The Parklands

Fish of the Fork

Kentucky is home to the fourth most diverse freshwater fish population in the United States, falling behind only Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia respectively. Our backyard stream at The Parklands, Floyds Fork, is home to 40 different fish species alone. Thanks to this diversity, a plethora of fishing options await each visitor to The Parklands. Floyds Fork offers a bountiful selection of sport fish and many smaller non-sport species. The biodiversity of the Fork includes, but is not limited to, the largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, channel catfishstonerollers, bluegill and a variety of sunfish. I personally caught a redear sunfish the other day, and I did it Huck Finn style with good old-fashioned cane pole. 

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Floyds Fork with non-native rainbow trout three times per year — in October, March, and April. These prized sport fish are stocked at Beckley Creek Park’s northern most paddling access and off the Thornton Bridge. Many fly fishermen can be seen wading through the cold creek water in search of the best fish habitat. You may even see The Parklands own Interpretive Ranger Whit perfecting his cast at the edge of a shoal. 

Whether you travel by foot, bike, or boatthe fork is open and accessible to anglers of all types. Every black bass species can be found in and around root wads or wood coverings. In deeper water near distillery bend, the angler will find Largemouth and Spotted Bass lurking in the undercut banks and around downed tree limbs. Further South past the confluence of Pope Lick and Floyds Fork, the water becomes even deeper with the added CFS. This area of the park boasts resident Channel Catfish as they skim the bottoms of the deeper holes and undercuts in search of their next meal.  

The Rainbow Darter (left) and the Channel Catfish (right) are one of the many fish found in Floyd’s Fork. 


The Top 10 Fish of the Fork:

1. Scarlett Shiner

2. Golden Redhorse

3. Channel Catfish 

4. Rock Bass

5. Bluegill

6. Longear Sunfish

7. Smallmouth Bass

8. Largemouth Bass

9. Greenside Darter

10. Rainbow Darter

If fishing The Fork seems like something you might be interested in doing, you can pick up a fishing license, a pole and some bait and head our way! More information on fishing Floyds Fork can be found on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website. If you are interested in seeing the Top 10 species of Floyds Fork fish in one place, consider becoming a member to get an awesome bandana picturing the fish of the fork!

About the author:

Warren Maddox is an Interpretive Ranger at The Parklands of Floyds Fork. A certified wilderness first responder and avid outdoorsmen, he spends much of his time recreating in the backcountry. A natural born Louisvillian, Warren has hiked thousands of miles up and down the east coast along the Appalachian Trail. He developed a love for sport climbing in the backwoods of Kentucky and the Arizona Sky Island wilderness. Warren leads Member hikes and bikes and is one of the educators here at the park. You can find him roaming singletrack trails throughout The Parklands.
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