Daily Archives: March 21, 2013

Burn Advisory

        Farm Service Agency & Natural Resources Conservation Service
                                             Issue Burn Advisory

Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas have issued a joint burn advisory.

            Kansas landowners and operators enrolled in Conservation Reserve Program contracts with prescribed burns planned or scheduled to be completed should be aware that persistent drought conditions across Kansasare creating conditions unsuitable for completing burns.  Dry soil conditions, wind speeds, low relative humidity, continued drought, and current weather are all ongoing factors that are producing unsafe conditions for burns and will produce results outside the defined objectives for which the practice is planned.

            Areas designated as D1 or higher on the U.S. Drought monitor map or where similar conditions exist should not be completing a prescribed burning practice.  U.S. Drought Monitor can be located on the internet at:  http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.  Completing a burn under these conditions may increase the potential for unfavorable results such as severe wind erosion or place personal property or safety at risk. 

            Prescribed burning is an important component in most plant communities across Kansas.   Equally as important as the need for continued prescribed burning activities is the message of use only during safe and predictable climatic conditions.  

            Conservation Reserve Program participants should contact their local USDA Service Center and visit with employees at the FSA or the NRCS office to discuss modifying the time frame for completing the planned prescribed burn practice. Also, Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Participants should contact their local NRCS office to discuss planned prescribed burns.

Trout Stocking Program Provides Variety for Anglers

Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of special trout program

In an effort to provide unique winter fishing opportunities, The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) provides trout fishing opportunities by stocking Kansas waters with thousands of harvestable-sized trout each year. From Nov. 1-April 15, anglers can catch this non-native species at 36 locations throughout the state.

Funded by state trout permit and federal aid dollars, the KDWPT trout program stocks as many as 180,000 rainbow trout and more than 3,500 brown trout annually.

Type 1 trout waters require a trout permit ($12.50) whether anglers are fishing for trout or not, while Type 2 waters require a trout permit for anglers fishing for trout. In addition to a trout permit (where required), residents 16-74, and non-residents 16 and older, must possess a valid fishing license.

The daily creel limit is five trout and the possession limit is 15. Youth 15 and under may keep up to two trout per day without a trout permit, or up to five trout per day with a permit. After April 15, anglers can trout fish without a permit anywhere in the state, excluding Mined Land Wildlife Area Unit #30 (Cherokee County) which requires a permit year-round. Season daily creel and possession limits will still apply after the season is closed.

Consult the 2013 Fishing Regulations Summary for a list of Type 1 and Type 2 trout waters.

Local governments may have their own trout stocking programs and may require a separate permit. Anglers are encouraged to contact their local city and county recreation departments for details.

For more information on the KDWPT trout program, including stocking locations and schedules, visitwww.ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing/Special Fishing Programs for You/Trout Fishing Program.”

Anglers, Walleye Benefit from Artificial Spawning

Artificial spawning practices produce abundant fish populations

Spring marks the beginning of spawning season for several fish species, but it also marks the start of artificial spawning for walleye. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) biologists and culturists will work tirelessly this season artificially producing walleye to stock state reservoirs and lakes.

This highly-prized sport fish naturally spawns during March and April when temperatures reach around 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Female walleye will typically lay their eggs in a rocky area during the night, secreting upwards of 300,000 eggs. Although females produce eggs in abundant numbers, less than 5 percent of their young will successfully hatch in the wild due to various environmental factors.

When conditions are right, fisheries biologists will work long hours at select Kansas lakes to capture spawning walleye. Eggs are taken from ripe females, fertilized, then delivered to the Pratt and Milford fish hatcheries where employees work around the clock to ensure the success of the walleye young.

A non-native species to Kansas, walleye were first introduced to Kansas waters in the 1960’s through the KDWPT walleye culture program. In addition to walleye, KDWPT also artificially produces bluegillchannel catfish, crappie,largemouth bassredear sunfishsaugersaugeyesmallmouth bassstriped bass, and wipers.

KDWPT also operates hatcheries located at Farlington and Meade, as well as a rearing pond at Woodson StateFishing Lake. These hatcheries produce approximately 39.5 million fry, 3.5 million fingerlings, and 385,000 intermediate fish each year.

For more information on KDWPT hatcheries, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing/Hatcheries.”

Spring Turkey Hunting Atlas More than Maps

2013 Spring Turkey Hunting Atlas features information valuable to all hunters

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) 2013 Spring Turkey Hunting Atlas is now available. In addition to maps, the 66-page atlas will also feature area contact information, sunrise-sunset tables, cabin locations, and information on Walk-In Hunting Access (WIHA) areas, making it a must-have for all hunters.

“Nearly 200,000 acres are currently enrolled in the spring WIHA program, so public hunting opportunities abound in Kansas this spring,” said KDWPT private lands coordinator Jake George. “In addition, the spring hunting atlas will look considerably different to those who recall the format used in previous years.”

The new layout will also be used in the Spring 2013 Fishing Atlas and Fall 2013 Hunting Atlas. The long-overdue changes include the addition of a shaded relief backdrop, county road names (where available), stream names and much more.

“It is our hope that the new atlas will make it easier for hunters to get out, locate, and utilize these WIHA tracts,” said George.

Hunters can download an electronic version of the atlas from the KDWPT website, and file downloads that can be loaded onto Garmin GPS units. There are also file downloads for Android and iOS devices that can be used with Google Earth.

The 2013 spring turkey season will begin with the archery and youth/disabled season April 1-9, followed by the regular firearm season April 10-May 31.

2013 Spring turkey permit for Units 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 are available online or at any license vendor through May 30.

Hunters who drew a Unit 4 (southwest Kansas) spring turkey permit earlier this year may also use their Unit 4 permit in adjacent Units 1, 2 and 5.