Thursday, June 30, 2011


Closure intended for safety of anglers and boaters
TOPEKA – The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Missouri River to all vessel traffic, including vessels used for fishing and recreation, from mile marker 386 located downstream of Leavenworth, northward to mile marker 811, near Gavins’ Point Dam in Yankton, S. D. Mile marker 386 is about one-half river-mile downstream of the ADM/Growmark grain elevator facility located on the Kansas side of the river. The closure includes the entire length of the Kansas portion of the Missouri River northward from mile marker 386.
The closure is a result of consultations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the governors of Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.
“For their own safety and the safety of emergency personnel who could be called to their rescue, it is vital that people avoid the dangerous flooding conditions on the Missouri River,” said Robin Jennison, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT).”
According to Captain Rob Ladner, a law enforcement supervisor with KDWPT, the swift floodwaters create unpredictable currents and carry large, hazardous debris. “The high water level hides submerged obstacles, making any kind of boating unsafe,” he added.
Information about flooding along the Missouri River is available from the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department,; and the U.S. Coast Guard at The Coast Guard also urges boaters to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any changes to the closure.

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Equipment allowed in eight reservoirs; special permit required
PRATT — Now in the last of a three-year pilot program, the Kansas floatline fishing season begins July 15 and runs through Sept. 15. The season is open at eight Kansas reservoirs: Hillsdale, Council Grove, Tuttle Creek, Kanopolis, John Redmond, Toronto, Wilson, and Pomona. During this time, anglers will be allowed to use floatlines from sunrise to sunset only.
Floatline fishing, sometimes called “jug fishing,” allows Kansas anglers to use no more than eight free floating floatlines with no more than two hooks attached to each line. A floatline permit (available for $2.50) is required, enabling Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) staff to survey floatline anglers to monitor participation. A valid Kansas fishing license is also required, unless exempt by law. During this season, anglers are allowed to use eight floatlines or eight setlines, but not both. In addition to floatlines, an angler may fish with two poles, or three poles if a $6.50 three-pole permit is purchased.
All floatlines must be under immediate supervision of the angler and must be removed from the water when fishing ceases. As with setlines, floatlines must be tagged with the owner's name and address. Materials used for floats are restricted to “closed cell” devices made of solid plastic, wood, or foam; metal, glass or any other hollow material is not allowed. Closed-cell floats are required because they do not hold water and are less likely to spread zebra mussels or other aquatic nuisance species.
At the end of this year’s season, participation and results of the floatline fishing season will be evaluated, and KDWPT staff will make recommendations to the Commission on whether to continue the program as is, expand it, or revoke it.
For more information, consult the 2011 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary, available where licenses are sold or online at

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Friday, June 24, 2011


Some access to lake closed, but park remains open
Despite the many false reports, Lake Meade State Park is open for business. The only thing that has been shut down, due to the recent blue green algae bloom, is swimming and wading in the lake. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) recommends no full body contact with lake water. This following statement is from the KDHE website:

Some blue-green algae produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities, yet the mere presence of blue-green algae is not a cause for alarm. Health effects could occur when surface scums or water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins are swallowed, through contact with the skin or when airborne droplets containing toxins are inhaled while swimming, boating, and skiing. A large percentage of the public will report "allergic" type reactions after exposure to blue-green algae, such as intestinal problems, respiratory problems, or skin irritations.

Faucet water in the state park is treated and safe to drink, and there are many activities available, including camping, fishing (clean the fish well, eat only the fillet and discard the rest), hiking, and boating. In fact, the park will be hosting a Car and Bike Show on July 17, 2011. The park is currently included in a countywide burn ban. For cooking purposes, a propane grill with a lid is being allowed. On red flag days, there will be no types of fires allowed.

KDHE will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this warning as soon as conditions warrant. For more information on any lake advisories, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 866-865-3233. For information about the Lake Meade State Park, call the office at 620-873-2572.
More information on algae and algae blooms can be found at KDHE’s website,

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Tuttle Creek dam and reservoir in Kansas. View...Image via Wikipedia
Application deadline Aug. 1
MANHATTAN — The 9th Annual Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt is just around the corner, and staff and volunteers with the Riley County Fish and Game Association, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), and the Tuttle Creek Lake Corps of Engineers are seeking participants for the hunt, which will be held Sept.10-11.
The application deadline is Aug. 1.
Kansas youth 11 through 16 years of age and Kansas residents with a certified disability are eligible to participate in this hunt. Participants need a deer permit, and, if required by Kansas law, a Kansas hunting license and an approved hunter education course. Assistance meeting these requirements, including scholarship assistance to purchase a hunting license and deer permit, is available through sponsoring agencies and associations.
Hunt participants will also be required to attend a firearm safety presentation and sight-in at the Fancy Creek Range on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 21. If participants do not have a rifle or ammunition for the hunt, these items will be provided. Each participant will be guided by an experienced hunter. Arrangements have been made with area lockers, where basic processing of harvested deer will be handled free of charge.
Other items provided for this hunt include accessible hunting blinds, hunting locations, hunter orange hats and vests, and transportation to the field.
Additional groups and organizations contributing to this hunt include the Friends of Fancy Creek Range, the Kansas City Chapter of Safari Club International, and the Tuttle Creek Lake Association.
For more information or an application, phone Steve Prockish at the Tuttle Creek Lake Corps of Engineers Office, 785-539-8511, ext. 3167, or email

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Season runs July 1-Oct. 31; fishing license required
PRATT — As the old song goes, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine...” Well, no one’s planning on eating Jeremiah, but he’d probably make some mighty fine fry. And for those who think viewing bullfrogs as drinking buddies is absurd, they’re right. But hunting them is a great way to beat the summer heat in the cool of the night with a fun outdoor adventure for young and old alike. And the resulting table fare will make the most hardcore “oldies” fan get up and dance. So get ready to boogie; the season begins July 1.
Bullfrog hunting, or "frogging," as many people call it, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors after days have sweltered close to 100 degrees through much of June. The freedom of summer nights beckons with the call of the bullfrog in July. At this time, shorts and a T-shirt are all that's needed to cool off in the water and pursue this popular quarry.
Froggers enjoy a season that runs July 1 through Oct. 31 although most frogging activity is in the hotter months of July and August. The daily creel limit is eight, with a possession limit of 24. While bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, dip net, gig, bow and arrow, or crossbow (firearms not allowed), many froggers prefer to take them by hand. All that's needed is a flashlight or headlamp, a mesh sack, an old pair of tennis shoes, and some stealth. The only other necessary ingredient is access to a local pond, lake, or stream. A valid fishing license is needed, if required by law.
The best method is to walk quietly through the water at night and shine a bright light along the bank until a pair of glowing eyes appear. Temporarily blinded by the light, frogs can be grabbed or netted.
The fruits of this effort are not only fun times but good food. Frog legs are regarded as a delicacy and have a taste and texture resembling a cross of shrimp and fish. A popular way to cook them is to dip the legs in egg and then into a mixture of flour and corn meal, seasoning salt, and pepper. Then the legs are fried to a golden brown in oil. This gourmet meal is a bonus to a great summer evening that both kids and adults will always remember.
Add a great old Three Dog Night song written by Hoyt Axton, and you’ll be singing “joy to the world.”

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae): Arthrospira ...Image via Wikipedia
Blue-green algae bloom still toxic
MEADE — On June 22, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Secretary Robin Jennison issued Emergency Secretary Order closing some recreational access to the waters and beach areas of Meade State Park, in Meade County. A few days earlier, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) had found a blue-green algae bloom in Meade State Fishing Lake at the park. Direct water contact activities such as swimming and wading are prohibited until further notice.
In the meantime, authorities will continue to monitor lake conditions. KDHE recommends the following precautions at Meade State Fishing Lake:
  • do not drink lake water;
  • avoid swimming, wading, or other activities with full body contact of lake water;
  • clean fish well, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other body parts;
  • keep pets from having contact with or drinking the water.
Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Ingestion or inhaling aerosols (such as from personal watercraft or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. If you develop similar symptoms after contact with the lake water, seek medical care from your healthcare provider.
Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill as a result of coming into contact with, or ingesting the water. If your pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, contact your veterinarian right away.
KDHE and KDWP will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this advisory as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 785-296-6603.
Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found online at

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Receives 41 months in federal prison; largest case in Kansas history
WICHITA — A Texas man was sentenced June 21 in a Wichita federal court on felony charges of conspiracy, wildlife trafficking, and obstruction of justice related to the illegal sale of guided deer hunts in southern Kansas, announced Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, and Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
James Bobby Butler, Jr., 42, of Martinsville, Tex., was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison. Butler pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, one Lacey Act interstate trafficking count, and one count of obstruction of justice. His brother, Marlin Jackson Butler, 36, also of Martinsville, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and one Lacey Act count. Marlin Butler is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2011.
“Illegal wildlife trafficking is a threat to the natural resources of Kansas," Grissom said. "Our goal is to preserve and protect wildlife for everyone to enjoy, including hunters who abide by the law."
"Thanks to outstanding cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agents and prosecutors, we put an end to a criminal conspiracy that took valuable and limited wildlife resources," Moreno added. "This prosecution sends a message to everyone in Kansas and elsewhere that there will be serious consequences for those who seek to profit by violating state and federal wildlife laws, especially at the expense of those who hunt and guide lawfully."
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation. According to court documents filed in the case, James and Marlin Butler conspired together to knowingly transport and sell in interstate commerce deer that had been hunted in violation of Kansas state law.
In particular, the brothers operated a guiding service and hunting camp near Coldwater at which they sold guiding services to out-of-state hunters for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing white-tailed deer and mule deer. Hunters guided by the Butler brothers killed deer in excess of annual bag limits, hunted deer without permits or with permits for the wrong deer management unit, killed deer using illegal equipment, and hunted using prohibited methods such as spotlighting. The guided hunts were sold for between $2,500 and $5,500 and in several instances resulted in the killing of trophy-sized buck deer.
In addition to selling guiding services, the brothers also arranged for transport of the deer, in particular the antlers and capes, from Kansas to Texas and Louisiana.
James Butler also pleaded guilty to instructing another person to conceal or destroy evidence during the investigation.
“This is the largest case in the history of wildlife law enforcement in Kansas," said Steve Oberholtzer, special agent in charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Mountain-Prairie Region. "Trophy deer are an important resource for the state of Kansas from both wildlife and economic standpoints. Joint investigations such as this one demonstrate that the combined efforts of state and federal agencies and federal prosecutors result in prosecutions that hold those who violate the law accountable. We are grateful to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their assistance in this case and hope that it will serve as a deterrent to others who might consider exploiting our nation's wildlife for personal gain."
The case was investigated by the USFWS, KDWP, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and jointly prosecuted by District of Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom's office and the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section.

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Monday, June 20, 2011


water ski skiing Eastern Cape South AfricaImage by moron noodle via Flickr
June 24-26 are awareness days; operations underway year-round
PRATT — Marine law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal boating agencies — including the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) — will be out in force June 24-26 for Operation Dry Water (ODW), an annual campaign focused on the detection and enforcement of boating under the influence (BUI). A secondary objective is to raise awareness among all boaters that it is unsafe as well as illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

More than 17 percent of boating fatalities result from alcohol use, and KDWP has gotten tougher in recent years in enforcing laws against this high-risk behavior. Operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is against Kansas state law. Boaters caught operating under the influence can find their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded. Additionally, penalties can include arrest, fines, and loss of boating privileges.

The effort is timed to give BUI enforcement high visibility before the Fourth of July, perhaps the busiest recreational boating weekend of summer. A new battery of testing standards will, for the first time, allow marine patrol officers to test boaters in a seated position and apply a percentage of probability that the subject is impaired at .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher.

For more information on this annual event, go online

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Sunday, June 19, 2011


Fourteen tagged fish worth $200-$300 caught in Kansas so far
PRATT — Cabela’s and Wanna Go Fishing TV have tagged hundreds of fish in lakes near select Cabela’s retail stores, including several in Kansas, and as of mid-June, 14 of these fish have been caught in the Sunflower State.

While Cabela’s has not released the last names of winners yet, first names of anglers and the reservoirs where they have caught tagged fish include Elijah R., Kanopolis; Ron M., Cheney; Ralph A., Kanopolis; Bruce W., Glen Elder; Donnie A., El Dorado; Wade J., Glen Elder; Robert H., Kanopolis; Jeff H., Glen Elder; Monte N., Kanopolis; Anh H., Cheney; Gary D., Kanopolis; Tuan T., Cheney; Jerry P., Kanopolis; and Dennis H., Milford. These tagged fish have been worth various prizes worth $200 to $300.

To view winners in other states and to keep abreast of new winners in Kansas, go online to

Only anglers registered for the contest are eligible for prizes, but by catching the grand-prize tagged fish while using an Abu Garcia reel spooled with Berkley line, anglers can double the winnings. Catch the grand prize fish while sporting Costa sunglasses or Sperry Top-Sider shoes, and you can increase the prize package by $100,000. By using all of the equipment, and catching the grand-prize tagged fish, the package more than doubles from $1 million to $2.2 million. The 50th tag redeemed will win a $10,000 Cabela’s shopping spree that can be redeemed in a store or online.

Full contest details are available at or at any Cabela’s retail store. Anglers need to pre-register on the website and hit their local lakes between May 14 and July 14 for their chance at millions.

Tagged fish have been released in Milford, Glen Elder, Cheney, Cedar Bluff, Hillsdale, Clinton, Kanopolis, and El Dorado reservoirs. All prize winners will be announced online after July 14.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011


Winners eligible for regional championships, college scholarships

RUSSELL — The Bass Federation (TBF), in partnership with Forrest L. Wood (FLW) Outdoors, announced it will host the inaugural Student Angler Federation Kansas High School Fishing State Championship June 25 at Wilson Reservoir, near Russell. The state championship is a two-person team event for students in grades 9-12. The winning two-person team from each state championship will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship hosted on a college campus this fall.

“We are excited to host the high school championship tournament,” said Janae Talbott, director of the Russell County Economic Development and Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We love to see youth carrying on the fishing heritage, learning respect for the environment and the recreational opportunities Kansas has to offer anglers.”

Registration for high school anglers and their coaches, who will provide the boat they compete in, is available online at, by phoning580-765-9031, or by emailing for more details.

Mandatory check-in begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 24, in the TBF tournament trailer at Wilson State Park’s Hells Creek Ramp, with a mandatory rules briefing at 6 p.m. Teams are encourage preregister online or by phone in advance to avoid late-registration fees.

Students and parents can go to for details on the Student Angler Federation (SAF) and to sign up. Cost is $25 and includes a one-year SAF membership and full TBF and FLW Outdoors benefits, including access to the all-new FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club. The fee covers all SAF sanctioned events all year.

Ranger boats will be provided for the high school anglers to fish from at each regional championship, and the winners from each regional will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held on a college campus in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2012. All SAF members and state championship participants qualify for the largest event in high school fishing, the 2011 High School Fishing World Finals, July 20-23 in Russellville, Ark., to compete for thousands in college scholarships and prizes.

Each team that qualifies for a regional and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. The High School Fishing National Championship winners will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.

An SAF sanctioned event also includes an “angler testing” component. Anglers can take a free online test at about boater safety, conservation, and angler ethics, which makes them eligible for contingency awards at their state championship.

For more information, write the Russell County Economic Development and Convention and Visitors Bureau, 331 E. Wichita, Russell, KS 67665; phone 785-483-4000; email Janae Talbott, director, at; or visit their website,

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Friday, June 17, 2011


Haliaeetus leucocephalus (bald eagle) landing ...Image via Wikipedia
June 20 proclamation presentation will recognize the bald eagle success story

TOPEKA — Governor Sam Brownback has declared Monday, June 20, as American Eagle Day in Kansas in recognition of the American bald eagle and its growing population in the Sunflower State. Brownback will present a signed proclamation to representatives of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on June 20 during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at the Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E 29th Street North (at the intersection of Woodlawn and 29th Street North), in Wichita. The public is invited to attend and admission is free. Naturalists from the Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence will be on hand with a live bald eagle.
According to Brownback, “The American bald eagle is a real conservation success story and one in which Kansas has played an important role. Bald eagles have become increasingly common in Kansas thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks; and the support of many state conservation organizations and dedicated individuals.”

In Kansas, the numbers of eaglets hatched annually has increased from two eaglets in one nest in 1989 — at Clinton Reservoir — to 69 eaglets from 34 nests in 2010. Most of the nest sites are in eastern and central Kansas.

Bald eagles typically nest near water in large trees and add material to the nest and use it in subsequent years. Usually, two eggs are laid, and it takes the young four to five years to develop adult plumage. Migrant eagles from the north often congregate around Kansas lakes, streams, and wetlands during the winter. They feed primarily on fish, waterfowl, mammals, and carrion.

Bald eagles became the national symbol in 1782, but the population declined sharply due habitat loss as human populations spread, widespread poaching, and DDT use after World War II. DDT accumulated in the eagles and caused the females to lay weak-shelled eggs, which broke during incubation.

By the 1970’s the population had dropped to about 2,000 birds with only 400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states. After DDT was banned in 1972, concerted conservation efforts reversed the decline, and the eagle’s population has been slowly increasing. They are no longer listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act or as threatened in Kansas. They’re still protected under two other federal Acts that protect bald and golden eagles, and migratory birds.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011


An example of container for geocaching game, C...Image via Wikipedia
Park manager snags, relocates floating geocache boxes

GLEN ELDER — Due to flooding at Glen Elder Reservoir, locations for Glen Elder State Park’s caches in the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) geocache contest have changed. The original sites are now under water, and may be for quite some time.

The park manager was able to retrieve floating geocache boxes and reset them, so geocachers can still participate in the contest. New coordinates for the first cache box are N 98° 30.065 W 98° 19.359. Geocachers with questions should phone the park office at 785-545-3345 or KDWP’s Pratt Operations Office at620-672-5911.

Now in its fourth year, the KDWP geocaching contest began May 27. From then until Nov. 1, the game is to find two hidden caches at each Kansas state park, as well as a few other locations. The coordinates of one cache at each site and the official statewide KDWP Geocaching Entry Form is posted on the KDWP website, (Click “Other Services/Outdoor Activities/Geocaching.”)

Participants use hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) to locate and open the first cache, where they will find the coordinates of the second. Upon finding the second cache, the participant signs a log sheet and takes a certificate. Participants who show the certificate to that park office will receive a park-specific location ink pen. Cachers must retain each certificate to turn in with the downloadable entry form for point verification toward prizes.

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Logo of the United States Fish and Wildlife Se...Image via Wikipedia
Pair face prison sentencing, heavy fines, suspension of hunting privileges

WICHITA — On March 16, James Bobby Butler Jr. and Marlin Jackson Butler — both of Martinsville, Texas — pleaded guilty in federal court in Wichita to felony conspiracy and wildlife trafficking charges stemming from the illegal sale of guided deer hunts in southern Kansas. On Tuesday, June 21, James Bobby Butler, Jr., will be sentenced in the federal court at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m., Kansas U.S. attorney Barry Grissom will hold a press conference regarding the case at the Great Plains Nature Center, 29th and Woodlawn in Wichita.

Butler, Jr., 42, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, one substantive Lacey Act count, and one count of obstruction of justice. Marlin Butler, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and one Lacey Act count. Marlin Butler will be sentenced June 24. Charges for others involved in the case are still pending.

The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation. The maximum penalty for a felony violation of the conspiracy statute and the Lacey Act includes as many as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the obstruction charge against James Butler includes as many as 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. According to the plea agreements, the prosecution agreed to recommend sentences of 41 months in prison for James Butler and 27 months in prison for Marlin Butler, in addition to fines, restitution, and three years of supervised release during which time both Butler brothers would be prohibited from all hunting and guiding activity.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The case is being jointly prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

For more information, phone the U.S. Attorney's Office at 316-269-6481.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011


Courtesy KDWP
June 18-19 will be Dad’s day at only state park in southwest Kansas
MEADE — On Father’s Day weekend June 18-19, Meade State Park and Friends of Meade State Park and Lake will host a Father’s Day Fishing Derby at Meade State Fishing Lake. This is a free event, but regular park fees still apply.
Teams must include a parent/guardian and a child 16 or younger. Participants must register at the park office. Registration and the fishing derby will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. The registration will cut off at 10 a.m. on Sunday June, 19.
Prizes will be given for the largest stringer of fish and largest fish in the following categories: bass, crappie, and catfish. Fish can be weighed in from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, the final weigh-in time. Participants do not need to be present at the final weigh-in to win.
For more information, phone the park office at 620-873-2572.

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Friday, June 10, 2011


State parks, some wildlife areas, offer comfortable alternative to roughing it
PRATT — Looking for a special summer Kansas state park or more remote area experience? Rental cabins are available throughout the year at 19 Kansas state parks, four state fishing lakes, and one wildlife area. Some cabins are rustic while others feature many of the comforts of home and all enhance the pleasure of parks and lakes across the state.
Anglers, hikers, birdwatchers, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts can choose from a variety of cabins, ranging from primitive to modern. (Cabins also are popular with hunters in winter.) Scenic surroundings and economical fees make these enticing reprieves from the hustle and bustle of daily life even more appealing.
Courtesy KDWP
Some cabins feature amenities such as full bathroom with shower; kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, and cook-top stove; beds for as many as nine people; screened-in porch; fire ring; and barbecue grill. All cabins have heating and air conditioning, table and chairs, basic pots and pans, and table service for four are also offered at many cabins, making them all-season getaways. Cabins without water or full bathrooms are located near park shower houses.
Reservations are required, and cabins are in high demand, so renters are encouraged to call or go online well in advance of a planned trip to make sure a cabin is available. Some are handicapped-accessible. For a list of all state park cabins, go to the KDWP website, Click "State Parks," then "Locations With Cabins." To reserve a cabin, go online to Prices vary depending on location, timing, and amenities. Weekly and monthly rates are available.
It’s easy and economical to plan a home-state vacation or weekend getaway with the comforts of home. And enjoy all the outdoor recreational opportunities of one of many fine Kansas state parks, or an even more remote location at a state fishing lake or wildlife area.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


A white-tailed deerImage via Wikipedia
4,395 permits left over from May nonresident drawing
PRATT — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced that leftover nonresident deer permits will be sold online and over-the-counter on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 12:01 a.m. June 15. After the initial nonresident deer permit drawing in May, KDWP had 4,395 permits left over in 11 deer management units for the 2011 season. These permits will go on sale for those nonresidents who were unsuccessful in the initial drawing or did not apply.

With these permits, the hunter designates unit and equipment/season choice, as well as one adjacent unit, at time of purchase. They will be sold to any nonresident who does not already have a 2011 permit at license vendors, online at the KDWP website ( under “License/Permits”), or by phoning 620-672-5911 and asking for Licensing.

The number of leftover Nonresident Whitetail Either Sex Deer permits includes the following: Unit 6 — 259; Unit 8 — 448; Unit 9 — 326; Unit 10 — 590; Unit 11 — 872; Unit 12 — 488; Unit 13 — 435; and Unit 14 — 628; Unit 15 — 181; Unit 16 — 118; and Unit 18 — 50.

Hunters who purchase a leftover permit will lose any preference points they may have accumulated for next year's drawing. Applicants who were successful in the nonresident drawing may not purchase a leftover permit. No hunter may purchase more than one permit that allows the take of an antlered deer. An antlered deer permit is required before purchasing a Whitetail Antlerless-Only Deer permit.

Updated information on the number of permits leftover may be found on the KDWP website, Click "Hunting/Applications and Fees/Deer/Quotas and Draw Stats." Those without internet access may phone620-672-5911 and ask for Licensing.

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Lost license or permit easily replaced
PRATT — The dog ate it. My wife threw it in the washer. My kids thought it would make a good finger-painting project, and it was lost at school. My uncle tried to start a fire with it.
While these may seem silly excuses for losing a hunting or fishing license, park permit, or other issue from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), they are legitimate. And with recent storms throughout the Sunflower State, more serious causes for lost licenses have been reported.
However you may have lost or destroyed a license or permit, KDWP has a simple process for replacing it. Duplicates of all licenses and permits may be purchased for $12.50 at the Pratt Operations Office or at any licensed agent, such as a sporting goods store or bait shop. Or goonline to the KDWP website,, and click “License/Permits” in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
If you don’t have a computer or easy access to a license vendor, phone 620-672-5911 and ask for Licensing. They will fix you up and have you back in the great outdoors in no time.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


From dragonflies to spiders and soil, kids learn about nature; preregistration required
GREAT BEND — The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, on Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area northeast of Great Bend, will conduct a number of children’s programs this summer. These one-hour programs will be offered at no charge. Programs for kids age four through seven will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and programs for those age eight through 12 will run from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Programs include plenty of hands-on activities, with trips outside if possible. Each program will include activities, games, and/or crafts and sometimes a story.
Parents are asked to dress children in old clothes and shoes and bring sunscreen, insect repellant, and water. Children age seven and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The registration deadline is one week before the class. To register for a program, or for more information, phone 1-877-243-9268. There is a limit of 20 per class. Although there is no program charge, donations for supplies are appreciated.
The following programs will be held in July:
  • "Dancing Dragonflies," July 7 (register by July 1) — the aerial antics of dragonflies are matched by their power as predators of the air. Discover the two very different worlds dragonflies live in and search for them above and below the water. Make your very own dancing dragonfly to take home.
  • "Dog Days of Summer," July 14 (register by July 9) — from the rare black-footed ferret to the burrowing owl, many creatures depend upon the prairie dog and the habitat their "towns" create. Participants will investigate who shares prairie dog burrows and make a nesting wildlife chain.
  • "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," July 21 (register by July 15) — feared and misunderstood, spiders are fascinating creatures that create engineering marvels and complete amazing physical feats. Search for spiders and make a web.
  • "What's in the Soil?," July 28 (register by July 22) — the soil is a complex, interesting system with millions of inhabitants. Learn what is living under the ground we walk, make an edible soil profile, and get an up-close look at dirt.

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Friday, June 3, 2011


Handfishing open only in specific waters

PRATT — The Kansas flathead catfish handfishing season opens June 15, providing thrills and plenty of great table fare for those hearty souls who anticipate this unique adventure. The season runs June 15-Aug. 31, a time when those of strong nerve may catch flathead catfish using nothing but their hands and wits. Although such anglers may be few, the season offers a special challenge at a time when summer heat has slowed many other types of fishing.

In addition to a limited season, there are restrictions during the handfishing season. Only flathead catfish may be taken, and legal handfishing hours are sunrise to sunset. A special $27.50 permit is required in addition to a regular fishing license. Handfishermen may not use hooks, snorkeling or scuba gear, or any other man-made device or possess any fishing gear except a stringer. Stringers may not be used until the fish are caught by hand and are at or above the surface of the water. No man-made object that attracts fish — such as a barrel, box, bathtub, or any other object — may be used. The season is only open in the following waters:
  • the entire length of the Arkansas River;
  • all federal reservoirs from beyond 150 yards of the dam to the upstream end of the federal property; and
  • the Kansas River from its origin downstream to its confluence with the Missouri River.
Everyone who purchases a handfishing permit will be given a questionnaire they must complete and submit no later than 30 days after the close of the handfishing season. Handfishing permits may be purchased online or at select locations around the state. To find vendors or purchase permits online, go online to

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Glen Elder Youth Fishing Tournament Postponed

High water forces delay
GLEN ELDER — Due to high water levels at Glen Elder Reservoir, the 7th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament has been postponed until July 23. Heavy rainfall this week on top of previous storms the last two weeks has caused the water level to reach 6.2 feet over conservation pool, with the potential for another 4-feet rise through the weekend. The Marina and Boller Point boat ramps had been closed earlier, and the Osage boat ramp is closed as of Thursday, June 2.
The schedule of events will remain the same for July 23 with registration at the park office between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and fishing until 3 p.m. Anyone who had previously signed up for the fishing tournament the weekend of June 4 will still be on the list for July 23. Those who cannot make that date are asked to call the park office at 785-545-3345 and let staff know. Phone this number for further information.

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Guidelines focus on species in greatest need of conservation; public input deadline July 1
PRATT — The State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program has provided funding for wildlife conservation programs for more than 10 years. In Kansas, this has meant nearly $10 million for many kinds of projects designed to keep species off threatened and endangered lists. Notable projects funded through this program include the Prairie Window Project by Dyck Arboretum at Hesston, which helped landowners restore and maintain native prairies; the compilation of a substantial amount of new information on the status and distributions of sensitive species; and a project that assessed natural areas of northeast Kansas.

The use of these funds has been guided by the Kansas Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan (CWCP), entitled "A Future for Kansas Wildlife.” Found on the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, (Other Services/Kansas CWCP/Kansas CWCP), this plan was approved in 2005 as a requirement before Kansas could obtain and apply additional SWG funds. Now KDWP is in the process of revising this dynamic plan, with the revision scheduled for completion in 2013.

The first step in this process is a review of the basic native species list. This is the list of all vertebrate species as well as many invertebrate animals to be considered for potential changes on the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) list. There are currently 316 species on this list, and this plan update will consider all needed changes — those to be added to the list, deleted from it, or name changes according to the latest information.

“A Future for Kansas Wildlife” on the KDWP website also includes Appendix II, which describes the process by which any native species will be evaluated for possible listing as a SGCN. Top ranked species on this list are given priority in projects funded through the SWG program. This an opportunity for the public to look over the native species list and recommend any needed changes. Find the list under “Kansas CWCP Updates and Revisions” under “Other Services,” as well as further instructions for this process.

July 1 is the deadline for recommending changes to the Native Species List. Then work will begin on re-evaluating the Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Use the contact portal on the website to submit any recommendations.

For more information, contact Ken Brunson at 620-672-0792 or email him .

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