Monthly Archives: July 2012

Quality Deer Management School

There will be a Quality Deer Management School August 25, 2012
 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Pratt Fairgrounds, Pratt, KS.
This is a free event with lunch provided.
Topics To Be Covered
Antlerless Deer Management & Buck Management – Lloyd Fox, KDWP
Food Plot Management – Steve Adams, KDWP
Managing Habitat and Early Succession, Kent Hensley
Survey Techniques for Population and Sex Ratio – Charles Lee, KSRE
Antler Growth, Aging Deer, Culling and Age Structure – Tim Donges, QDMA

For more
information and to
register, call the
Kingman County
Extension Office at
(620) 532-5131 or

Event sponsored by American Ag Credit, Hayden Outdoors, Heartland Outdoors

Zebra Mussels Confirmed in Coffey County Lake

Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Wolf Creek Generating Station announced Friday that zebra mussels have been found in Coffey County Lake. Officials knew it was a matter of time before zebra mussels appeared in the lake near Burlington because the aquatic nuisance species (ANS) had been detected in Marion Reservoir three years ago. The Cottonwood River flows from Marion Reservoir into the Neosho River, which then fills John Redmond Reservoir. Coffey County Lake, which is the cooling lake for Kansas‘ only nuclear power plant, gets its water from John Redmond. The larval stage of zebra mussels, called veligers, are microscopic and free-floating in water. Transmission downstream from an established population is the only method of spreading zebra mussels that is inevitable.

Wolf Creek officials were prepared for this event and have implemented procedures and equipment to ensure that zebra mussels won’t interfere with the generating station’s operations.

Zebra mussels are small, bi-valve mollusks with striped shells. They are native to the Black and Caspian seas of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and have been spread across the world via shipping. They were discovered in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River in 1988. Zebra mussels quickly spread through out the Great Lakes and to many inland rivers including the MississippiIllinoisOhioTennesseeArkansas andHudson. They first appeared in Kansas in 2003 when they were discovered in El Dorado Reservoir. Public education programs were designed to inform boaters about the dangers of zebra mussels in our waters and ways to prevent spreading them. However, zebra mussels have been confirmed in more the a dozen Kansaslakes in the past nine years. Moving water in boats and bait buckets was identified as a likely vector and recently, KDWPT established stringent regulations regarding the use of wild-caught bait, as well as prohibiting the movement of live fish from lakes where zebra mussels have been found.

Although related, zebra mussels differ from our native mussels in several important categories. Perhaps the most important is their ability to produce very large populations in a short time. Unlike native mussels, zebra mussels do not require a host fish to reproduce. A large female zebra mussel is capable of producing 1 million eggs during the reproductive season. Once fertilized, eggs develop into microscopic veligers. These veligers cannot be seen by the naked eye and can be contained by the thousands in very small quantities of water. Veligers passively float within the water for up to two weeks before they settle out as young mussels. These young mussels quickly grow to adult size and reproduce during their first summer of life, thus adding to the problem of extremely dense populations.

After settling, zebra mussels develop byssal threads that allow the shells to attach to hard surfaces such as rocks, piers, and flooded timber. They also attach themselves to pipes, water intake structures, boat hulls, propellers, and lower units of out board motors. As populations continue to increase in these areas, they can clog intake pipes and prevent water treatment plants and electrical generating plants from drawing water. In 2012, two Kansas communities, Council Grove and Osage City, experienced water shortages because of zebra mussel infestations before water intake structures could be cleaned up. Removing large quantities of zebra mussels to ensure adequate water supplies can be labor-intensive and costly.

Zebra mussels are just one of the non-native aquatic species that threaten our waters and native wildlife. Boaters and anglers are reminded to follow basic precautions to stop the spread:

• Clean, drain and dry boats and equipment between uses

• Wild-caught bait may only be used in the lake or pool where it was caught

• Live fish may not be moved from waters infested with zebra mussels or other aquatic nuisance species

• Livewells and bilges must be drained and drain plugs removed from all vessels prior to transport from any Kansas water on a public highway


A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) news release dated July 19, 2012, and entitled “Wildlife and Parks Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online” contains two errors. The first regards class listings for Region 5 (southeast Kansas). Seven Internet-assisted course are listed for that region, but none are offered. Region 5 currently offers seven traditional courses, as follow:

  • Aug. 7-11 — Fort Scott
  • Aug. 13-25 — Parsons
  • Aug. 24-25 — Iola
  • Sept. 11-15 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 9-13 — Fort Scott
  • Oct. 14-21 —Garnett
  • Oct. 15-27 — Parsons

In addition, the date for an Internet-assisted course scheduled for Randolph, in Region 2 (northeast Kansas), should read “Oct. 13.”

Lake Erie Water Samples Test Positive for Asian Carp eDNA

Federal and state wildlife officials working in conjunction with academic researchers today announced six water samples taken from Sandusky and north Maumee bays tested positive for the presence of Asian carp environmental DNA in Michigan and Ohio waters.

The positive samples were among 417 taken from Lake Erie in August 2011, and more than 2,000 samples taken from the Great Lakes Basin since 2010. The Lake Eriebatch was recently analyzed and test results were confirmed by eDNA researchers this week. The six positive samples represent less than 1.5 percent of the Lake Erie samples.

Four samples from Sandusky Bay, in Ohio waters, tested positive for bighead carp eDNA, while two samples from north Maumee Bay, in Michigan waters, were positive for silver carp eDNA.

In response to these findings, electro-shocking and netting began Friday inSandusky Bay with no evidence of Asian carp found. However, additional testing and monitoring are planned by the Ohio and Michigan Departments of Natural Resources in conjunction with partner agencies.

The findings indicate the presence of genetic material left behind by the species, such as scales, excrement or mucous, but not the establishment of Asian carp in Lake Erie. Positive eDNA tests are regarded by the scientific community as an indicator of the species’ recent presence, however, positive results can occur whether the organism was alive or dead.

While the eDNA findings suggest the possible presence of the invasive species, officials have no physical evidence the fish have migrated to the Great Lakes. Prior to 2003, three individual bighead carp were collected in Lake Erie. No additional observations have been reported during the past decade.

“The results from these water samples are certainly concerning, as this marks the first time Asian carp eDNA has been detected in water samples from Lake Erie, or any of the Michigan waters intensively surveyed for the presence of invasive carp,” said Michigan DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Protecting the Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp is critical to the health of our sport and commercial fisheries and to the quality of life in Michigan. We are actively engaged in Asian carp surveillance programs throughout the Great Lakes, including Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, and the Department stands ready to take the necessary and appropriate actions to investigate and respond to these test results.”

In response to the positive test results, officials from the Michigan and Ohio DNRs, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and White House Council on Environmental Quality are developing a plan of action in collaboration with the eDNA research team to obtain follow-up samples and test results as quickly as possible. Test results from future water samples will dictate the nature of further response methods.

“This lake is Ohio‘s greatest resource and our main objective is to keep it healthy,” said Rich Carter, Ohio DNR’s Executive Fish Management and Research Administrator. “The DNA findings have put Ohio fish and wildlife officers on high alert and marshaled our immediate action. In response to these findings, electro-shocking and netting in the identified areas of Sandusky Bay have already been completed and no Asian carp were found. Testing and monitoring will continue and we will work with Michigan and our other management partners to develop a coordinated approach to defining the status of Asian carp in Lake Erie.”

Since 2010, the Michigan DNR, Ohio DNR, USFWS, University of Notre Dame,Central Michigan University and the Nature Conservancy have partnered to collect water samples from Great Lakes basin waters, including the Chicago Area Waterway System, southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie and tributary streams of lakes Michigan andErie. The collaborative early-detection Asian carp surveillance program is funded by the USFWS with a federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, administered under the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.

Asian carp, including bighead and silver carp, pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. Anglers are urged to become familiar with the identification of Asian carp, including both adults and juveniles, as the spread of juvenile Asian carp through the use of live bait buckets has been identified as a potential point of entry into Great Lakes waters.

A video demonstrating how to identify bighead and silver carp can be viewed on the USFWS YouTube channel at Identification guides, frequently asked questions, management plans and an online reporting form are available online at and, or call 800-WILDLIFE.

The Michigan and Ohio Departments of Natural Resources are committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the region’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Radio Series

Are you aware that the Lesser Prairie-chicken will be proposed for listing as a threatened and endangered species this September? Do you work, live, or own land in prime prairie-chicken-habitat in western Kansas? How would a threatened and endangered listing affect your operation and land use choices?

These and many more questions will be answered during the course of an upcoming radio series on the Lesser Prairie-chicken. The 8-part series will be hosted by Eric Atkinson and broadcast on the Agriculture Today program. The series will begin July 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM with an overview of the Lesser Prairie-chicken situation by Charlie Lee, Extension wildlife specialist. Subsequent interviews will be broadcasted during the same time slot on Tuesdays throughout July and August. Interviewees will be from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, Natural Resources Conservation Service,Farm Service AgencyKansas Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Broadcasts will be streamed live and then archived on the Agriculture Today website.


The following document requires Adobe Reader.

NRCS Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative

Kansas Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online

Wildlife and Parks Posts Hunter Education Class Schedule Online

Class required of all hunters born on or after July 1, 1957; youngsters may hunt under adult supervision without course until age 16

Late summer is the time when hunters’ thoughts turn to fall seasons, which begin with dove season Sept. 1. For first-time hunters, preparation usually means taking a hunter education course.

In most cases, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must successfully complete an approved course in hunter education before hunting in Kansas. Those hunting on their own land are exempt. Anyone 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education, called an “apprentice hunting license.” This license is valid only through the calendar year in which it is purchased, and the holder must hunt under direct supervision of a licensed adult 18 or older. Hunter education must be completed before the individual can purchase a hunting license in subsequent years. Anyone younger than 16 may hunt without a hunter education certification if they are under direct supervision of an adult 18 or older. Hunters 12 years of age and older may hunt without adult supervision provided they possess a valid hunter education certificate and the appropriate licenses and/or permits. No one younger than age 11 can be certified.

Kansas hunter education volunteer instructors have scheduled a number of hunter education courses in all regions of the state, and more will be scheduled in the future. Most courses require pre-registration. Usually, multiple-day courses are traditional classroom courses, and single-day courses are internet-assisted courses. The internet-assisted class requires students to complete several hours of internet course work before attending a field day. Students must pre-register for a field day before completing the internet course.

A calendar of scheduled courses, including contact information for pre-registration, is regularly updated on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website, For updated course listings, click “Hunting/Hunter Education/Class Schedule.”

The following is a list of currently-scheduled courses. Check the website regularly to find a class that fits your schedule and to confirm dates, which are subject to change.

Region 1, northwest Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

July 25 — Phillipsburg

Aug. 11 —Stockton

Aug. 17-18 — Colby

Aug. 18 — Osborne

Aug. 25 — Hill City

Traditional Courses

July 23-28 — Salina

Aug. 13-18 — Salina

Oct. 8-13 — Salina

Nov. 12-17 — Salina

Region 2, northeast Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 6 — Fort Riley

Aug. 11 — Shawnee

Sept. 8 — Shawnee

Oct. 27 — Clay Center

Nov. 13 — Randolph

Traditional Courses

July 27-28 — Junction City

Aug. 2-4 — Olathe

Aug. 11-12 — Abilene

Aug. 13-16 — Hiawatha

Aug. 15-19 — Topeka

Aug. 16-18 — Basehor

Aug. 21-25 — Gardner

Aug. 21-28 — Manhattan

Aug. 24-25 — Atchison

Sept. 4-8 — Gardner

Sept. 6-8 — Olathe

Sept. 20-22 — Basehor

Sept. 25-Oct. 2 — Manhattan

Oct. 13-14 — Abilene

Oct. 18-20 — Basehor

Oct. 23-30 — Manhattan

Nov. 23-24 — Atchison

Region 3, southwest Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 18 — Syracuse

Aug. 25 — Great Bend

Traditional Courses

Aug. 3-4 — Holcomb

Oct. 19-20 — Holcomb

Region 4, southcentral Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

July 24-25 — Wichita

Aug. 14-15 — Wichita

Aug. 18 — Arlington

Aug. 28-29 — Wichita

Sept. 8 — Inman

Oct. 13 — Arlington

Oct. 13 — El Dorado

Traditional Courses

Aug. 3-4 —Hutchinson

Aug. 10-11 — El Dorado

Aug. 17-19 — Eureka

Sept. 14-15 — El Dorado

Region 5, southeast Kansas

Internet-Assisted Course Field Days

Aug. 2-7 — Parsons;

Aug. 7 — Columbus;

Aug. 10-14 — Fort Scott;

Aug. 28-29 — Iola;

Sept. 7-11 — Fort Scott;

Oct. 4-16 — Parsons; and

Oct. 12-16 — Fort Scott.

Traditional Courses

Aug. 7-11 — Fort Scott

Aug. 13-25 — Parsons

Aug. 24-25 — Iola

Sept. 11-15 — Fort Scott

Oct. 9-13 — Fort Scott

Oct. 14-21 —Garnett

Oct. 15-27 — Parsons

The majority of classes are held from August through October, the period of peak demand. A number of classes are also offered in early spring prior to the turkey season. Few classes are offered from November through February.

Drought Emergency Relief Requested

State Emergency Board (“SEB”) Chairman Adrian J. Polansky announced he is recommending that Governor Sam Brownback request USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack declare 37 additional Kansas counties as disaster areas. The added counties are Atchison, Brown, Chase, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Marion, Miami, Mitchell, Morris, Nemaha, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Shawnee, Smith, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte. The SEB reviewed and verified loss assessment reports that document at least a 30% loss of production of one or more crops in these counties. The losses are due to drought, extreme heat, high winds and wildfire plaguing a large part of Kansas again this year.

The loss assessment reports are compiled by each County Emergency Board (“CEB”) and are the first step in the declaration process for counties that are not included in the Drought Monitor Index as D2 (severe drought) for at least 8 weeks during the growing season or reaching a D3 (extreme drought) level at any time during the growing season. The CEB’s are chaired by the County Executive Director of FSA and include local KSU extension, NRCS, Rural Development and Emergency management personnel.

If Governor Brownback recommends—and USDA Secretary Vilsack makes—the disaster designation for these 37 counties, qualifying producers in the counties would be eligible for USDA-FSA emergency loans.

            Polansky stated “Unfortunately for Kansas producers, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (“SURE”) does not cover 2012 crops and is not extended by the farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate and the House Agriculture Committee”.

            Livestock disaster programs are included in the Farm Bill language at this point–one of the reasons Congress needs to move the process forward sooner rather than later.

Nebraska Bighorn Herd Grows

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with the help from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, recently bolstered its bighorn restoration project begun in 1981 by reintroducing 40 more animals, captured in February in Alberta, Canada, into the pine Ridge region. Officials hope they will strengthen the genetics of the existing herd. Historically, bighorn sheep were found throughout Nebraska but were extirpated there in the early 20th century.

Kansas Court Supports Black-footed Ferrets

Audubon of Kansas sent this important E-Newsletter today.

Kansas Court of Appeals Supports Position of Landowners Hosting Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets

Audubon of Kansas is applauding the decision of a Kansas Court of Appeals panel that affirmed an earlier decision by Senior Judge Jack Lively, which permanently enjoined the Board of County Commissioners of Logan County from eradicating prairie dogs on approximately 10,000 acres of ranchland owned by Larry and Bette Haverfield, Gordon Barnhardt and Maxine Blank.


Prairie dog colonies are scattered over several thousand acres of rangeland on these jointly managed ranches, making it the largest and possibly the most ecologically important Black-tailed Prairie Dog complex in the state of Kansas.  It serves as a principle focus for the reintroduction of federally endangered Black-footed Ferrets in Kansas.  This small predator relies almost exclusively on prairie dogs for prey and lives in the burrows they create. 


After being regarded as extinct in the state for fifty years, fourteen captive-raised ferrets were released on the Haverfield/Barnhardt complex in December 2007.  Several additional releases followed, and the ferrets have been reproducing in the wild on the property and another nearby reintroduction site.


In addition, prairie dog colonies provide prey and habitat for several other imperiled species, including Ferruginous Hawks, Golden Eagles, 
Burrowing Owls and Swift Foxes.


As argued by attorney Randall Rathbun on behalf of the landowners–who wanted to retain prairie dogs, the ferrets and other wildlife on their land-the Endangered Species Act (ESA) preempts the county from unilateral eradication of prairie dogs within the complex.  Eradication as “authorized” under K.S.A. 80-1202 would destroy the food supply and habitat of the Black-footed Ferret, constituting an unlawful taking under the ESA.


In summary, the Court of Appeals declared that the ESA preempts K.S.A. 80-1202 because eradication may constitute an unlawful taking within the meaning of the act. The district court was correct that it did not have jurisdiction to determine the issues the County has presented that clearly fall under federal jurisdiction.  “The County’s contention lacks legal merit because it is an attempt to do an end run around the ESA and the protection afforded the black-footed ferret.”


The Logan County Commission began a campaign to force landowners throughout the county to eradicate prairie dogs in the summer of 2005.  During the past seven years the commission has hired and sent extermination contractors and a county employee to the Haverfield ranch complex with mandates that the land be poisoned with toxicants including Rozol Prairie Dog Bait and Phostoxin, a dangerous gas that kill everything in treated burrows.  The Logan County Commission and the Kansas Farm Bureau have spearheaded litigation to force landowners to comply with eradication orders. The landowners have defended their interests in various court proceedings.


The recent Kansas Court of Appeals decision is likely to bring the string of litigation on this ranch complex to a close.  However, the property rights of other landowners who seek to provide refuge for the diverse species that depend on prairie dog colonies for existence may encounter similar assaults on their stewardship efforts.


Audubon of Kansas and other wildlife conservation organizations have argued in the Kansas Legislature that the eradication statutes (K.S.A. 80-1202) used by counties to force landowners to poison prairie dogs, enacted more than a century ago, is antiquated and should be repealed.  When eradication mandates are imposed, they drastically infringe on private property rights and they promote extinction of wildlife when conservation and stewardship should be the state’s role.


A detailed article on the controversy and issues relating to the efforts of these landowners to protect prairie dog colonies and host the reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets was published in Audubon of Kansas’ PRAIRIE WINGS magazine.  Entitled “CONSERVATION of Prairie Dogs and Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets REQUIRES COURAGE”, the article can be viewed online at, pages 14-18.


Larry and Bette Haverfield, Gordon and Martha Barnhardt, and Maxine Blank are regarded by many wildlife enthusiasts throughout the country as wildlife conservation heroes.

Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Funds

Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Initiative Funds Available for 4 Northeast Kansas Counties

Salina, Kansas, July 12, 2012—Eric B. Banks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Kansas, announced that applications are being accepted to support cover crops planted on lands damaged by the 2011 flooding along the Missouri River to assist producers in controlling erosion and building organic matter. Eligible areas are land affected by the Missouri River flooding in Atchison, Doniphan, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties. Producers may apply for the funds through July 27, 2012, and funds must be obligated by August 10, 2012.

Kansas received $125,000 for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Missouri River Corridor Cover Crop Initiative for cover crops and associated practices to address the damaged areas.

The EQIP helps address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers who have natural resource concerns that need to be addressed on their land. Qualifying Kansas producers compete separately and receive higher payment rates.

For more information visit the Kansas NRCS Web site or your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center. To find a service center near you, check in your telephone book under “United States Government” or on the Internet at Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.