Monthly Archives: August 2013

Teal Season Kicks off Sept. 7

Teal may be the smallest duck, but they are a fast and challenging quarry for waterfowl hunters

It’s waders and whistles, it’s the sound of the marsh waking up, it’s what thousands of hunters around the state have been waiting for – it‘s teal season. An early migrant, teal are the first waterfowl to pass through Kansas each fall, and come Sept. 7, waterfowl hunters will be waiting.

Using U.S. Highway 283 as a dividing line, Kansas is split up into two teal hunting zones: Low Plains and High Plains. The Low Plains Zone (anything east of U.S. Highway 283) will kick off the season Sept. 7, and run through Sept. 22, while the High Plains Zone (anything west of U.S. Highway 283) will open Sept. 14 and end Sept. 22.

As if recent rains filling the marshes weren’t enough of a bonus for early season waterfowl hunters, regulations now allow hunters to take six of these puddle ducks in a daily bag limit, a two-bird increase from the traditional early teal season daily bag of four. Also new this year, migratory bird possession limits have increased to three times the daily bag limit.

All hunters participating in teal season who are required to have a hunting license must also possess a Kansas HIP permit and State Waterfowl Permit. All hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Waterfowl Stamp. Hunters age 65-74 are reminded that they now need the state HIP permit and State Waterfowl Permit, in addition to the Federal Waterfowl Stamp. Kansas HIP permits and State Waterfowl Stamps can be purchased online at, and Federal Waterfowl Stamps can be purchased at your local U.S. Post Office and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism regional offices.

For more information on migratory bird regulations, visit and click “Hunting/Migratory Birds.”

Zebra Mussels Found in Lake Shawnee, Topeka

Lake Shawnee the latest to be infested with invasive species

Acting on a report from an alert angler, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Shawnee. Zebra mussels are bean-sized mollusks with striped, sharp-edged, two-part shells. They were found at multiple locations on rocks and on underwater portions of a dock ladder. The discovery brings the total of Kansas lakes infested with zebra mussels to 19 and highlights the need for anglers and boaters to know the dangers of moving water and bait fish between lakes.

            “We were notified about the zebra mussels by a conscientious angler who found them on a piece of wood he pulled from the lake,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator. “This is a perfect example of how important it is for the public to be vigilant and report anything they suspect could be an aquatic nuisance species,” she added.  

            Lake Shawnee is a heavily-used 416-acre lake owned by Shawnee County. “The presence of zebra mussels in Lake Shawnee will not in any way change the mission of Shawnee County Parks and Recreation of providing quality parks, golf courses and recreation facilities and opportunities to meet the recreational needs and interests of rural and urban residents throughout Shawnee County. Lake Shawnee will continue to be a gem in the area for recreational pursuits to hundreds of thousands of people yearly,” said Terry Bertels, Parks Director, Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.

The lake will be added to the list of ANS-designated waters in Kansas, and notices will be posted at various locations around the lake. Other lakes in northeast Kansas with zebra mussel infestations include Perry, Milford and Melvern reservoirs. Like those lakes, LakeShawnee is safe to use for a variety of recreational activities. Since the sharp-shelled zebra mussels attach to solid objects, visitors should be careful when handling mussel-encrusted objects and when grabbing an underwater object when they can’t see what their hands may be grasping. Visitors should protect their feet when walking on underwater or shoreline rocks, a helpful precaution any time they are outdoors. 

            There is no known method to rid a lake of zebra mussels. According to Howell, prevention is the best way to avoid spreading ANS. “All lake users should take precautions to prevent the movement of ANS from those waters,” she said. “The zebra mussels probably were accidentally carried to the lake from another location in the water from boats or bait buckets.” Anglers and boaters should thoroughly clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment after using any body of water. Regulations require that they drain livewells and bilges and remove drain plugs from all vessels prior to transport from any Kansas water on a public highway. Further, people should not take water away from the lake in bait buckets or for aquariums or any other use. Also, anglers cannot transport live fish from any ANS-designated water.

            Zebra mussels are just one of the non-native aquatic species that threaten our waters and native wildlife. Boaters and anglers must remember to follow regulations and precautions that will prevent their spread:

            · Clean, drain and dry boats and equipment between uses

· Use wild-caught bait only in the lake or pool where it was caught

· Do not move live fish from waters infested with zebra mussels or other aquatic nuisance species

· Drain livewells and bilges and remove drain plugs from all vessels prior to transport from any Kansas water on a public highway.

For more information about aquatic nuisance species in Kansas, report a possible ANS, or see a list of ANS-designated waters, visit

Youth and Disabled Deer Season a Great Opportunity for First-time Hunters

Youth and disabled hunters don’t have to be involved in a special hunt to participate in this season, but for first-time hunters, a special hunt may be the way to go

There’s a first time for everything, and for youth and disabled deer hunters, Sept. 7 marks the first day of a very special nine-day season. From Sept. 7-15, youth 16 and younger and disabled hunters will have the opportunity to hit the field, taking first pick of Kansas deer. This not only provides a greater potential for harvesting deer, but it also allows youth and disabled hunters to enjoy hunting in milder temperatures, without the hunting pressure and competition of a regular season.

For youth who may be hunting for the first time, special hunts can be a great way to start. Through a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) program called Pass It On, department staff at various state parks and wildlife areas around the state sponsor special youth deer hunts. For example, staff at El Dorado State Park staff will host a special youth deer hunt on Sept. 7-8. At this particular event, eight lucky youth will participate in a two-day, guided hunt completely free of charge. The event will also include activities that teach proper gun handling and hunter safety in the field, as well as give participants hands-on experience during a wingshooting contest.

“This event helps get youth interested in the outdoors and creates a memorable experience at the same time,” said El Dorado State Park ranger Kyle Hoover, “and it has been a huge success.”

Young hunters interested in participating in a special hunt should contact their local KDWPT regional, park or wildlife area office to find out about local opportunities. Most special hunts limit the number of participants, so pre-registration is required. KDWPT-sponsored special hunts connect youth and an accompanying adult with a local guide and provide a prime hunting spot. Often with the help of local members of a conservation organization, these hunts teach youth about our hunting heritage and provide them with a high-quality hunting experience.

But youth and disabled hunters don’t have to be involved in a special hunt in order to participate in this unique season. Youth age 16 or younger, who possess a valid deer permit, may hunt during this special deer season as long as they are under the immediate supervision of an adult 18 or older. This season is also open to any person who possesses a valid deer permit and has a permit to hunt from a vehicle pursuant to KAR 115-18-4 or a disability assistance permit issued pursuant to KAR 115-18-15.

All resident and nonresident permits are valid during this special season, and equipment restrictions designated on permits apply. Hunter orange is required. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

For more information on the 2013 deer season, visit and click “Hunting/Hunting Regulations.” To find a special hunt near you, check the “Events” section

KC Blues Festival at Kaw Point

Saturday, August 31st at Kaw Point Park

Friends of the Kaw is proud to support the 2013 Kansas City Blues Festival at Kaw Point Park. The festival is Saturday, August 31 from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm and will have some of the best blues talent in Kansas City, and is sure to be a good time. The event will take place at scenic Kaw Point Park near te confluence of the Kansas andMissouri Rivers.

Tickets are only $10 in advance, or $15 at the gate. Festivities Begin at 11:00 in the morning, and includes numerous performers. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit

Dredging the Kaw Update

 From the Friends of the Kaw:

The latest news regarding Kansas River sand dredging may not be the greatest. The most recent project studying in-river dredging on the Kaw shows that the mining operations could be causing some serious damage to our river.

Beginning in 2012, the Friends of the Kaw received a grant from the Water Protection Network to work with the Kansas State University River Systems Research Group to monitor, and study, the effects of in-river sand dredging on the Kansas River. The first year of this study is coming to a close, and the most recent report from this project may help to confirm what users of the river have been saying for years. 

After surveying the dredge hole east of Topeka on several occasions, and in different river conditions, a significant impact on the bed of the river was found to take place around dredging operations. The step by step process of damage caused by dredge holes follows K-state researchers’ hypothesis closely.

  1. The initial sand removal causes a deep hole (nearly 30 feet below the normal river bed).

  2. Water flowing into the hole speeds up, and causes erosion heading upstream.

  3. As water slows down in the hole, some sediments being carried by the water are deposited.

  4. As the water leaves the downstream portion of the hole it picks up speed and causes erosion heading downstream.

As this process continues, it may result in an overall lowering of the river bed. This lowering will cause banks to collapse and the channel to widen, swallowing up valuable riverside property and aesthetic sand bars without discretion. Friends of the Kaw has long advocated for the elimination of dredging operations from the river before they result in irreparable damage. Results from this most recent study, and others, suggest that dredges do indeed significantly contribute to the problem of bed degradation.

This fall the US Army Corps of Engineers will complete their Environmental Assessment of the impacts of dredging. After the draft assessment is posted, there will be several weeks available for the public to comment and provide input on this crucial decision-making process.

Watch the KWF blog ( and we will keep you posted on how you can have a significant influence on the Kansas River’s future..

There is Still Summer Left to Enjoy Kansas State Parks

State parks are ready for the last big weekends of summer

Make plans and reservations to visit a Kansas state park – there’s still plenty of summer fun left, and the weather is perfect.

It’s been a great summer, and Kansans have perhaps appreciated it more after the last two summers we’ve endured. Cooler temperatures and in many areas of the state, welcome rains have made the summer of 2013 one to remember. At most parks, low water levels are not a problem any longer, although a few parks ended up with too much of a good thing.

Water levels are normal or above at Kanopolis, Cheney, and El Dorado lakes, which experienced access and boating problems because of low water for much of the summer. Current water levels have boat ramps useable. It’s been a mild summer and water temperatures are perfect for boating, skiing and fishing.

For instance, water levels on Toronto Reservoir rose so high that parts of Cross Timbers State Park weren’t accessible. The water level has dropped since then, so the park will be open this weekend, however there will be some areas with mud and debris left by the water. High water at Elk City is going down, and boat ramps, docks and utility campsites are open. All facilities are expected to be ready by Memorial Weekend. Fall River State Park is open, even though the reservoir level is still high. While boat ramps are open and usable at these lakes, boaters should be alert to floating debris brought in by flooding.

All Kansas state parks are ready and waiting, so don’t miss the end of summer fun. Visit a state park this weekend and find out how much fun you and your family can have.

Dove Hunting Season Opens September 1

Kansas hunters anxiously await the arrival of fall’s first hunting season

For avid bird hunters, the summer has slowly dragged on, but the September 1 opening day of dove season will be here before you know it. It’s time to stock up on shells, practice your wingshooting skills and scout for water holes and feed fields doves are using.

Kansas is often referred to as the Sunflower State, and maybe that’s why so many mourning doves summer here; they love sunflower seeds. Doves are one of the most numerous game birds in the U.S., and Kansas usually ranks near the top when state dove breeding populations are surveyed. By the end of August, Kansas is literally teeming with mourning doves. In 2012, an estimated 37,791 hunters harvested 753,390 doves in Kansas.

The dove season is open Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Nov. 2-10 for mourning, white-winged Eurasian, and ringed turtle doves. The daily bag limit is 15, and the possession limit is 45, which applies only to mourning and white-winged doves, single species or in combination. There is no limit on Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves, but any taken in addition to a daily bag limit of mourning and white-winged doves must have a fully-feathered wing attached while in transport.

An extended exotic dove season for Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves is open Nov. 20, 2013-Feb. 28, 2014. There is no daily bag or possession limit, but a fully-feathered wing must remain attached while in transport.

Residents 16-74 must have a hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit, unless exempt by law, to hunt doves. All nonresidents, regardless of age, must have a nonresident hunting license and a Kansas HIP permit.

Finding a productive dove hunting spot requires some advance scouting, and this can be as simple as driving backroads during the early morning hours looking for fields doves are using. Birds will often congregate along power lines or dead trees. Before hunting on private land, get landowner permission.

Public lands can provide outstanding hunting opportunities, especially on managed dove fields. Many Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wildlife areas have fields managed specifically to attract mourning doves. The small fields are planted to sunflowers or wheat and managed to make them attractive to doves. When the weather cooperates, dove hunting around these fields can be fantastic. Thirty-nine wildlife areas across the state feature managed dove fields and some special restrictions may apply. Go to, click on “Hunting,” “Migratory Birds,” then “Doves” for a listing of dove field locations and special regulations. Many of the dove fields will be designated as “Non-toxic Shot Only,” and some may be set aside for youth hunting opportunities. Fields designated as “Non-toxic Shot Only” will be marked with signs.

The impending autumn brings with it the optimism of the 2013 hunting season, and it won’t get here a day too soon for avid hunters. Get out and take advantage of the great hunting opportunities available here in Kansas 

Road Work Slows Drive to Perry State Park

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) recently announced that K-237, the highway leading toPerry State Park from US-24, will be closed to all traffic round the clock through mid-September 2013 for utility and paving work.

KDOT has provided a marked detour via 

Thompsonville Road

 (located about 2 miles east of K-237), north to 

22nd Street

 then west to K-237. Drivers should expect delays and use alternate routes during the closure. Updated traffic information for the project can be viewed at:

KDOT urges motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and ‘Give ‘Em a Brake!” when approaching and driving through project work zones.

2013 Hunting Atlas Now Available Online

Atlas features 60 detailed maps with more than 1 million acres of prime hunting locations

With maps showing the location of more than 1 million acres of land open to hunting, the 2013 KansasHunting Atlas, available online now, is a must-have for hunters. Whether you’re looking for the perfect duck hunting marsh, scouting for land rich with upland birds, or scanning woodlots for the perfect place to set up your tree stand, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s hunting atlas is the perfect tool Better than ever, the newly-redesigned hunting atlas features maps with shaded relief backdrops, county road names (where available), stream names, and much more. All state, federal and Walk-in Hunting Access areas are shown, color-coded for ease of use.

The atlas also features 2013 season dates and an outline of new regulations, making it quick and easy for hunters to get up-to-speed on important changes.

To view the atlas online, visit and click “Hunting,” then “Where to Hunt,” then “2013 Fall Hunting Atlas.” Hunters can also 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 Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary is also available on the KDWPT website. Printed versions of both pamphlets will be distributed in early September.

Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation Affiliates with Kansas Wildlife Federation

The Kansas members of Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. have become an Affiliate II organization of the Kansas Wildlife Federation. QUWF, a 501(c)3 organization headquartered in BuffaloMO, has over 800 members inKansas.

“The chapters, staff, members and landowners of QUWF throughout Kansas look forward to continuing to work with KWF on conservation objectives and issues that arise on the conservation landscape of Kansas,” said Nick Prough, Chief Wildlife Biologist and Director of Chapter Development for Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation. “As of June 2013, QUWF, its local chapters and members have impacted 1.8 Million acres of wildlife habitat and have spent over $108 million dollars in their local communities and across the country’s landscape,” Prough continued.

“The Kansas Wildlife Federation felt that QUWF’s excellent reputation dealing with landowners and their habitat needs makes QUWF an excellent affiliate,” said Troy Schroeder, KWF President. “We look forward to working with QUWF to carry out the goals of both organizations throughout Kansas.”

            “Of the habitat work QUWF has conducted nationwide,” Prough stated, “425,000 acres have been in Kansas and our expenditures have been approximately $28 million. Our motto says it all: Making a Difference for Wildlife, One Acre at a Time.”

For more information on QUWF, go to their website