Department of Fish and Wildlife
Department acquires nearly 1,000 acres for public use in Henry County
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky River
Wildlife Management Area just grew by more than a third in size.
On June 2, the
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources completed its 18-month-long
effort to acquire the 926-acre property of Stephen Boone in Henry County. It is
located along KY 389 about three miles north of Gratz.
“What a tremendous
property and outstanding opportunity for hunters and anglers alike,” said
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Gregory Johnson. “With more than a
half-mile of Kentucky River frontage, 686 acres of woodlands and about 130
acres of lakes and ponds, this is not only an impressive addition to the
Kentucky River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), it is precisely the kind of
place where memories are made.”
A stunning feature
is the area’s 110-acre oxbow lake, home to an active bald eagle’s nest. The
property also features a 15-acre man-made lake and 2-acre pond for additional
At its quarterly
meeting on June 6, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously voted
to name the oxbow as Lake Benjy Kinman. This is in recognition of the
well-known fisheries biologist and former Fisheries Division director who
retired as the department’s deputy commissioner in February, after 38 years of
originally authorized the project at its December 2012 meeting, prior to
The addition of
the new tract brings Kentucky River WMA to 3,555 acres. The department used
Federal Wildlife Restoration funds to make the $3,185,440 purchase. It used the
value in two department-owned tracts as a 30 percent match toward the federal
funds. No Fish and Game Fund money was used.
“We will proceed immediately with getting the
area ready for use by hunters and anglers,” said Wildlife Division Assistant
Director Chris Garland. “We need to mark boundaries, prepare parking areas and
install signage and gates. Our plan is to open the area to small game, fall
turkey and deer archery seasons … probably in time for August squirrel season.”
The Fisheries Division
is actively sampling the lakes as well. Boat use on the oxbow will be limited
to idle-speed only. But access to the smaller water bodies is walk-up only.
They will be limited to canoes, kayaks and other small boats powered by no more
than trolling motors.
will formally open and dedicate the area in mid-August.