The Status of Legalized Gigging and Snagging in Kentucky

In 1950 Kentucky held its first legalized open season for the gigging and snagging of rough fishes. The legalization of this type of fishing was the result of an experimental study made in the spring of 1949 on Stoner Creek, Bourbon County, Kentucky. This study showed that rough fish made up 95.9 percent of the total harvest in pounds. During the open seasons of 1951, 1952, and 1953 a general statewide creel census has been taken. This census has substantiated the experimental study. A total of 9,278 fishermen were contacted. These fishermen took a total of 29,203.6 pounds of fish, the average weight of which was 1.09 pounds. Of this total poundage the average percent of total weight of the rough fish for the three years of census was 98.9. At no time did the game and pan fishes combined have a total weight of more than 4.1 percent of the total harvest. It has been found necessary to close some streams in the State to gigging and snagging. These streams have very high game fish populations. The small harvest of rough fish in these areas will not compensate for the intentional and unintentional killing of game fishes.

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