Daily Archives: June 12, 2014

Kansas Wildlife Federation Newsletter, May-June

KWF Newsletter Logo

The pdf version of the Kansas Wildlife Federation newsletter for May-June is now online for reading. Unlike the mailed paper copy, the online pdf version has color photos. You can also find past newsletters using the Newsletter link on the KWF Homepage.

PRATT HATCHERY PROVIDES SAFE HAVEN FOR MILLIONS OF CHANNEL CAT EGGS

KDWP&T_LogoJune 12, 2014

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A hatchery setting keeps natural predators, bacteria and fungus away from eggs

PRATT– Seventy-four degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect water temperature – when it comes to artificial channel catfish spawning, that is. Each year, staff at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Pratt hatchery conduct an artificial spawning program that produces channel catfish eggs in the millions. It’s a process that’s tried and true, and that thousands of anglers depend on each year. Here’s how it’s done.

The process begins in early spring when hatchery staff prepare several ponds with an ideal breeding ratio – 2 males for every three females. When summer hits, staff submerge steel cream cans in knee-deep water to simulate a natural cavity where catfish would normally nest. Once the cans are fully submerged, a male will enter and prepare a nest site and then herd a ready-to-spawn female into the can where eggs are deposited and fertilization can begin. When waters reach the ideal temperature of 74 degrees, hatchery staff will check the cans twice a week and collect any fertilized egg masses, which can average 1.5 to 2 pounds each.

“The purpose of this process is to increase hatch rates. On our first day of collection, we got 908,000 eggs – 80 percent of which we can get to hatch in a controlled environment,” said KDWPT fisheries biologist Brett Houdyshell. “Our goal this year is to collect approximately 3 million eggs.”

Once the fertilized eggs are collected, they are placed in special troughs with constant water circulation where the young can safely hatch. After about eight days, the fry are able to swim up and out of the egg mass and into connected tanks where food is available.

“Channel catfish readily take fish food, so by their eighth day, they will be eating a prepared fish food,” said Houdyshell.

Some fry will grow to fingerlings where they will be stocked in new or renovated waters, while others will stay in the hatchery system where they will continue to grow and be stocked the following fall as intermediate or catchable-size fish, ranging from 10-12 inches.

Channel catfish are just one of many fish species that KDWPT hatchery staff produce around the state. For more information on KDWPT fish hatcheries and stocking reports, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing.”

 

NEW CATCH, PHOTO AND RELEASE CONTEST

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The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism  announced the

NEW CATCH, PHOTO AND RELEASE CONTEST

Youth age 15 and under are invited to participate

PRATT – If you’re 15 or younger and have recently caught a largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill or any species of catfish, you could win some new fishing gear through the first ever “Catch, Photo and Release” contest, which starts June 20. Fishing’s Future, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Cabela’s and KVOE Outdoors want to hear about your latest fishing adventure.

To enter, send a photo and story (200 words or less) of your catch to [email protected]. Entries can also be mailed to KVOE Outdoors CPR contest, PO Box 924, Emporia, KS 66801. All entries must contain a photo, story, the angler’s date of birth, phone number and a home mailing address.

The contest will run June 20, 2014 to August 22, 2014. Four major prize packages will be given away on August 29, including $50 Cabela’s gift certificates. Four weekly winners will be randomly drawn to receive rod and reel combos, compliments of Cabela’s, and a fishing hat and assorted lures. All winners will be announced on the KVOE “What’s in Outdoors” radio show each Friday. Multiple entries from each contestant are acceptable.

Winning entries can be viewed at www.kvoe.com/on-air/what-s-in-outdoorswww.fishingsfuture.org, and on Facebook at facebook.com/fishingsfuture.

For more information, visit www.kvoe.com, or send an e-mail to [email protected].