The 2,600-acre power plant cooling lake was ranked the No. 10 lake in the Central Region thanks to the high quality and quantity of largemouth and smallmouth bass produced by the heated waters, which also contain remnants of the Florida strain of largemouth bass that were stocked in the early 1980s. Florida largemouth grow larger than their northern counterparts but are sensitive to colder temperatures. The bass were stocked in the hopes that the waters, which stay mostly open year-round because of the heat from the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant, would survive in the waters.
Biologists from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism measured the bass population during the spring and found La Cygne had the best bass population in the state, with a Density Rating of 89.09 bass longer than 12 inches per hour of electroshocking. Of those, 66 were longer than 15 inches and 17 were longer than 20 inches, according to a release from the KDWPT.
“While some smaller state and community lakes produced fish over 20 inches during sampling efforts, none approached the numbers found at La Cygne,” the release said.