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

Scenic ranch preserved in the Flint Hills

The Kansas Land Trust celebrates the preservation of the Youngmeyer Ranch in Elk County. This 4,700-acre prairie nested in the Flint Hills will forever be preserved as a working ranch. Owned by the Earl W. Jr. and Terri Youngmeyer Family Foundation, this prairie will also be an ecological research site for Wichita State University. Over 500 prairie plant species have been documented on this site including rich biodiversity indicator species such as green dragon, bottle-brush sedge, ground-plum milk vetch, bread-root scurf-pea, inland ceanothus, and two-flower celestial-lily. This prairie also provides rich wildlife habitat for the greater prairie chicken.

KLT gives special thanks to Daniel Offidani, trustee for the Youngmeyer Family Foundation, and their funding partners. Over the past several years the Kansas Land Trust collaborated with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to conserve over 16,000 acres, including the Youngmeyer Ranch, through a Native Environment Conservation Plan with financial support from Tradewind Energy and Enel Green Power North America, owner and operator of the Caney River Wind Project.

Working with their partners, KLT will invite you to a dedication of this conserved prairie next spring.

January brings Bald Eagles to Kansas

Seeing a wild bald eagle is always a thrill and thanks to conservation efforts, our nation’s symbol is more common than ever. However, if you want to optimize your viewing opportunities and learn more about eagles and other birds of prey, plan to attend Eagle Day at Milford Reservoir on Jan. 14, 2017. This is the best time of year to see bald eagles in Kansas, when large numbers of these amazing birds congregate around lakes and wetlands.

Eagle Day will feature a series of educational programs at the Milford Nature Center: “Raptors” at 9:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.; “Owls” at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; “Nesting Eagles In Kansas” at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and “Birds Of Prey” at 3:15 p.m. Live eagle programs will be conducted at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Starbird Classroom. The Kids’ Tent will have activities and crafts for youngsters, and all visitors will be treated to hot chocolate and popcorn courtesy of the Milford Friends.

Bus tours to view wild eagles will leave the nature center every half-hour, beginning at 9 a.m. and continue through 2 p.m. There is no charge to attend any of the programs and the bus tours are free, as well, thanks to B&B Busing. Entrance to Milford State Park is also free on January 14, so Daily Vehicle permits are not required. For more information, contact the Milford Nature Center, 785-238-5323 or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Milford Office, 785-238-5714.

Other eagle day events will occur at various locations during the month of January, including the Kaw Valley Eagle Days at Lawrence Free State High School, Jan. 21, 2017. Go to for more information. And be on the lookout for notices of other eagle day events at lakes near you.

Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams hosts playa workshop


The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) is conducting a free Playa Lake Workshop and Tour on Jan. 10-11, 2017. The event will feature an optional landowner tour on Jan 10, followed by the workshop at Finnup Center For Conservation Education, 312 E Finnup Drive in Garden City on Jan. 11. Landowners with an interest in playa lakes and wetland conservation should make plans to attend.


The Jan. 10 playa lake tour in Lane County will feature onsite demonstrations from playa lake landowners. Information provided also includes advice on program cost delivery and how playa lakes can be managed for better conservation, recharge and recreational enjoyment. Sharp Brothers Seed Co. will be provide lunch at their headquarters in Healy.


The workshop will feature speakers who have decades of experience in playa lake management, ecology, hydrology research and program cost delivery. Three local landowners will share their personal experiences with playa lakes on their farms and ranches. Lunch will be provided.


To register for the free conference, go to the KAWS website, For more information contact Joe Kramer, [email protected], Mary Howell, [email protected] or Jessica Mounts, [email protected].

Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission to meet In Emporia


The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 in Emporia at the Flint Hills Technical College, 3301 W 18th Ave. The afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m. and recess at 5 p.m. The evening session will convene at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend both sessions and time will be set aside for public comment at the beginning of each for discussion of non-agenda items.


The afternoon session will begin with a report on the agency and state fiscal status and a preview of the 2017 Kansas Legislative Session. The General Discussion portion of the meeting will include the drawing for the Commission Big Game Permits, a Tourism Division update, and discussion on webless migratory bird regulations and waterfowl regulations.


The Workshop Session will include reviews of antelope, elk, public land, deer and big game permanent regulations.


The evening portion of the meeting will convene at 6:30 p.m. for the Public Hearing. Commissioners will hear dates for 2017 Free Park Entrance and Free Fishing Days set by Secretary’s Orders.


If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., Jan. 6, to complete any unfinished business. Information about the Commission, as well as the Jan. 5 meeting agenda and briefing book, can be downloaded at


Live video and audio streaming of the Jan. 5 meeting will be available at 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 Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission meeting is scheduled for March 23, 2017, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel Conference Center in Topeka.

Last chance for venison backstraps

Time is running out for Kansas deer hunters. But unfilled 2016 deer permits can still be used to put venison in the freezer this January. On Jan. 1, 2017, all 2016 unfilled deer permits convert to Whitetail Antlerless-Only (WAO) permits; however, unit restrictions listed on the permits are still in effect. Additional WAO permits can still be purchased, and after Dec. 30, hunters are no longer required to possess a permit that allows the taking of an antlered deer to purchase antlerless permits.

In addition to an either-sex permit, hunters may purchase up to five additional WAO permits with unit and public land restrictions. The first WAO permit a hunter purchases is valid statewide (except Unit 18) on private land with landowner permission and on public lands. A hunter can purchase up to four additional WAO permits valid in Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10A, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 19 on private land with landowner permission, on Walk-in Hunting Areas, and on Cedar Bluff, Glen Elder, Kanopolis, Kirwin, Lovewell, Norton, Webster and Wilson wildlife areas. Season lengths also vary based on unit location. See your 2016 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, or visit and click “Hunting/Big Game Information/Deer,” for details.

2017 Extended Firearm Season dates, by deer management units, are as follows:

Jan 1-2, 2017 – Units 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17

Jan. 1-8, 2017 – Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, and 14

Jan. 1-15, 2017 – Units 10A, 15, and 19:

No WAO permits are valid in Unit 18 (southwest).


There is also an Extended WAO Archery Season in DMU 19 Jan. 16-31, 2017.

‘Tis the season to go birding


Winter weather – we’ll wait outside stores in it for great deals, drive around in it and view Christmas light displays, we’ll even cheer on our favorite teams in it, so why not bundle up and go birding in it? Christmas Bird Count traditions provide a great way to spend time outdoors with friends and family, learn about the birds of Kansas, and enjoy the camaraderie of other nature enthusiasts. All you need to participate is clothing appropriate for traipsing outdoors on a mid-winter day, a pair of binoculars, and a good field guide. Add in a little adventurous spirit and you’re ready to go.


The Kansas Ornithological Society (KOS) has compiled a comprehensive list of Christmas Bird Counts occurring throughout the state on their website, There you’ll find a list of events scheduled to date, along with locations and contact information. Birders of all skill levels are welcome to the events, where groups will spend time canvassing established circular census areas, recording species and numbers of birds observed. Information recorded at events is entered into regional and national databases and can show population and migration trends.


So this Christmas, gear up, get out, and see what birds are out and about for the count.

Wild about Kansas photo contest winners selected

Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine, a bimonthly, subscription-based publication of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, will publish winning entries from the 2016 Wild About Kansas Photo Contest in the 2017 January/February photo issue. This year’s judges reviewed 213 submissions from 113 photographers of all ages and skill levels, providing a tough job for the panel of five. After much deliberation, 39 entries were selected to be published in the magazine’s special photo issue.

Photos were judged based on creativity, composition, subject matter, lighting, and overall sharpness. Categories included wildlife, outdoor recreation, landscapes, other species, and hunting and fishing. The 2016 results are as follows:



1st: Tony Pianalto, “Majestic”

2nd: Kevin Fruechting, “Twin Toms”

3rd: Chuck Gibson, “Hummingbird”

Honorable Mention: Frank Orth, “Screech Owl”

Outdoor Recreation

1st: Chenoa Casebier, “Sleeping Under The Stars”

2nd: Jeff Doggendorf, “Dry Rattlesnake Creek Riverbed”

3rd: Kayla Borell, “Rise To Wake”

Honorable Mention: Rick McPherson, “Frostbite Regatta”


1st: Robert Dilla, “Sunset Through The Keyhole”

2nd: Tim Wood, “On Konza Prairie”

3rd: Nicki Tomlinson, “Autumn Reflections”

Honorable Mention: Chuck Gibson, “Lovewell”

Other Species

1st: Jaci Novak, “Snack Time”

2nd: Mary Mejia, “Honey Bee At Sunflower”

3rd: Chuck Gibson, “Frog”

Honorable Mention: Rick McPherson, “Bison At Maxwell Refuge”

Hunting and Fishing

1st: Dale Benedict, “Spring Turkey Opening Day”

2nd: Clarence Maedgen, “Breaking Ice”

3rd: Tony Pianalto, “Rooster”

Honorable Mention: Kristin Vinduska, “My Retirement Plan”



1st: Isaac Schultz, “Buddy”

2nd: Solomon Schultz, “Cute”

3rd: Madison Larson, “Groundhog”

Honorable Mention: Lily Schultz, “Lily Frog”

Outdoor Recreation

1st: Madison Larson, “Watching Fireworks”

2nd: Elly Gossard, “Sisters Exploring”

3rd: Isaac Shultz, “Family Time”

Honorable Mention: John Walker, “Nice Shot”


1st: Johanna Walker, “Cider”

2nd: Yazmin Adams, “Fun Under The Sun”

3rd: Elly Gossard, “Calm Lake Day”

Honorable Mention: Cloey Kennemur, “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay”

Other Species

1st: Lily Shultz, “Gathering”

2nd: Kieren Shultz, “Big”

3rd: Corley Becker, “Resting Frog”

Honorable Mention: Johanna Walker, “Blending In”

Hunting and Fishing

1st: Ashley Fields, “Crappie Bait”

2nd: Kieren Shultz, “Peaceful”

3rd: Solomon Shultz, “Fishin’”

To subscribe to Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine today and start receiving Kansas’ premiere outdoor magazine, call (620) 672-5911, or visit Services/Publications/Magazine.

Details on the 2017 contest will be made available on in early spring.

2016 Mountain Lion reports


Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologists have been busy investigating a flurry of mountain lion reports lately. Three more mountain lion reports were confirmed in Kansas recently, bringing the total number of confirmed sightings for the year to four.


A hunter recently checked his trail camera on Fort Riley to find a photo of a mountain lion taken on Nov. 9. On Nov. 20, about 55 miles away, another hunter’s trail camera in Shawnee County snapped several photos of a mountain lion passing by at around 1 a.m.


Four days later and about 20 miles away, a couple of young raccoon hunters in Wabaunsee County were hunting with a single hound when it bayed “treed.” They were quite surprised when they shined their lights into the tree and found a mountain lion staring back at them. They had the presence of mind to take some video and snap a few photos for evidence, and even called a few friends and family out to see the lion for themselves. Biologists later visited the site and were able to recover a few hairs from the tree limbs. It is uncertain at this time whether sufficient material was present for DNA extraction, but if so, it can help biologists determine the animal’s sex, where it came from, where it has been, and where it may end up.


It is uncertain whether these recent confirmations are the result of a single or multiple cats. Young male mountain lions can wander great distances in search of a home range, and the proximity and timing of these latest sightings indicate a single lion is a possibility, but this is not a certainty. An additional sighting is still being investigated, and if confirmed, Kansas may have a record year for mountain lion sightings.


Since 2007, when the first mountain lion was confirmed in Kansas, 18 more have been added to the total. Most are presumed to be transient young male lions displaced from states north or west of Kansas. Consistent with this theory, the presence of arm barring on several of these recent confirmations is an indicator of a young (less than 3 year old) lion. A resident population, as indicated by the presence of kittens, adult females, or repeated documentations in the same vicinity, has not been observed nor confirmed.


Visit, Wildlife & Nature, Wildlife Sightings for more information.

2017 licenses go on sale December 15


Hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts carrying 2016 licenses in their wallets and purses are reminded that current year licenses will expire on December 31, 2016. The good news is, 2017 licenses can be purchased beginning December 15, 2016 and are good through the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.


Still in need of some stocking stuffers? Consider purchasing your family hunting and fishing licenses so they can enjoy another year of their favorite outdoor activities. If you buy the Youth Multi-year license, for youth 16-21, or one of the five-year hunting and fishing licenses, you can save a bundle. Really want a gift that has the “wow factor?” Gift someone special a lifetime hunting or fishing license and give them outdoor experiences for a lifetime. Payment options are available.


Visit your local license vendor, regional Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism  office, or go online to to make sure you’re equipped for another year of outdoor fun.