In accordance with National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3-11, Kansas anglers will fish for free on June 3 and 4. That means that anyone may fish in Kansas without a fishing license. Landowner permission is necessary to fish any private ponds or streams unless they are enrolled in the F.I.S.H. program.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) fisheries biologists manage 24 federal reservoirs, 200 community lakes and 40 state fishing lakes, and there are dozens of private ponds and streams enrolled in the F.I.S.H. program. Just go to www.ksoutdoors and click “Where To Fish” in the “Fishing” pull-down menu.
Kansas lakes and rivers are known for producing big crappie, abundant channel catfish, huge flathead catfish and giant blue catfish. However, thousands of farm ponds that dot the rural landscape are filled with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish. Federal reservoirs are known for producing great walleye, wiper, crappie and white bass fishing. To learn more about which lakes produce the kind and sizes of fish you prefer to catch, go to “Reports and Forecast.”
The 2017 Fishing Forecast compiles data collected by biologists throughout the year so anglers can find lakes that have, for example, good populations of keeper-sized channel catfish, or big white bass. The forecast provides ratings for each species of sport fish for ponds, lakes and reservoirs.
Biologists also provide updates on fishing and lake conditions on their “Weekly Fishing Reports.” Anglers can use the atlas, forecast and fishing reports to find the best fishing available in their area.
Other great angling tools available on www.ksoutdoors.com include the fisheries district newsletters. These quarterly newsletters are produced by fisheries biologists, who include sampling, stocking and habitat information for lakes in their district, as well as other information that will help anglers catch more fish. The newsletters can be read online, or anglers can sign up to receive them by email.
And the final tool that every angler should have is a copy of the 2017 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary, which can be downloaded online, picked up anywhere licenses are sold and at all KDWPT offices. The regulation pamphlet is packed with information, including length and creel limits, equipment restrictions, and season dates. It also includes a map showing lakes containing aquatic nuisance species (ANS), along with ANS regulations and prevention tips. Color illustrations of popular sport fish are included, as well as listing of state records. And anglers who catch a fish not big enough to qualify for a state record, there is the Master Angler Award program, which provides certificates to anglers who catch fish that meet or exceed established lengths. A Master Angler Award application is included.
Kansas waters provide a wide variety of quality angling opportunities, and you can discover them at www.ksoutdoors.com. You can also enjoy them for free this weekend.