Photo by David R. Lutman/ Special to The Courier-Journal
Story by Patrick Sullivan, The Courier-Journal
Bob Coffman and his dog Rubin can be found fishing on Floyds Fork several times a week.
Coffman lives near the creek and said the waterway is great for anglers because they can catch everything from crappie to drum fish.
“This is one of Jefferson County’s best-kept secrets,” Coffman said from his fishing boat during a recent outing.
With Floyds Fork being stocked with 1,200 trout earlier this month, the county’s best-kept secret might not be a secret much longer.
The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a 4,000-acre public parks system under development along the Floyds Fork watershed in eastern and southeastern Louisville, worked with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to stock the creek and expects more people to come out and fish.
“We’ve received a lot of phone calls and emails from anglers about the trout,” Parklands spokeswoman Ellen Doolittle said.
Floyds Fork is being managed as a put-grow-take seasonal trout fishery because summer water temperatures will almost certainly be too high for trout to survive year-round, said Dane Balsman, who oversees the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing in Neighborhoods program. Trout become stressed when water temperatures climb into the 70s. Through that program, the Parklands was also able to stock one of its ponds with 1,500 trout.
The department stocked Floyds Fork with trout in March, and several anglers turned out to try and catch them, Balsman said.
Otter Creek, located in western Jefferson County, also has trout, Balsman said. With Floyds Fork now stocked with trout, people have more options to catch the fish in the county.
“With Otter Creek open on the west side, we wanted something on east side,” Balsman said. “We’ll have the anglers of Louisville pretty well covered.”
The statewide daily limit for rainbow trout is eight, with no minimum size restriction.
Trout can be caught with artificial and live bait and can be an easy catch for the casual angler or a challenge for fly fishermen, Coffman said.
“They’re easy to catch,” Coffman said. “But it’s easy to say that when you’re actually catching them.”
Balsman is unsure how quickly the trout will be caught, but said Floyds Fork and the pond in Miles Park will be highly used. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a survey early next year to determine how quickly the trout were caught, Balsman said.
A number of anglers have used a trail in Miles Park that meanders along Floyds Fork, although it hasn’t officially opened, Doolittle said. The trail will open as part of the Louisville Loop — a planned 100-mile multi-recreational non-motorized path that will encircle the city — on Nov. 10 and is already accessible to the public.
The trail marks the first two miles of the Louisville Loop, Doolittle said. The Parklands’ parent company, 21st Century Parks, will build about 20 miles of the 100-mile loop. The first stretch of the loop connects William F. Miles Lakes to the Egg Lawn and Creekside Center in nearby Beckley Creek Park.
The Nov. 10 event will feature a ribbon-cutting, hikes on the new trail, paddling demonstrations on Floyds Fork, fishing in William F. Miles Lakes and a fly fishing demonstration by the Derby City Fly Fishers.
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