Monthly Archives: January 2017

KDWPT biologists discuss bobwhites In new TV series

“Bobwhites on the Brink,” a five-part film series by the syndicated television conservation news magazine, This American Land, examines the reasons for the nationwide decline of the bobwhite quail and the efforts being made to reverse the trend on the American landscape. In the fourth segment (#604) of the series, viewers are brought to Kansas in large part due to the success of the state’s Conservation Reserve Program in providing species habitat. The segment explores how agricultural operations in the U.S. have morphed from small field/multi-farm set-ups, to giant corporate expanses of row crop acreage, and how Kansas is leading the country in demonstrating how bobwhite habitat can be successfully integrated on working lands.

Some Kansans may have viewed the series on Smoky Hills Public Television and on the Kansas Topeka Washburn University PBS stations late last year, but for those who missed it, there’s still time to tune in. “Bobwhites on the Brink” will air on KTWU Channel 11, Topeka, Sundays at 3:30 p.m., beginning January 15. However, the last two shows of the series (#604 and #605) will air at 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on February 5 in a 1-hour block. The series will also be available online on the This American Land website,; on NBCI’s YouTube channel,; and on the KDWPT website,

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), in partnership with select states, worked over a period of several months to help develop the story. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism worked directly with NBCI to demonstrate how the expansion of mechanized clean-farming techniques in row crop agriculture have effected bobwhite quail, among other grassland birds and wildlife species.

In addition to Kansas, film crews visited South Carolina, Texas, and Kentucky to document how a decline in active forest management and the conversion of livestock grazing operations from native grasses to exotic fescue across millions of acres, combined with changes in row-crop agriculture, have decimated habitat range-wide for bobwhites and related wildlife over time.

2017 fish consumption advisories

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) are issuing revised fish consumption advisories for 2017. The advisories identify types of fish or other aquatic animals that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination. General advice and internet resources are also provided to aid the public in making informed decisions regarding the benefits as well as the risks associated with eating locally caught fish from Kansas waters.


Bottom-feeding fish: buffalos, carp, carpsuckers, catfishes (except flathead catfish), sturgeons, and suckers.

Predatory fish: black basses, crappies, drum, flathead catfish, perches, sunfish, white bass, wiper, striper, walleye, saugeye, and sauger.

Shellfish: mussels, clams, and crayfish.

General Population: Men and women 18 years of age or older.

Sensitive Populations: Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing and children age 17 or younger.

Meal size (before cooking):

Adults and Children age 13 and older = 8 ounces

Children age 6 to 12 = 4 ounces

Children younger than 6 = 2 ounces


Statewide Advisories

Kansas recommends the following consumption restrictions because of mercury in fish:

  1. Sensitive Populations should restrict consumption of all types of locally caught fish from waters or species of fish not specifically covered by an advisory to one meal per week because of mercury.
  2. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass (black basses):
  3. Sensitive Populations should restrict consumption of these species to one meal per month because of mercury.
  4. General Public should restrict consumption of these species to one meal per week because of mercury.


Waterbody specific advisories for all consumers

Kansas recommends not eating specified fish or aquatic life from the following locations:

  1. The Kansas River from Lawrence (below Bowersock Dam) downstream to Eudora at the confluence of the Wakarusa River (Douglas and Leavenworth counties); bottom-feeding fish because of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
  2. The Spring River from the confluence of Center Creek to the Kansas/Oklahoma border (Cherokee County); shellfish because of lead and cadmium.
  3. Shoal Creek from the Missouri/Kansas border to Empire Lake (Cherokee County); shellfish because of lead and cadmium.
  4. Cow Creek in Hutchinson and downstream to the confluence with the Arkansas River (Reno County); bottom-feeding fish because of PCBs.
  5. The Arkansas River from the Lincoln Street dam in Wichita downstream to the confluence with Cowskin Creek near Belle Plaine (Sedgwick and Sumner counties); bottom-feeding fish because of PCBs.
  6. Antioch Park Lake South in Antioch Park, Overland Park (Johnson County); all fish because of the pesticides dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane, and dichlorophenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs).

Kansas recommends restricting consumption of bottom-feeding fish to one meal per month from the following location because of PCBs:

  1. The Little Arkansas River from the Main Street Bridge immediately west of Valley Center to the confluence with the Arkansas River in Wichita (Sedgwick County).


General advice for eating locally caught fish in Kansas

  1. Sensitive populations should consider restricting their total mercury intake for both supermarket fish and locally caught species. Concerned parents and other persons may wish to consult with a physician about eating fish and mercury exposure.
  2. Mercury exposure can be reduced by limiting the consumption of large predatory fish. Larger/older fish of all types are more likely to have higher concentrations of mercury.
  3. Avoid the consumption of fish parts other than fillets, especially when eating bottom-feeding fish. Fatty internal organs tend to accumulate higher levels of fat-soluble contaminants such as chlordane and PCBs than fillets.
  4. Consumers can reduce their ingestion of fat-soluble contaminants such as chlordane and PCBs by trimming fat from fillets, and cooking in a manner in which fat drips away from the fillet.
  5. Avoid subsistence level (relying on wild-caught fish for daily nutritional needs) fishing activities in large rivers within or immediately downstream of large urban/industrial areas and wastewater outfalls. Fish in these areas are more likely to contain traces of chemical contaminants.
  6. In waterbodies where watches or warnings related to harmful algae blooms have been applied, fish should be consumed in moderation and care taken to only consume skinless fillets. Avoid cutting into internal organs and rinse fillets with clean water prior to cooking or freezing.


Internet resources from KDHE, KDWPT, EPA, FDA, and the American Heart Association

To view the advisories online and for information about KDHE’s Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program please visit our website at:

For information about harmful algal blooms, including current watches and warnings, visit this KDHE website:

For information about fishing in Kansas including licensing, regulations, fishing reports and fishing forecasts please visit the KDWPT fishing website:

For general information about mercury in fish, national advisories, and advisories in other states please visit this EPA website:

For information about sensitive populations and mercury in fish please visit this FDA website:

For information regarding personal care products and pharmaceuticals in fish please visit this EPA website:

For information about the health benefits vs. the risks of including fish in your diet please visit this American Heart Association website:

For technical information regarding the EPA risk assessment methods used to determine advisory consumption limits please visit:

Resident hunters can apply for Unit 4 spring turkey permit


Five-hundred permits are allocated for the 2017 spring season in Kansas’ Unit 4 turkey management unit. The resident-only permits are available through a lottery drawing. For a nonrefundable application fee of $6.50, in addition to the permit price, resident hunters age 16 and older may apply online from January 9 through February 10, 2017 to enter the drawing. Kansas hunters age 15 and under may purchase a spring turkey permit valid statewide over the counter or online and do not need to enter the Unit 4 draw. To apply for a Unit 4 permit, visit and click “Hunting,” “Applications and Fees,” then “Turkey.”


Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund check for the permit price and be issued a preference point. Hunters may elect not to apply for a permit and purchase a preference point only by selecting the Spring Turkey Preference Point Application online. Only one point may be obtained per year.


Unit 4 Spring Turkey draw pricing:

General Application: $32.50

Landowner/Tenant Application: $20.00

General Combo Permit/Game Tag Application: $42.50

Landowner/Tenant Combo Permit/Game Tag Application: $25.00

Nonresident Tenant Application: $ 37.50

Nonresident Tenant Combo Permit/Game Tag Application:  $50.00

Preference Point only: $6.50


Any individual who has purchased a Spring Turkey Permit is eligible for one Second Turkey Game Tag. Game tags are valid in Units 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 ONLY. All other spring turkey permits and game tags are sold over-the-counter and online.


The 2017 Kansas spring turkey season will open April 1-11 for youth and hunters with disabilities, April 3-11 for archery hunters, and April 12-May 31 for the regular season.


For more information, visit, or call (620) 672-5911.

2017 fishing regulations summary available online


With just the flick of a lure, you could land your best catch yet this spring, and with just the click of a mouse, you can access Kansas’ best fishing resource online. The electronic edition of the 2017 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary is now available online at and that means information on this year’s new regulations, special seasons, creel and length limits, license fees and legal fishing methods is at your fingertips. To download a free copy, simply visit or view the easy-to-use, full-color pamphlet right there online. Printed copies will be available in mid-January wherever licenses are sold.


Inside the 2017 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary, anglers can also view lists of all public waters, along with their location and any special regulations in effect. At the turn of a page, anglers can see which community lakes don’t charge extra fees for fishing, as well as community lakes designated as Family Friendly Facilities (FFF) that offer restrooms, security patrols, security lighting, easy access to the water and zero-alcohol policies. There is also a special section that includes color illustrations of common Kansas sport fish.


Catch up on Kansas’ regulations this winter, so you can catch your fill this spring.


For more information on Kansas fishing, visit