Courtesy of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
PRATT — Many anglers in eastern Kansas look forward to March 15, when the Kansas paddlefish season opens, running through May 15 at specific locations. Once water temperatures near 60 degrees, paddlefish make the annual spawning run. Some snagging areas, such as the Neosho River in Chetopa, require a rise in the river level for paddlefish to be present, so significant rainfall is essential. Paddlefish may be taken inside Chetopa and Burlington city parks on the Neosho River, on the Neosho River at Iola downstream from the dam to the city limits, on the Marais des Cygnes River below Osawatomie Dam downstream to a posted boundary, and on the Marais des Cygnes River on the upstream boundary of Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area downstream to the Kansas-Missouri border.
Paddlefish may be snagged using pole and line with not more than two single or treble hooks. Barbless hooks must be used in Chetopa City Park. Catch and release is allowed in Burlington, Chetopa, and Iola except that once attached to a stringer, a fish becomes part of the daily creel limit. The daily creel limit for paddlefish is two, and the season limit is six. On the Missouri River (season: March 15-April 30), there is a 24-inch minimum length limit. There is a 34-inch minimum length limit on Marias des Cygnes River.
A paddlefish permit — $12.50 for those 16 and older, $7.50 for youth 15 and younger — includes six carcass tags. Immediately upon attaching a fish to a stringer, the angler must sign a carcass tag; record the county, date, and time of harvest; and attach the carcass tag to the lower jaw of the paddlefish taken. Anglers must stop snagging once the daily creel limit of two paddlefish is reached.
Paddlefish caught outside the paddlefish season or in non-snagging areas may be kept if they are hooked in the mouth only.
Nonsport fish (carp, drum, grass carp, threadfin and gizzard shad, goldfish, gar, suckers including carpsucker and buffalo, goldeye, and bowfin) may also be snagged in waters posted open to snagging during the paddlefish season. There are no limits on nonsport fish.
Kansas seniors could be required to purchase hunting/fishing licenses until they are 75 under new bill
TOPEKA – Earlier this year, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) asked the Kansas Legislature to consider eliminating the hunting and fishing license exemptions for persons 65 years of age and older. A bill to remove the exemptions was introduced into the Kansas Senate as SB 314, and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held hearings on the bill on February 17 and March 1. At the March 1 hearing, Senator Allen Schmidt distributed a proposed balloon amendment giving senior residents two options. Under one option, seniors could purchase an annual half-price hunting, fishing or combination hunting/fishing license (excluding vendor and convenience fee) up to the age of 75, with no license required for 75 years of age and older. Under the current pricing structure, that would make annual hunting and fishing licenses $9.00 each, and an annual combination hunting/fishing license $18.00 (a $2.50 vendor and convenience fee would be added to the cost of each license).
The other option would be for seniors to purchase a one-time, lifetime combination senior hunting/fishing pass for an amount not to exceed one-eighth of the fee for a regular lifetime combination hunting/fishing license. The cost for a senior pass would be set by the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission through a change in regulation. According to KDWPT Secretary Robin Jennison, the cost for a lifetime combination senior hunting/fishing pass would likely be set at $40.00 not including the vendor and convenience fee. He noted that if a person purchases the lifetime senior pass, the department would receive federal matching funds for 18 years for each pass purchased, helping the agency achieve a more stable and consistent revenue stream.
Senator Schmidt said of his amendment, “I believe this is an effective mechanism to address the concerns of our senior hunters and anglers and help KDWPT meet its needs for a broader funding base to support the fishing and wildlife programs that are so important to Kansas.”
Secretary Jennison thanked Senator Schmidt for his efforts. “We really appreciate Senator Schmidt’s work in bringing this amendment forward,” he said. “It is both fair to our seniors and is a great way to help the agency continue offering the programs and services outdoor enthusiasts have come to expect.”
License revenues and a federal match from the excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment fund the wildlife and fisheries programs. The demographics of hunters and anglers are changing due to baby boomer retirements and greater longevity. KDWPT currently loses an estimated $1.4 million on hunters and anglers between 65 and 74 years of age because of the exemption.
The Committee on Natural Resources is expected to act on the bill in the coming week.
Photo courtesy of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program now offers a spring workshop to complement the traditional fall workshop that has been offered each year since 1993. This year’s spring workshop will be held May 18, 19, and 20 at Rock Springs 4-H Center, near Junction City, the same location as the fall workshop. During the three-day workshop, volunteer instructors teach participants a variety of skills, including fishing, wingshooting, camping, orienteering, rifle marksmanship, botany, dog handling, archery, and other outdoor recreation in a friendly, supportive environment. Twenty-eight concurrent sessions will be offered, from hunting and fishing skills to camping, outdoor cooking, bird watching, orienteering, and wilderness survival. Mini-sessions will cover such topics as “Kansas critters,” outdoor first aid, campfire songs, and star gazing.
The $250 workshop fee includes seven meals, two nights lodging, instruction, supplies, and use of equipment. Based on financial need, three $100 scholarships are available for first-time participants. Email email@example.com for scholarship details.
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced that leftover nonresident deer permits will be sold online and over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 12:01 a.m. June 15. After the initial nonresident deer permit drawing in May, KDWP had 4,395 permits left over in 11 deer management units for the 2011 season. These permits will go on sale for those nonresidents who were unsuccessful in the initial drawing or did not apply. With these permits, the hunter designates unit and equipment/season choice, as well as one adjacent unit, at time of purchase. They will be sold to any nonresident who does not already have a 2011 permit at license vendors, online at the KDWP website (www.kdwp.state.ks.us under “License/Permits”), or by phoning 620-672-5911 and asking for Licensing.