Sunday, November 29, 2015

Women and Youth Invited to Celebrity Pheasant Hunt Dec. 12

GLEN ELDER ­– Women and youth ages 11-16 are invited to the 18th Annual Youth and Women’s Celebrity Pheasant Hunt at Waconda Lake on Saturday, December 12
 beginning at 7:15 a.m. This special hunt is geared toward providing a comfortable and positive hunting environment for new and inexperienced hunters. To be selected for one of the 40 slots available for this hunt, contact the Glen Elder Area Office at (785) 545-3345 by Thursday, December 3.

Event festivities will begin with a hunters’ breakfast in the Hopewell Church basement at Glen Elder State Park, followed by a pre-hunt safety discussion before participants are divided into hunting groups. Hunters, guides, and mentors will then head out to various refuge areas around Glen Elder Reservoir where only a very limited amount of hunting is allowed. Parties will hunt through the morning and early afternoon before breaking for lunch, courtesy of the Waconda Lake Association.
A unique aspect of this event is that participants will get to interact with and hunt alongside a few Hero-celebrities who have been invited to serve as hunting mentors. Event celebrities range from former professional athletes and TV personalities to military personnel who have recently returned from deployment.
In addition to field time, trap shooting stations will be set up for hunters wanting to refine their shooting skills.
All participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt, and each youth hunter will receive an additional gift courtesy of sponsors.
A hunters’ banquet will be held in the evening. All participants are invited to attend and will be asked to RSVP when they sign up for the hunt.
For more information or to volunteer as a mentor for this event, contact Chris Lecuyer at (785) 545-3345.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Game Wardens Seek Public Assistance in Poaching Cases

PRATT – If you’ve ever seen a photo of a poached deer, chances are you wish you hadn’t. The sad reality is countless numbers of big game animals are illegally killed in Kansas each year. While Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game wardens make every effort to solve these cases, lack of evidence often leaves criminals unpunished. The good news is, you don’t have to be a game warden to play a significant role in helping solve a poaching case.
Operation Game Thief (OGT), 1-877-426-3843, is a toll-free line available 24/7, 365 days a year, where citizens can anonymously report wildlife-related crimes. Once a call has been placed, the message is relayed to the game warden nearest the violation.
If you suspect you are witnessing a wildlife crime do not confront the suspects. Pay attention to detail so you can provide as much specific information as possible when you call OGT. Information such as vehicle model and color, license tag numbers, descriptions of people involved, location, and the time the incident occurred will help game wardens find the poachers.
OGT calls have resulted in numerous arrests and convictions on violations ranging from deer poaching to public lands vandalism. In many cases, poachers have been arrested within minutes of the call. If you think picking up the phone can’t make a difference, think again. Those who commit wildlife crimes aren’t just stealing from the land, they are stealing from us all. Help bring them to justice by calling OGT at 1-877-426-3843.

Friday, November 27, 2015

State Competition Tests Students’ Plant and Animal Knowledge

PRATT ­­– Think you know Kansas’ flora and fauna inside and out? Would you be willing to put your knowledge to the test? Seventy-nine students from 12 schools across the state did just that during the 17th Annual Kansas ECO-Meet State Finals competition on November 5, and the results were impressive. Held at the Camp Wood YMCA, near Elmdale, the ECO-Meet tested students’ knowledge via a wetlands and aquatic ecosystems test, invertebrates test, live plant scavenger hunt, and an interpretive event.
To compete at the state level, students had to qualify at one of seven regional competitions held in September and October at Milford Nature Center, Lakewood Discovery Center, Dillon Nature Center, Wilson Lake, Great Plains Nature Center, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, and Ernie Miller Nature Center.
At the state competition, a total of 21 teams participated, along with six students who qualified as individuals in the two test events. Schools represented at the state competition included Clay Center, Goddard, Goessel, Inman, Maize, Miltonvale, Nickerson, Pike Valley, Pratt, Salina South, Shawnee Mission South, St. Mary’s-Colgan of Pittsburg, Tescott, Tonganoxie, Wakefield, and Wilson.
2015 Kansas ECO-Meet State Finals Results are as follows:
Overall Team
1st – Shawnee Mission South High School Team A: Megan Jenkins, Joe Petty, Kara Pringle and team coach PJ Born - $300/student scholarships awarded.
2nd – Goddard HS: Sarah Tomtschick, Clara Towey, Brooke Wentz, Brooke Wetta and team coach Marylee Ramsey - $200/student scholarships awarded.
3rd – Wilson HS Team A: Anna Criswell Aaron Dlabal, Trey Fink, Kyle Goldwater and team coach Melanie Falcon - $100/student scholarships awarded. 
Individual Events
1st – Joe Petty, Shawnee Mission South High School A - $200 scholarship
2nd – Kara Pringle, Shawnee Mission South High School A - $100 scholarship awarded.
Wetlands/Aquatic Ecosystem
1st – Joe Petty, Shawnee Mission South High School A - $200 scholarship
2nd – Aaron Dlabal, Wilson High School A - $100 scholarship awarded.
For more information on the Kansas ECO-Meet, and to find out how you can get involved, visit or contact program coordinator Mike Rader at or (620) 672-0708.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christmas Celebration at Great Plains Nature Center

WICHITA ­– Christmas cheer will soon be filling the rooms of the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC), 6232 East 29th St N, Wichita, and staff invite families to join the celebration. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 4, visitors can enjoy games, crafts, snacks and music, all free of charge. 
Santa will be present to hear the holiday requests of youngsters, while mom and dad enjoy 15 percent off their Christmas shopping at the Owl’s Nest Gift Shop.
Help the staff at GPNC celebrate the holidays and welcome in the new year at this fun, family-friendly event
For more information, visit, or call (316) 683-5499.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Atchison County To Host Landowner Stewardship Workshop

ATCHISON – Private landowners interested in improving their natural resources are encouraged to attend a Landowner Stewardship Workshop onWednesday, November 18, 2015. Registration for the workshop will start at 5:30 p.m., with presentations starting at 6:00 p.m. Hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), in cooperation with the Atchison County Conservation District, the workshop will take place at the Benedictine Bottoms Wildlife Area Office, 3.5 miles northeast of Atchison on River Road.
Natural resource professionals will discuss technical and financial assistance available to landowners through state cost-share programs and the federal Farm Bill. Attendees will also hear about current management activities on the wildlife area.   
Admission is free. For more information contact Tim Urban, KDWPT wildlife biologist technician at 913-422-1314 x 105 or by e-mail at

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Little Apple Glow Paddle On The Kansas River

MANHATTAN – If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, the Little Apple Glow Paddle should fit the bill. On Saturday, November 7, 2015, paddlers are invited for an evening canoe and kayak float on the Kansas River.
Sponsored by the Manhattan Parks and Rec Department, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau, the evening float will begin at 5 p.m. when paddlers will meet at the Linear Trail Head for a bus ride to Fairmont Park. At 5:30, canoers and kayakers will begin paddling back to the Linear Trail Head.
Paddlers can bring their own canoe or kayak or rent one at the event. All boaters must wear life jackets. There is a $10 registration fee for those who bring their own vessel, $15 for registration and rental of a single person kayak, $25 for registration and rental of a two-person kayak or two-person canoe. The float will conclude with s’mores around the campfire.
Spaces are limited, so register today by calling or emailing Marcia Rozell, (785)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Trout Season Offers Hot Fishing During Colder Months

PRATT – Kansas fishing fun doesn’t have to end when winter begins. A unique angling opportunity is about to kick off in select waters throughout the state, and with the right permit and some layered clothing, you just might find you have one more reason to fire up the grill – trout.
Trout are stocked in more than 30 locations around the state during the season, which runs Nov. 1, 2015 - April 15, 2016. Anglers can try their luck at trout fishing in Type 1 waters, which require all anglers to possess a $12.50 trout permit, and in Type 2 waters, which require only those fishing for or possessing trout to purchase the permit. The permit is valid for the calendar year and can be purchased wherever licenses are sold and online
Trout fishing opportunities are available at the following locations:
Cedar Bluff Stilling Basin
Dodge City Lake Charles
Ft. Scott Gun Park Lake
Glen Elder State Park (SP) Pond
Kanopolis Seep Stream
KDOT East Lake in Wichita
Lake Henry in Clinton SP
Mined Land WA Unit #30
Pratt Centennial Pond
Walnut River Area in El Dorado SP
Willow Lake at Tuttle Creek SP
Webster Stilling Basin
Sandsage Bison Range and WA Sandpits (Periodically Dry)
Vic’s Lake and Slough Creek in Sedgwick County Park
Topeka Auburndale Park
Garnett Crystal Lake
Sherman County Smoky Gardens Lake
Solomon River between Webster Reservoir and Rooks County #2 Road
Ft. Riley Cameron Springs
Lake Shawnee - Topeka
Salina Lakewood Lake
Moon Lake on Fort Riley
Scott State Fishing Lake
Scott State Park Pond
Hutchinson Dillon Nature Center Pond
Atchison City Lake # 1
Belleville City Lake (Rocky Pond)
Holton-Elkhorn Lake
Syracuse Sam's Pond
Cimarron Grasslands Pits
Colby Villa High Lake
Great Bend Stone Lake
Herington - Father Padilla Pond
TROUT Permit required year-round
Cherokee County – Mined Land Wildlife Area No. 30
*Because trout survive through the summer here, a trout permit is required year-round for anglers utilizing the lake.
Residents 16-74 years old, and all nonresidents 16 and older must also have a valid fishing license. The daily creel limit is five trout unless otherwise posted. Anglers 15 and younger may fish without a trout permit, but are limited to two trout per day, or they may purchase a permit and take five trout per day. Possession limit for trout is 15. 
For information on trout stocking schedules, visit and click “Fishing / Special Fishing Programs for You / Trout Stocking Schedule.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fishing Regulation Changes Slow the Spread of Asian Carp

PRATT – Many anglers remember when the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) changed bait regulations in 2012 to limit the use of wild-caught bait to within the drainage where collected as well as the 2013 amendment to lessen restrictions for bluegill and green sunfish. The intent of these regulations was to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species such as Asian carp, white perch, and zebra mussels. Sampling conducted earlier this year appears to show that anglers adhering to the bait regulations helped slow the spread of Asian carp through Kansas waters.
In July 2015, KDWPT partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to sample 11 locations from six river basins throughout Kansas to detect the presence of environmental DNA (eDNA) left behind by bighead and silver carp (collectively known as Asian carp). Over a three-day span, two field crews, each comprised of two KDWPT Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) program staff and one USFWS staff, collected 204 eDNA samples. An additional USFWS crew, manning a portable trailer with cooled centrifuges, prepared the samples for shipment to and processing by the USFWS Whitney Genetics Lab in LaCrosse, Wis.
Results were released to KDWPT earlier this month and are available at, but to summarize, none of the samples collected contained Asian carp eDNA. ANS program coordinator Jessica Howell has a good guess as to why.
“We believe the bait regulations have had a positive impact on protecting our natural resources from ANS such as Asian carp, as evidenced by the apparent lack of spread of bighead and silver carp throughout the state,” said Howell. She went on to add that locations such as Atchison State Fishing Lake and the Kansas River above the Bowersock Dam in Lawrence are areas we would have expected to see positive samples if the fish were moved upstream. Instead, these popular fishing locations were negative for eDNA, despite downstream populations where reproduction by the fish has been documented.
Regulations were changed because ANS, including Asian carp and white perch, can easily be confused with similar-looking native species by anglers catching bait. Small bighead and silver carp look very similar to native gizzard shad. White perch look very similar to native white bass. When the KDWPT Commission amended the regulations in 2013 to allow bluegill and green sunfish to be moved, part of the decision was that bluegill and green sunfish do not look like invasive fish currently in Kansas (bighead carp, silver carp, and white perch).
Anglers and boaters should be aware of Kansas regulations enacted to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, including:
  • Wild-caught bait must be used in the common drainage where collected and may not be moved upstream of a dam or natural fish barrier. Bluegill and green sunfish collected from non-designated aquatic nuisance waters may be possessed as live bait anywhere in the state.
  • No live fish may be taken from designated aquatic nuisance waters, including sport, non-sport, and baitfish.
  • Anglers fishing with bait purchased from a commercial dealer must have the receipt in their possession while fishing with purchased bait.
  • Boaters must pull drain plugs and drain livewells and bilges before transporting their boat on public highways.
  • It is illegal to possess certain species or to release wildlife on department lands or waters, federal reservoirs, and navigable publicly owned rivers.
KDWPT recommends that all water users Clean, Drain, and Dry all equipment after each use to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
  • Clean – Remove all plants, animals and mud; thoroughly wash everything, especially crevices and hidden areas.
  • Drain – Eliminate all water before leaving the area, including livewells, ballast and engine cooling water. Dispose of unused bait on land or in an approved bait receptacle.
  • Dry – Allow five days for your equipment to completely dry before transporting to other waters. If you cannot wait five days, clean your boat with high-pressure hot water (140 degrees for 10 seconds of contact).
For more information on eDNA sampling efforts, and how you can help play a part in the fight against ANS, visit or contact Howell at