Paintsville Lake WMA

WMA Overview

Size: 11220 acres
Location: Johnson & Morgan
Contact: (606) 226-9133; COE office (606) 297-6312.
Elevation: minimum 715 feet, maximum 1265 feet.
Entrance GPS coordinates: Latitude N 37.9003, Longitude W -82.9636
Area Habitat: open land 3.50%, forest 95.27%, wetland 0.03%, open water 1.16%.


Open under statewide regulations for all squirrel, rabbit, grouse, quail, turkey and furbearer seasons, except these seasons are closed during the deer quota hunt.

Other Exceptions

Bear: East Zone 2 (Johnson County portion); Zone 3 (Morgan County portion). See the Black Bear Hunting page on this website for more details.

Quota Hunt, either sex, two consecutive days starting the first Saturday in November. Open under statewide regulations for the archery season, except closed during the deer quota hunt. Open under statewide regulations for the crossbow, December muzzleloader and youth gun seasons.

Elk*: Only portions of the WMA located in Johnson County are open to elk hunting.

* Firearms are prohibited for deer and elk hunting on three areas near the dam: 1) the area extending eastward from the drainage of Glade Branch, along the north edge of the lake, to the No Hunting Area surrounding Rocky Knob Recreation Area and enclosing all property from the WMA boundary downslope to the lake edge, and 2) the islands visible from the state park boat ramp at the end of KY 2275, and 3) the area extending eastward along the southern edge of the lake from the drainage of Shoal Branch to the No hunting Area surrounding the dam and ranger station, and extending downslope to the edge of the lake.

Directions & Description

The WMA surrounds most of the shoreline of Paintsville Lake. Approximately 3 miles northwest of Paintsville on HWY 40, then take HWY 2275 to Marina and Dam. To access west side of WMA from West Liberty, take HWY 172 to HWY 3214.

Rolling hills, two-thirds in hardwood forest, some old fields and crop fields.

Opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, birding on lake. Trout are stocked in Paintsville Lake, refer to the fishing guide for regulations.

Managed by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Owned by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.