Monthly Archives: October 2013

Zebra Mussels Found in Clinton Reservoir

Invasive, sharp-shelled mollusk discovered in several locations around lake

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Clinton Reservoir in Douglas County. An adult population was discovered by KDWPT fisheries staff during routine fish sampling activities, and a subsequent survey of other locations around the lake indicated the population was widespread. Twenty-two Kansas lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels. Other reservoirs in northeast Kansas with zebra mussel infestations include Milford, Perry, John Redmond and Melvern.  

            Clinton Reservoir covers approximately 7,000 acres west of Lawrence. It is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and KDWPT manages the fishery. The lake and surrounding areas are popular destinations for fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and a variety of boating and other water-related activities.          

            USACE and KDWPT officials stress that there is no known method to rid a lake of zebra mussels, noting that the public plays a key role in stemming their spread to uninfested lakes. “These latest discoveries show how important it is for the public to be aware of the dangers of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator.

According to Howell, prevention is the best way to avoid spreading ANS. “By always cleaning, draining, and drying boats and other equipment and by not moving water around, we can stop the spread of not just zebra mussels, but most aquatic nuisance species that may be present,” she said. 

The lake will be added to the list of ANS-designated waters in Kansas, and notices will be posted at various locations around the reservoir. The sharp-shelled zebra mussels attach to solid objects, so 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.           

Zebra mussels are just one of the non-native aquatic species that threaten our waters and native wildlife. After using any body of water, 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 Kansaswater 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

Hunters Hurt by Government Shutdown

Josh Fleming

National Wild Turkey Federation

As hunting seasons open across the nation, hunters are facing numerous challenges created by the shutdown of the federal government.

Countless hunters depend on federal lands for their hunting activities, and the closure of lands controlled by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the Corps of Engineers is placing an unfair burden on sportsmen. Among the number of reasons people cite for why they stopped hunting is the lack of access to places to hunt, and the blockade to millions of acres of public hunting land is simply making the problem worse.

Not only has the closure of public lands proved to be difficult but the lack of information available about the status of various lands and facilities is creating barriers to hunting. Hunters are investing hard-earned money and time to travel, sometimes hundreds of miles, to their planned hunting locations only to find them closed.

Hunters positively impacted the economy to the tune of $87 billion in 2011 and supported more than 680,000 jobs. Reducing public land access hurts businesses and workers across the nation. When hunters can’t find a place to hunt, there’s no reason for them to purchase hunting arms, ammunition or even licenses, which in turn reduces vital funding for wildlife conservation. Excise taxes on hunting arms, ammunition and archery equipment funds a vast majority of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration efforts in every state.

In Kansas, a youth program in southeast Kansas was cancelled due to the shutdown. With youth waterfowl seasons about to open the next two weekends, many potential youth hunts are in jeopardy, including a scheduled hunt for John Redmond on the 26th. Many Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management reservoirs inKansas offer public hunting access for waterfowl hunters which will not be available should the shutdown of the federal government continue through the end of the month.

EPA’s Session on Carbon Pollution Standards Postponed

Listening Sessions Postponed

Because of the government shutdown, EPA has postponed two public listening sessions on its carbon pollution standards that were scheduled for October 15 in Boston, MA, and October 18 in Philadelphia, PA. We will reschedule these sessions when the government reopens; please check this page then for updates.

EPA will hold 11 public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. 
The Clean Air Act gives both EPA and states a role in reducing air pollution from power plants that are already in operation.  The law directs EPA to establish guidelines, which states use to design their own programs to reduce emissions.  Before proposing guidelines, EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way.
The feedback from these 11 public listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available.  The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.
Below please find a list of listening sessions offered around the country and a point of contact for each if you have any questions.  You may sign up for one or more sessions.  Registration is highly encouraged due to large expected turn outs. If you are unable to attend one of these listening sessions, EPA is accepting input through the Contact Us page or at [email protected] until November 8, 2013.

Lenexa, KS

November 4, 2013
4:00-8:00 pm CST

U.S. EPA Region 7 Offices
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
Point of contact: Toni Gargas – (913) 551-7193

Online Survey Group Contributes Over $100,000 to Humane Society

The popular online survey group,, has contributed over $100,000 to the nation’s largest anti-hunting organization, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), through their charity program known as SurveyMonkey Contribute. serves as a free online survey program for companies to administer questionnaires to better understand the needs of their customers.  The online survey group also offers charities a chance to gain money through their “Contribute” program, which allows individuals to take free surveys and earn rewards for charities of their choice.

The SurveyMonkey Contribute program has allowed individuals to generate a total of $436,556 in 2012, with $101,266 being raised by Contribute members for HSUS alone.

Calling HSUS “one of their most active charity partners”, Naiema Din, SurveyMonkey Sales Development Specialist, explained that the partnership between HSUS and SurveyMonkey began in 2012 because “SurveyMonkey Contribute loved their mission and knew that Contribute members would as well.”

Attract Wildlife to Your Yard

Imagine a serene garden on a crisp, sunny autumn day—a beautiful cardinal snacks on berries, a tiny hummingbird stops by for a drink and a cheerful chickadee alights on a nearby branch.

This peaceful scene can be your yard this season!

Create an official Certified Wildlife Habitat® site to experience all of the natural beauty the season has to offer everyday—right in your own backyard.

Follow these helpful tips to create an autumn oasis, and then be sure to certify your habitat so you can begin receiving all of your great benefits (see sidebar for details):

Welcome migrating monarchs and other butterflies. These graceful beauties will love to visit late-blooming native plants like coneflowers, asters and goldenrods.

Leave the leaves. Rake fallen leaves into beds to create natural mulch that will protect your plants through the winter, conserve water and enhance the soil.

Provide a cozy abode for wildlife looking for a winter home. Create a brush pile with branches and other vegetation to attract all types of animals, from chipmunks to lizards, looking for shelter.

Berries provide color to your yard and food for birds. In late summer and fall, many trees and shrubs produce berries that are essential fuel for migratory wildlife fattening up for hibernation or to survive winter temperatures.

You don’t have to wait until spring to begin enjoying a beautiful, colorful garden teeming with wildlife.

Turn your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® site today and start experiencing all that autumn has to offer! Go to:

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission Meeting Oct. 17

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission to conduct last meeting of the year

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, 1100 N. Plum, Hutchinson, will be the location of the next Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission public meeting and hearing Oct. 17, 2013. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. and recess at 5 p.m., with the evening session reconvening at 7 p.m.

The afternoon session will begin with time for public comments on non-agenda items, followed by a general discussion period. Topics covered in the general discussion include: Secretary’s remarks regarding agency and state fiscal status and an update on the 2014 legislature, a briefing on tourism, the Bass Passprogram, a series of antelope and elk regulations, and an update on the potential federal listing of lesser prairie chickens.

During the afternoon session, commissioners will workshop items that were covered under general discussion at the August meeting. Workshop topics, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include permanent regulations pertaining to big game, a series of deer-specific regulations, and regulations regarding state parks.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location for the public hearing. The public hearing will be focused on youth permit fees; special provisions pertaining to fishing, as well as creel, size, and possession limits, and open season; and spring turkey season, including bag limits, permits, and game tags.

Time will be available in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on topics not on the agenda. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., Oct. 18, to complete any unfinished business.

A commercial-free version of live video and audio streaming of commission meetings will be broadcast through the KDWPT website,

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2014 at Southwestern College

100 College St.

, Winfield.

Invasive plants reduce number of bird songs

Roberta Kwok

Conservation This Week

Invasive plants could make forests a bit duller. According to a study in Ecology, birds that live in areas infested with weeds sing a smaller repertoire of songs.

The authors studied six sites in Lolo National ForestMontana. Three were overrun by invasive spotted knapweed, and three were relatively unaffected by the infestation. In 2005 and 2006, the team surveyed chipping sparrows at each site and recorded their songs.

The infested sites had fewer native forbs and grasses and a lower proportion of older birds, the researchers report. Young birds typically mimicked their elders’ songs. The team detected an average of 9.2 songs per year at the sites with native plants, but only 7.6 songs at the invaded sites.

The results suggest that plant invasions “may erode song diversity,” the authors write. The yearlings have fewer old birds to learn from in these habitats, “resulting in increased similarity among songs and fewer song types overall.”

2013 Kansas Upland Bird Forecast now Available

Despite drought during the reproductive season, some upland game hunters may experience a memorable harvest this fall

The 2013 Upland Bird Forecast is now available for viewing online at, and although population levels are projected to be less than favorable, upland bird hunters willing to travel to northern Kansas, may find a silver lining to the season.

Since extreme drought conditions persisted in most of the state again this year, ideal vegetation conditions were scarce going into the breeding season. This left most upland game birds without sufficient brood rearing cover and insect abundance, and thus led to a lower than average chick survival rate. Although the precipitation that fell across much of the state in late summer came too late to improve the upcoming season, biologists anticipate upland bird hunters may see enhanced conditions and a potential for better production next summer as vegetation conditions continue to improve.

As with any forecast, predictions are general and regional in nature. Although survey data indicate below average bird populations, hunters willing to work will likely find pockets with adequate bird numbers. Going from poor to fair hunting can often be as simple as driving 30 miles.

Listed below are statewide summaries on pheasant, quail, and prairie chickens. For the full forecast, including region-specific summaries, visit and click “Hunting /Upland Birds/Upland Bird Regional Forecast.” For a printed copy of the 2013 Upland Bird Forecast, 2013 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, and 2013 Kansas Hunting Atlas, call (620) 672-5911.

PHEASANT – Pheasant populations in Kansas continue to suffer from the extended drought. Breeding populations dropped across their range from 2012 to 2013 resulting in less adult hens in the population to start the 2013 nesting season. However, opportunities will still exist to harvest roosters in theSunflower State, especially for those willing to work for their birds. Though the drought has taken its toll,Kansas still has one of the best pheasant populations and the fall harvest will again be among the best in the country. The best areas this year will likely be pockets in northwest and northcentral Kansas.

QUAIL – The statewide bobwhite breeding population decreased in 2013 compared to 2012, but there is some variation across the state. Areas east of the Flint Hills showed improved productivity this year. Populations have rebounded over the last two years in eastern Kansas, but overall populations are still below historic averages. The best quail hunting will likely be found within the Flint Hills and southeast regions.

PRAIRIE CHICKEN – The spring prairie chicken lek survey indicated that most populations remained stable or declined slightly from last year. Areas within the Flint Hills and southcentral regions fared the best, while areas in the northern and western regions, where the drought was most severe, experienced the sharpest declines. Many areas in the Flint Hills were not burned this spring due to drought conditions. This resulted in slightly more residual grass cover for nesting compared to recent years. There have been some reports of prairie chicken broods in these areas, and hunting will likely be somewhat improved compared to recent years.

Upland Game Bird Seasons (Possession limits are four times the daily bag limit.)


Regular: November 9, 2013 – January 31, 2014

Youth: November 2-3, 2013

Area Open: Statewide

Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season

NOTE: Pheasants in possession for transportation must retain intact a foot, plumage, or some part that will determine sex.


Regular: November 9, 2013 – January 31, 2014

Youth: November 2-3, 2013

Area Open: Statewide

Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season

PRAIRIE CHICKEN (Permit required)

Early (East and Northwest zones): Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2013

Daily Bag Limit: 2 (single species or in combination)

Regular (East and Northwest zones): Nov. 16, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2014

Daily Bag Limit: 2 (single species or in combination)

Southwest Zone: Nov. 16 – Dec. 31, 2013

Daily Bag Limit: 1  

Westar Energy Green Team Invite Youth on Deer Hunt

Applications for the Jeffrey Energy Center youth deer hunt due Nov. 1

The Westar Energy Green Team will host a youth rifle deer hunt at the Jeffrey Energy Center, seven miles north of St. Marys, Dec. 4-15 and Jan. 1-12. Youth 12 and older are invited to attend and submit an application by Nov. 1. A limited number of spots are available, so hunts will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunts will be conducted from ground blinds in the early morning and late afternoon, and will be led by volunteer, experienced hunters. Hunters must be accompanied by an adult mentor and are encouraged to bring their own rifle; however, one can be provided upon request. Hunters must have a Unit 9 deer permit and hunters 16 and older must possess a hunting license and hunter education certificate.

An orientation session will be held on Nov. 16 to instruct hunters on safety, deer biology, and assist youth with sighting-in rifles. To apply for the hunt, contact Barb Cornelius at (785) 575-8125. Hunters successful in receiving a spot will be notified by Nov. 8.

The Green Team’s annual youth deer hunts are part of an initiative designed to introduce youth to hunting, and encourage hunting as a life-long tradition.

First ever Pre-rut Whitetail Antlerless Season Opens Oct. 12

Firearm deer hunters will have an additional opportunity to take antlerless whitetails during this special two-day season

As part of a legislative mandate last year that required the state of Kansas to open a pre-rut firearm deer season, deer hunters may now hunt white-tailed antlerless deer Oct. 12-13, 2013. This new two-day season has been designed as an effort to create additional opportunities for hunters wishing to take antlerless whitetails.

After careful consideration, several commission meetings, and input from the public, it was decided that a two-day season over Oct.12-13 would provide a unique opportunity without infringing on established traditional seasons. During this two-day season, any permit that allows the harvest of a white-tailed antlerless deer is valid during this season. Equipment and unit restrictions listed on permits will still be in effect, and all deer hunters are required to wear hunter orange.

For more information, consult the 2013 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulation Summary, or visit and click “Hunting/ Hunting Regulations.”