Legislation Would Create ‘Kentucky Fishing at Home with Family and Friends Act’
FRANKFORT, Ky.– Recently, Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, and Rep. Marie Rader, R-McKee, pre-filed legislation aimed to expand private property rights for Kentuckians.
The bill, B.R. 257, would create a new fishing license exemption for friends and invited guests of private landowners when fishing on their property, but only from ponds or lakes that do not allow fish entry from or exit to public waters.
“Family memories and lifelong friendships are forged on the banks of a pond with a pole in hand,” said Rep. Wuchner. “Kentuckians and their families have the right to fish their own privately owned, and stocked ponds, and they should be able to extend that right to their friends and invited guests, without needing those individuals to get a fishing license.”
“As Kentuckians, experiencing the joy of fishing is one of our most treasured memories,” said Rep. Marie Rader. “Property rights are important to all Kentuckians.”
Kentucky's current fishing license exemption only extends to immediate family and next of kin of the property owner. In the past, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked private ponds and lakes. However, the state no longer stocks privately owned lakes and ponds, removing any concerns associated with public monies benefitting private property owners.
“Recently, a land-owner in Boone County contacted me to express his disappointment that his friends who were attending a cookout with his family would be unable to fish in his privately owned and stocked pond without a license,” added Wuchner. “Several surrounding states like Indiana do not require a license to fish on privately owned property and we should extend that same right to Kentuckians at home.”“Our Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Division does a tremendous job supporting the fishing culture in the Commonwealth,” continued Wuchner. “They are a constant and guiding force in the preservation of Kentucky's fish and wildlife. For the most part, Fish and Wildlife Department officials are not going on private property looking for folks fishing without a license. But, every Kentuckian should simply have the right to be able to drop a line and fish with their family and friends on their own property and not be in violation of the law.”
“Since Daniel Boone first crossed the Gap finding an abundance of fish and game, Kentuckians have fished for subsistence and sport,” added Rep. Rader. “Exempting the fishing license requirement is just the right thing to do for our people.”
The 2017 Regular Session begins in January.
Pictured: Left - Rep. Marie Rader, R-McKee & Right - Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence