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Sollato Sampler event includes special bull elk permit raffleto have elk hunt; 

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation teams with Kentucky Proud for Salato Sampler May 31...

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sample the best of Kentucky’s food and drink at the Salato Sampler in Frankfort from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 31.

Guests will have the chance to eat some of Kentucky’s best locally produced food, taste the world’s finest bourbons and discover the best of Kentucky’s beer and wines. The event will feature live bluegrass music.The event is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Kentucky Proud. Proceeds benefit the Salato Wildlife Education Center and youth conservation efforts by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.           

In addition to exceptional food and drink, the bands County Line Bluegrass and The Moonlight Peddlers will provide entertainment throughout the event.  Outdoor exhibits will be open for evening viewing while the Salato staff and volunteers will offer free tours of the facilities. A silent auction will help raise additional funds for the center.

Foundation members will also conduct a live drawing for a 2014 Special Commission Permit for elk, which can be used for a bull elk.

This special permit will allow the holder to hunt anywhere within the state’s elk restoration zone, with permission from the landowner. The permit also provides the hunter with two weeks instead of one week to gun hunt for a bull elk.

Chances are being sold online until May 29 at Click onto the “donations page” link. Those attending the sampler may purchase raffle tickets for the permit throughout the evening.

Proceeds from the elk permit drawing will benefit conservation efforts for Kentucky’s youth.

Tickets for the Salato Sampler may be purchased for $60 a person in advance by calling (502) 564-7109, ext. 4492, in person at the Salato Center or online at  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $70 a person.

The Salato Center is located at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters at 1 Sportsman’s Lane (formerly 1 Game Farm Road) in Frankfort. The entrance is located off U.S. 60, approximately 1 and a half miles west of Frankfort.

Know How to Call For Help When Boating

Do I use my marine radio or wireless phone when calling for emergency help? 

Wireless phones may be used to call 911 during a boating emergency. A wireless telephone is an excellent backup communications device. However, a wireless telephone is not a substitute for a VHF-FM marine radio. A marine radio has several distinct advantages over a wireless phone. With the relative low cost and compact size of a marine radio, any boater on any size craft (including canoes and kayaks) should carry a radio.

A marine radio:

    Is waterproof
    Provides immediate notification of distress to any vessel listening on that channel which means quicker assistance.
    Allows for rescue units to hone in on transmission.

To ensure your safety and the safety of others:

    Make sure radio is on and turned to VHF Channel 16.
    Press microphone button and clearly say: "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, THIS IS..." (Give the following information: vessel name and/or description type, color, and length).
    Position and/or location.
    Nature of emergency.
    Number of people on board.
    Release microphone button briefly.
    Wait for 10 seconds. If no answer, repeat the MAYDAY call.
    Follow directions and provide information requested by the rescue agency. If situation permits, stand by the radio for further communication with the Coast Guard or another vessel.

May 2, 2014

Commission names Gregory Johnson to head Kentucky Fish and Wildlife...


FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission has unanimously selected retired Natural Resources Conservation Service executive Gregory Johnson of Lexington to lead the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as its next Commissioner.           

The Commission took the action at a special called meeting Friday, May 2, at Fish and Wildlife Headquarters in Frankfort.

Johnson, 58, will begin work May 16. A lifetime hunter, angler and outdoorsman, he will become only the eighth commissioner in the department’s 70-year history.           

A 1979 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in wildlife management and minors in fisheries biology and chemistry, Johnson retired in 2011 after more than 30 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  NRCS assists farmers and other land owners, including governments and other federal agencies, in maintaining healthy and productive working landscapes.           

“We are extremely pleased to offer Greg this opportunity and that he has accepted,” said Commission Chairman Stuart Ray. “The Commission conducted an exhaustive and thorough six-month-long nationwide search to find the right person to head one of this country’s premier fish and wildlife agencies.  And that is precisely what we accomplished.

“Greg comes to us with a unique combination of a solid resource professional background, years of successful executive leadership experience, and is a lifetime hunter, angler and outdoorsman,” Ray said.           

Johnson grew up farming in the northern Illinois community of Wasco. He graduated St. Charles High School and became a fishing guide in northern Wisconsin helping clients pursue northern pike and walleye.  

A client from Eastern Kentucky University suggested Johnson come to Kentucky to pursue his education.           

He began his career with the U.S. Forest Service research station in Berea working with Kentucky and Appalachia coal companies researching effective and efficient methods of reclaiming strip mines.

He soon moved to the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service, the predecessor to today’s NRCS, as district conservationist for Wayne, McCreary and Russell counties. In 1990, he assumed area conservationist duties for 28 counties and administrative responsibilities for 27 field offices. He supervised a diverse staff of program and technical experts, and 17 district conservationists.

Subsequently, he would serve as the NRCS State Resource Specialist for Kentucky and then another eight years in the same capacity for the eight-state Midwest region.

His selection to USDA’s Senior Executive Development Program took him to Washington D.C. in 2004. There he served in multiple USDA-NRCS Conservation, Technical, and Financial senior executive level director positionsuntil he retired in 2011.

As director of the Financial Assistance Program Division, he was responsible for an annual appropriation in excess of $1 billion, helping farmers and ranchers across the country plan and implement conservation practices.

“Kentucky’s hunting and fishing heritage is among the richest anywhere,” said Johnson, “I am excited to become a part of that. This agency’s wildlife and fisheries successes are well recognized among professionals everywhere, and I am looking forward to continuing and building upon those traditions.“

This is not just work or a job for me,” he said. “Fish and wildlife conservation is what I have been committed to my whole life. It is what I do. It is who I am.”

Johnson lives in Lexington with his wife, Melynda. His daughter, Kendra, is a Tates Creek Middle School teacher and girls basketball coach. His son, Ryan, is completing the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy to become a University of Kentucky police officer.

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