Monthly Archives: May 2013

Fishy Fun to be had at Milford Nature Center Kid’s Fishing Clinic

Families can enjoy some fun in the sun at the 2013 Kid’s Fishing Clinic and Casting Contest June 1

For youth age 5-12, there is plenty of fun to be had at the Milford Nature Center’s 2013 Kid’s Fishing Clinic and Casting Contest, Saturday, June 1. Participants can enjoy a variety of activities including an electrofishing demonstration, casting contest, and raffle prize drawing.

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Gathering Pond, below the Milford Dam. The event is open to the first 100 registered participants, so early registration is encouraged. Rods and reels, as well as bait, will be provided to each participant.

Following afternoon activities, including an award ceremony and raffle prize drawing, participants can enjoy lunch courtesy of the Junction City Noon Kiwanis Club.

Additional sponsors for the event include the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Wildscape, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Milford Nature Center.

To register for this event, call the Milford Nature Center at (785) 238-5323.  

Walk With Wildlife Event to Showcase Kansas Wildlife

Participants get up-close to wildlife species without leaving the sidewalk

Are snakes slimy or smooth? What does a kestrel’s call sound like? You can learn this and more when you attend the 29th Annual Walk With Wildlife event, Saturday, June 8, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC) will be holding the event at Chisholm Creek Park

6232 E. 29th Street North

 in Wichita. The cost to attend is $2 per person, and lunch concessions will be available.

Chisholm Creek Park’s 1-mile handicapped-accessible trail loop will be decorated with multiple stations, each featuring different wildlife species. Visitors can get up-close views of native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and more.

While visiting the GPNC, participants can also enjoy fun and educational videos in the Coleman Auditorium, hands-on nature exhibits in the Koch Habitat Hall, or shop the Owl’s Nest Gift Shop.

In addition, the GPNC will also host a Kids Fishing Clinic for youth age 12 and under at no additional charge. Each participant will receive fishing equipment, as well as a free photo with their fish. Registration forms can be obtained from The Wichita Eagle newspaper, or by calling (316) 268-2640. Attendance is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Participants must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information on the Walk With Wildlife event, call (316) 683-5499.

            Spirit Aerosystems is an annual sponsor of the Walk With Wildlife event.

Dredging Project at Kanopolis State Park Improves Boat Access

The three-day excavation project will aid boaters launching in low water conditions

Low water levels at Kanopolis Reservoir have made all but one boat ramp unusable this spring. And that ramp, located at Langley Point in Kanopolis State Park, has been difficult for boaters due to shallow water. To improve boating conditions near the ramp, Kanopolis State Park staff have been overseeing a dredging operation.

Crane Rental of Salina began dredging the boat ramp Tuesday, May 21, 2013 using a crawler crane and extendable fork lift.

“The boat ramp is usable as is,” said park manager Rick Martin, “but once we’ve excavated more material, launching a boat should become a lot easier.” Martin added that Langley Point will be in full working order for Memorial Day weekend.

            For more information, contact the Kanopolis State Park office at (785) 546-2565.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association to Host 19th Annual Youth Fishing Clinic

Young anglers will learn about and fish for channel catfish during this two-day event

The Tuttle Creek Lake Association is hosting the 19th Annual Youth Fishing Clinic June 7-8, 2013 atAnneberg Park Lake. The event is open to the first 200 youth, age 8-12, who register.

In addition to casting their lines, participants can enjoy special lectures on general fishing know-how and water safety.

In cooperation with Manhattan Parks and Recreation, Anneberg Park Lake will be stocked with channel catfish averaging 12 inches long and ranging from 3/4 pound up to 3 pounds.

Trophies will be awarded to the girl and boy with the smallest fish caught, the girl and boy with the largest fish caught, and the girl and boy with the largest three fish caught.

Thanks to generous sponsors, participants will get to take home a new rod and reel, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, bait, and a hat! Lunch will also be provided at no additional cost.

Only youth who have not previously participated in this event are eligible to attend and must be accompanied by an adult. Participants can register the day of the event, however early registration is encouraged as the event is limited to the first 200 applicants.

For more information, contact Leo Schell at (785) 539-6540.  

Steve Jester Hired as First Executive Director of Partners for Conservation

The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) and Partners for Conservation (PFC), are pleased to welcome Steve Jester as Partners for Conservation’s first Executive Director. The Executive Director is a joint position supported by NWRA and PFC together to promote the successful tools, models, policy and programs that support collaborative conservation efforts involving private landowners and public agencies, and to build PFC’s capacity as an independent non-profit organization.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steve to the NWRA and PFC team. Steve brings outstanding leadership and sensibility to the role of Executive Director of Partners for Conservation,” said David Houghton, President of NWRA. “He has a broad base of experience working with landowners and agencies on collaborative conservation projects nationwide, and has demonstrated success conserving wildlife and working lands.”

Prior to joining the staff at NWRA, Steve was the Executive Director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, the first nationally accredited land trust in Texas. Before working at the Trust, Steve was on the staff of The Nature Conservancy for almost a decade leading community-based conservation projects first in Texas and later inWyoming. Additionally, he has worked with state fish and wildlife agencies in Florida and Texas. He has worked with private landowners throughout his career and has come to appreciate their critical importance in conserving working landscapes that provide some of the most important wildlife habitats in the United States.

“Partners for Conservation is a great example of ground-up conversations that will link landowners, businesses and partners across the country. We are proud to be taking the next step with Steve to bring this landscape vision to a reality,” said Jim Stone, PFC Board Chair.

Steve earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture from Texas State University – San Marcos and a M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. He lives in Edwards Plateau region of Texas with his wife Suzanne and daughters Shelby and Shae.

More information about Partners for Conservation can be found here.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Media Kit Available

An informed, watchful public can help protect Kansas lakes and rivers against the invasion of aquatic nuisance species (ANS).  News media wanting to help outdoor enthusiasts learn about protecting Kansas waters can now download short radio and TV announcements, logos and brochures from the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” website at  The tools are located under “ANS Media Kit” at the bottom of the page.     

            Zebra mussels, Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species pose serious environmental and economic threats to the state’s aquatic resources. Aquatic nuisance species are animals and plants not native to Kansasthat can threaten lake and river ecology, harm native or desirable species, and interfere with our economy. They often hitchhike with unsuspecting people who may unknowingly transport an ANS to a previously uninfested body of water.    

For more information about ANS, visit

Flint Hills Freedom Ride Coming June 1

Motorcyclists will travel Native Stone Scenic Byway and Flint Hills National Scenic Byway; benefit five worthy causes

Governor Sam Brownback invites motorcyclists to join him for the Second Annual Governor’s Flint Hills Freedom Ride on Saturday, June 1, 2013. The 100-mile ride will begin in Topeka, travel along the Native Stone Scenic Byway and the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway, and end at Council Grove High School. It will benefit five worthy causes – the Wounded Warrior Fund (now known as Soldier and Family Assistance Center), Brothers in Blue Re-entry, Army Community Service at Fort Riley, the Native Stone Scenic Byway and the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway. 

On-site registration begins at 8:00 a.m. on the south lawn of the Capitol (online pre-registration is strongly encouraged to minimize delays at the event). A group photo will be taken with the Governor at 9:30, followed by a Blessing of the Bikes and Riders at 9:45. Kickstands Up is at 10:00. This year, the ride includes a bike show, which will begin setting up at 11:30 when the first riders arrive at Council Grove High School.  At 2:00, Governor Brownback will honor veterans,Fort Riley soldiers and families for their dedication to freedom. The bike show, games, and entertainment will follow.  The bikes will be judged from 2:00 to 3:00, and awards will be given out at 4:00.  The public is encouraged to attend this family-friendly, alcohol-free event.

Online pre-registration is strongly encouraged. A $25 fee per person is required to participate, and those pre-registered by May 15 will receive a Flint Hills Freedom Ride t-shirt with their registration fee. Additional t-shirts will be available the day of the ride on a first come, first served basis. Complete ride details and registration are available online  Participants are asked to keep their receipts for gas and purchases the day of the ride and turn them in at Council Grove to be eligible for prizes.    

Vendors are invited to set up at Council Grove High School. Electricity will not be available, but generators will be allowed.  Corporate partnerships opportunities are also available. Visit the website above for vendor and sponsorship information.

The partner groups organizing the ride include the Governor’s Office, Fort Riley; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas Department of Corrections; Kansas Department of Transportation; Brothers in Blue Re-entry; members of the Council Grove community and community leaders; ABATE of Kansas; Wabaunsee County Economic Development; and Christian Motorcycle Alliance.  

Rainwater Basins and Playas: Same But Different

Learn How and Why on Playa Country Radio


A 21-county area of south central Nebraska is home to thousands of rainwater basins, which are identical in function to the playas of the southern plains, but formed by different natural forces. In addition, these basins hold water longer than the playas to the south, providing lush plant and invertebrate life for migratory birds on their way north in late-winter to nest. Listen to the latest episodes of Playa Country, a 4½-minute weekly radio show, to learn more about conservation easements or visit the Playa Country webpage to learn about other topics.

Cabela’s Fish For Millions Returns to Kansas Lakes

Registered anglers can catch tagged fish and win prizes worth up to $2 million

Kansas anglers will again be fishing for money and prizes at select Kansas lakes this spring and summer. Cabela’s sponsors the Fish For Millions program where anglers who catch tagged fish are eligible to win some amazing prizes. The Grand Prize fish is worth $1,000,000 or $2,000,000, depending if the lucky angler downloads the Cabela’s Mobile App on their smartphone prior to fishing. Other prizes include cash, Ranger boats, a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Cabela’s shopping sprees.

To be eligible, anglers must first register online at The contest begins May 4 and ends July 7, 2013. Those who register before May 1 will be given advance notice of which Kansas lakes have tagged fish swimming in them. Otherwise the participating lakes will be announced May 4. Up to 1,500 prizes may be awarded, and dozens of fish have been tagged and released in Kansas lakes. Visit the Cabela’s Fish For Millions webpage and stay tuned for more information.

Opinion: Poaching is Stealing

K.J. Houtman

Outdoor Hub News


Almost any malfeasance might stretch into the category of stealing–even poaching. I hate a thief as much as the next. What motivates outdoorsmen to steal game rather than follow the rules? Greed, methinks, pure and simple greed. Sometimes it is greed for money when selling ill-gotten meat for cash. Sometimes it is greed for ego or limelight. If a television show must sacrifice good sportsmanship to air, than doggone it, I will shut the blasted shows off.

Unfortunately, several press releases darkened my email’s inbox in the last few weeks that highlighted DNR stings of multiple game violations (both hunting and fishing) in several states. Makes. Me. Sick. I’m not trying to be goodie-two-shoes, either. To be perfectly clear, we’re not talking about a “woops, I forgot my license at home” violation. We’re not talking about a knowledge gap, either.

For example, regulations on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin do not allow for taking a sauger—a legal game fish in many other parts of the country. A small percentage of walleye anglers might not be able to identify a sauger correctly 100 percent of the time. The DNR does not send out press releases about that kind of violation. I feel bad for someone who makes a mistake and subsequently ticketed. However, I would not call them a liar and thief.

Newsworthy press releases show us multiple years, multiple infractions, and multiple parties involved—or egregious one-time acts that stand out.

I just don’t want anything to do with game violators. Don’t want them for friends. Don’t want them in the family. Don’t want to do business with them, buy their products, or watch their TV shows.

Last year I was at Costco and bought some groceries and adult beverages for the Fourth of July group coming over. I didn’t realize until I was unloading the cart that the clerk had missed ringing up a bottle of wine mixed in with the food. All the beverages were in a case or whatever—except this one, by accident. So I put everything in the truck and walked the wine back to the cashier. “We missed one,” I told him as I opened up my wallet.

“Wow, I can’t believe you came back in to pay for it,” the clerk replied with arched brow.

“I could never drink that wine knowing I hadn’t paid for it,” I replied. “It is a nice wine but surely I would choke on it.”

That is what perplexes me about game violators. Were they able to consume those extra walleyes themselves or for their family members without choking? Could they even deposit the money in the bank from an illegal transaction without heaving bile at the bank? How could they even watch their television show let alone accept a pat on the back from a friend with a hearty “good show?”

Some of these investigations cross many county lines and areas of jurisdiction, many over several years. Think about all the manpower wasted (that our tax dollars fund!) that can’t be put to a better use because of this theft.

When I ran professional fishing tournaments, there was always a lot of “he said, she said” going on. Then I saw a press release from a state DNR office that included an angler that was in our circuit. Ugh. Multiple poaching violations? I spoke with the officer named in the press release and he informed me that the angler in question had turned informant after they approached him with several months’ worth of undercover work–work that found him guilty and facing severe charges. He agreed to wear a wire and get additional information in the months ahead for a reduced sentence.

When I told the angler that he had violated our sportsmanship clause in the tournament rules (just based on the officially disclosed “reduced” charges that were public knowledge) you should have heard the whining. “It’s not fair, it was a small, minor infraction. Total misunderstanding: wrong place, wrong time. It could happen to anybody just once.”


Below are links to three press releases in just the last six weeks that show what I am talking about: multiple years, multiple infractions, several offenders.

Sticks in yer craw. They steal resources and it is far more than a fish fillet or two. I am so thankful for the Turn In Poachers (T.I.P.) program in Wisconsin. Thank the Lord that someone, maybe some family member close to the situation had the courage to phone in the tip.

Thank you, if you were the tipster on any of these cases. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The third link below is looking for a tip on a decapitated bear in Wisconsin. Not a sting operation but the facts point to blatant unsportsmanlike conduct. Sure, innocent until proven guilty. Of course. But if there is an explanation, please, defend yourself. 

Sale of illegally taken game fish

Television show violations

Officials looking for tip on finding a decapitated bear in Wisconsin
In Kansas, Operation Game Thief (OGT) is the program to call. The number is 1-877-426-3843. The line is answered 24/7, seven days a week. Just provide the most basic of information. Let the professionals handle it from there.