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SPRING? Where are you?????

Due to snow, the golf course is closed and will be evaluated on Monday.   

Thanks, we look forward to seeing you all very soon! Great picture attached I took this morning. 

 

Missy Kennedy, PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager

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Kentucky’s woodlands are like an idle savings account that doesn’t have an investment plan for the future.

Many Kentucky forest owners don’t recognize the present and future value of the stands of hardwood timber, and mature cedars, on their property. The quality of Kentucky’s hardwood timber is high, and forests throughout the state are maturing rapidly. A large percentage of Kentucky’s woodlands contain harvestable trees.

A renewable resource, woodlands need management to realize their full potential.

Managing Forests

Woodlands as small as 10 acres can benefit from management plans. The first step is to get some professional technical guidance.

Seventy-five percent of Kentucky forests are composed of oak-hickory forest type, one of three predominate forest types across the state (Photo by Ben Kimball)

Seventy-five percent of Kentucky forests are composed of oak-hickory

forest type, one of three predominate forest types across the state

(Photo by Ben Kimball)

The Forest Stewardship Program, offered free of charge by the Kentucky Division of Forestry, helps landowners make forest assessments, and develop a management plan for their property. For details visit this website.

The Kentucky Forest Conservation Act requires that Division of Forestry employees inspect all commercial timber harvest operations statewide to ensure best management practices are implemented.

Winter is a good time to inventory and work in woodlands. The leaves are down, it’s easier to see the crowns of trees, and there are no bothersome insects.

For landowners interested in using their forests for recreational purposes, a good first step is to cut trails, which can be used for hiking, wildlife observation, or quiet access to woodlands for deer and wild turkey hunting. Trails should be mowed, and kept wide enough to serve as fire breaks (10 to 12 feet).

Trails also provide access in case of fire, and provide foresters access for management practices. Trails are typically seeded in grasses and clovers, which help prevent erosion and provide food for wildlife.

Landowners can secure financial help in the form of cost-share programs for most forest management projects.

Managing for Wildlife

If wildlife is your forestry management goal, timber stand improvement (TSI) is a good practice for removing selected trees to improve the health and growth rate of the remaining, more desirable species.

TSI eliminates crowding and reduces competition, while increasing sunlight, moisture and nutrients available to the remaining trees. This practice is recommended if your goal is improve the quality of a stand of oak trees, for example, which produce acorns eaten by deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, and other species of forest wildlife.

An option to felling undesirable trees is girdling, cutting through the bark all the way around the tree with a chainsaw, to kill them on the stump (standing).

Creating small openings in the forest benefits wildlife and invigorates tree growth because it allows sunlight to reach the forest floor, encouraging understory plants that provide food and cover. Cut stands of small cedar trees, brush and saplings of undesirable species of hardwoods, then pile them up to create nesting cover for rabbits and wild turkeys.

Large stands of mature cedars should be removed because they crowd out understory vegetation, block sunlight and rob valuable hardwoods of water and nutrients. Large cedar logs have commercial value because they can be sawn into posts. Smaller logs are typically ground up into mulch.

Some of the most commercially valuable hardwoods are hard maple (sugar maple), walnut and cherry. Sugar maple is in high demand for furniture and cabinets, and walnut and cherry brings a high price because it’s hard to find in quantity and quality.

Forest Benefits

Forests are an important factor in both clean air and water. In one year, an acre of mature trees can absorb the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide produced by a car driving 26,000 miles. Trees also absorb ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, and carbon monoxide.

The health of forests is vital to the integrity of water-supply systems as well.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

Rainfall that passes through forests is cleaner than rainfall that drains from roads or disturbed lands, and water running off farm fields is cleaner if it first passes through a forested buffer. Forests reduce erosion and sedimentation, which chokes streams and endangers aquatic life.

Kentucky Forest Facts

According to information posted on the Kentucky Division of Forestry website:

* In the U.S. Kentucky is second only to Florida in its diverse mix of hardwood species.
* Forty-eight percent of Kentucky is forested, about 12.4 million acres.
* Eighty-eight percent of Kentucky’s forestland is privately owned.
* Seventy-five percent of Kentucky forests are composed of oak-hickory forest type, one of three predominate forest types across the state.
* Red maple is the most common tree species, accounting for 12.2 percent of all trees in Kentucky.
* Although 48 percent of Kentucky is forested, nearly 780,000 acres of forest, primarily on private lands, were converted to other land uses in the last 15 years.

* The United States Forest Service (USFS) estimated that the total economic impact of Kentucky’s forests is nearly $8.7 billion annually.
* The National Woodland Owners Survey found that about 135,000 Kentucky families are forest owners.
* Forest industries contribute nearly $12.8 billion of revenue to the state’s economy.
* Kentucky ranks in the top three nationally in hardwood production and ranks No. 1 in the South with sawlog and veneer production.
* The top three species of trees important in lumber production are white oak, yellow poplar and red oak.
* Kentucky has more than 3,500 forest industries, employing more than 51,000 persons.

Landowners should not ignore their forest lands.

Develop a management plan and establish a goal — to produce quality timber, improve wildlife habitat, improve water quality, enhance scenic beauty, or fully utilize the recreational potential of your forests.

It’s a responsibility of land ownership to care for forests in such a way that future generations may have all the benefits to use and enjoy.

1Art Lander Jr.Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a life-long hunter, angler, gardener and nature enthusiast. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and author and is a former staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the annual Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide and Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.

In cold weather we just throw another log on the fire, turn up the thermostat of the furnace, put on long underwear or cook a hot meal.

But when the snow, ice and bitter cold of winter comes, fish and wildlife species resort to a variety of behaviors and adaptations to survive the extreme conditions.

Fish feed heavily in the fall, storing up energy to tide them over until spring. During winter, their metabolism slows as the water temperature declines, and they eventually become lethargic. They move to the deepest water, which is warmer by a few degrees, and feed only when the opportunity arises — without expending energy to chase prey.

Wildlife species have many ways of conserving warmth and regulating body temperature.

White-tailed deer and wild turkeys try to conserve body heat when it’s cold, feeding on high calorie foods, moving as little as possible, and expending energy only during the warmest parts of the day (Photo Provided)

White-tailed deer and wild turkeys try to conserve body heat when it’s cold, feeding on high calorie foods, moving as little as possible, and expending energy only during the warmest parts of the day (Photo Provided)

 

Mammals grow heavy coats of fur and store body fat. Coldwater fish have special proteins called glycoproteins that prevent ice crystals from forming in their blood.

The broad-winged hawk, which nests in Kentucky, vacations south of the border, spending the winter in sunny climes of Central and South America. While most species of hawks in Kentucky never leave their territories, they modify their behavior. It’s harder for birds of prey to find food so they may gather on south-facing slopes, where the snow has melted away.

Hawks and owls can get very creative in where they take shelter from the cold, often roosting in barns, or sleeping in cedar or pine thickets overnight.

Red-tailed hawks stay here during the cold weather months, but there’s a big push of migrant birds from the Great Lakes Region, mostly Wisconsin and Michigan. There are a lot more hawks in Kentucky during the winter months, and they are much more visible.

Temperate nesting geese, so-called resident Canada geese, who spend the spring and summer raising their young on farm ponds, small lakes and streams across Kentucky, gravitate to open water when their home waters ice over.

Geese re-locate to ice-free major rivers and reservoirs, flying out daily to feed in nearby farm fields. In cold weather geese also like to hang around steam plants which have warm water discharges, so surrounding waters don’t freeze up as easily.

But, as soon as temperatures moderate, these geese scatter out and go back to smaller bodies of water.

Black bears spend the winter in dens.

They enter a state of torpor, during which their metabolism slows markedly, but they can move around and may even leave their dens. They live off their body fat, and don’t eat or drink.

Rabbits, and especially quail, need thick cover to survive snow and cold winds. Rabbits can go underground to escape the harshest conditions, but quail need thick grasslands for shelter (Photo Provided)

Rabbits, and especially quail, need thick cover to survive snow and cold winds. Rabbits can go underground to escape the harshest conditions, but quail need thick grasslands for shelter (Photo Provided) 

Sows give birth in their dens and nurse their cubs all winter, emerging in March or April, with the little ones in tow. A bear den may be in a rock crevice, the root wad of a fallen tree, or inside a standing hollow tree.

Woodchucks simply go underground and sleep it off, spending the winter in hibernation. In October they go underground for the season, to a dead-end nest chamber sealed off with dirt, to prevent rabbits and other wildlife from disturbing their slumber.

The woodchuck’s body temperature drops, and its heart rate slows to as few as four beats per minute. They don’t emerge until the first warm days of February.

Other species of Kentucky wildlife hunker down.

Pond turtles such as the common map turtle, or red-eared slider, sit on the bottom of a pond, or on the bottom of the river in a backwater area, breathing dissolved oxygen through their skin. On sunny days in February, they might crawl up on a log to get some warmth.

The rat snake spends the winter in a small mammal burrow, below the frost line. Imagine being a chipmunk and having to share your home with a big snake four months out of the year.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

Toads burrow down in leaf litter and loose topsoil. Tree frogs might spend the winter in a rotten log or in a hole in a tree. The tiny cricket frog spends the summer in ponds and wet areas at lower elevations, then moves to upland woods for the winter.

Box turtles dig down in the ground as cold weather approaches. The colder it gets, they deeper they dig.

For game animals such as rabbits, quail, squirrels, deer and wild turkey, the importance of quality habitat and adequate food, is a matter of life and death.

White-tailed deer and wild turkeys try to conserve body heat when it’s cold, feeding on high calorie foods, moving as little as possible, and expending energy only during the warmest parts of the day. Cedar thickets, interspersed with stands of hardwoods and fields of brush, are necessary to survival.

Rabbits, and especially quail, need thick cover to survive snow and cold winds. Rabbits can go underground to escape the harshest conditions, but quail need thick grasslands for shelter.

Squirrels need den trees, large trees with crevices and holes, to escape the cold. They stash and bury mast (nuts) throughout the fall, to eat in winter. If it’s a poor mast crop and they don’t have enough food to last throughout the winter, they may die of starvation.

We spend the cold weather months in the comfort of our heated homes, for wildlife cold weather is stressful and often life threatening.

1Art Lander Jr.Art Lander Jr. is outdoors editor for KyForward. He is a native Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a life-long hunter, angler, gardener and nature enthusiast. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and author and is a former staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the annual Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide and Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.

 

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“Spring Fishing Fever” 

 

By Lee McClellan

Kentucky Afield magazine

This is the first installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website atwww.fw.ky.gov).

The release of the annual Fishing Forecast by the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is a welcome sign that spring isn’t far away. Reading the forecast primes the pump of enthusiasm for fishing trips in 2016.

“For a general angler, the Fishing Forecast is a good place to start planning a trip,” said Jeff Ross, assistant director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “It is a good resource for those without a lot of time to fish.”

Kentucky Afield Outdoors staff writer Kevin Kelly holds a 38-inch muskellunge he caught from Cave Run Lake. The muskellunge population in Cave Run Lake earned an excellent rating in the 2016 Fishing Forecast produced by the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The forecast is a useful tool for planning productive fishing trips (F&W Photo)

 

Kentucky Afield Outdoors staff writer Kevin Kelly holds a 38-inch

muskellunge he caught from Cave Run Lake. The muskellunge

population in Cave Run Lake earned an excellent rating in the 2016

Fishing Forecast produced by the Fisheries Division of the Kentucky

Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The forecast is a useful tool

for planning productive fishing trips (F&W Photo)

Each year, fisheries biologists and technicians sample fish populations with non-lethal techniques in lakes, rivers, creeks and reservoirs across Kentucky.

“They follow trends in fisheries as related to spawning success and growth rates and extrapolate degrees of fishing success,” Ross said.

The Fishing Forecast also has a cheat sheet where anglers may quickly search waterbodies across Kentucky for the presence of their favorite species before planning a trip. You may view and print the forecast online at www.fw.ky.gov.

Kentucky has seven fisheries districts. Here is one choice rated “excellent” for each fishery district to hit in 2016:

Western Fisheries District

Largemouth Bass – Lake Barkley:

Lake Barkley is often overshadowed by its neighbor, Kentucky Lake, for the quality of its largemouth bass fishing. Barkley, however, holds its own. In early spring, fish flats adjacent to channels with jigs or medium-running crawfish-colored crankbaits. As the water warms, fish wacky-rigged soft plastic stickbaits or topwater lures near bushes or other woody cover.

Northwestern Fisheries District

Hybrid Striped Bass – Rough River Lake:

Fish the headwater areas in the South and North Fork arms of the lake in spring with silver casting spoons, large in-line spinners in white or grey and 5-inch pearl curly tailed grubs for hybrids. In summer, anglers troll shad-colored crankbaits across main lake points. Look for jumping hybrids in the early morning in late summer and cast a topwater or casting spoon near the jump.

Southwestern Fisheries District

Catfish – Barren River Lake:

The lake holds good numbers of channel and flathead catfish. Blue catfish stockings begun in 2010 are now paying dividends with fish already more than 30 inches long. Mud or pea gravel flats near major creek channels hold channel catfish. They strike gobs of nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in spring and at night in summer.

Fish bluffs with small, live bluegill for flatheads and open water areas with live or cut bait suspended under jugs or noodles for blues. Blue cats also hit shad-colored crankbaits worked in the same open water areas.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

Central Fisheries District

Largemouth Bass – Guist Creek Lake:

This 317-acre lake in Shelby County holds an excellent population of largemouth bass with trophy potential. In spring, fish 3-inch tubes in the green pumpkin color in the upper reaches of the Guist Creek arm and Tick Creek. Fish the rocky banks near the dam in summer with 3/8-ounce football jigs in the soft-shell color or 7-inch black straight-tailed worms rigged on a 3/16-ounce Shakey head.

Southeastern Fisheries District

Crappie – Lake Cumberland:

The drawdown of the lake for repairs on Wolf Creek Dam allowed trees and other vegetation to repopulate the formerly submerged areas. With repairs complete, this now flooded vegetation benefits crappie. Lake Cumberland holds impressive numbers of 12- to 14-inch fish. In spring, fish live minnows near cover in the upper ends of major creek arms such as Fishing Creek as well as the headwaters of the lake near the mouths of Laurel and Rockcastle rivers.

Northeastern Fisheries District

Muskellunge – Cave Run Lake:

The lake continues to produce fat, healthy muskellunge year after year. In spring, look for mud flats in the back of the large coves and creek arms and swim large rattling, lipless crankbaits over them for muskellunge. They also hit 10-inch pearl or chartreuse curly-tailed grubs fished in the same areas. As the water warms, troll channel drops with a Believer-style crankbait.

Eastern Fisheries District

Bluegill – Fishtrap Lake:

The lake holds good numbers of huge bluegill 9 inches and longer. Fish shoreline cover with redworms suspended under bobbers in spring through summer. Fly rod anglers find good sport fishing sponge spiders over aquatic weeds and sunken tree tops in summer.

The current fishing license year expires on the last day of February annually. Remember to purchase your new fishing license if fishing any of these productive waters after Feb. 29.

 

Lee_McClellan

Author Lee McClellan is associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department, click here.

 

MissyI feel like a broken record...

the golf course is Closed due to snow and wet conditions.

We will be updating the course on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Let's hope the groundhog was right! We are ready for spring up here on the ridge!

We are in the process of getting the tee sheets ready for this season!  If you have not booked your golf outing with us please contact us so we can get you scheduled. 

Thanks!

See you at the course!

Missy Kennedy, PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager

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Eagle Ridge Golf Course

Yatesville Lake State Park

(606) 673-1492 business office