as those certified as disabled. A $5 annual senior/disabled license is good for all fishing and hunting. It's a super deal, although it doesn't quite make up for being old and corroded.)

New this year, also for residents only, is the option of buying a three-year fishing license for $55. For one who fishes but doesn't hunt, it's a five-buck savings over three years of regular fishing licenses. The three-year fishing license is available only over the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website, www.fw.ky.gov.

Here's a couples' option: Fishing spouses can save a bit with his-and-her credentials. Kentucky offers a joint husband and wife fishing license for $36. It does beat two individual fishing licenses by $4.

But let's say you only have perhaps one occasion all year that you'd really like to do any fishing. Will the $20 cost of a license simply dissuade you from that pleasure? To prevent that, Kentucky cuts residents a break and offers a one-day fishing license for $7. For a one-time thing, that's a good bit more palatable. You could even do that a couple of times and still save a little over an annual license.

If you still require more of a savings to prompt you to break out the fishing pole â “ or go buy one â “ consider Kentucky's Free Fishing Days. This year those are June 7-8, when license requirements are waived to provide anyone the opportunity to sample fishing. If you can't see investing anything in a license and can hold out until then, there's your freebie.

n The Land Between the Lakes' Woodlands Nature Station next Saturday, March 29, will host Girl Scout Day. Activities and information will be provided 10 a.m.-3 p.m. to help Girl Scouts of different levels earn achievement awards.

Nature Station staffers will hold scavenger hunts, provide information booths and guide activities geared to Girl Scout quests. A three-hour stint is recommended to complete all available activities.

The program is provided with no additional cost with Nature Station admission.

n The River-to-River Trail Society today is holding a guided hike in southern Illinois' Lusk Creek Wilderness area. The selected trail is in the Shawnee National Forest, in Pope County near Eddyville. The hike - free and open to participation by the public - will be guided by Marcus Owens and Eric Johnson. Phone 618-534-8139 for last-minute details.

Steve Vantreese is a freelance outdoors writer. E-mail outdoors news items to outdoors@paducahsun.com.

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