Getting Started

Technical Assistance

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Kansas State University all provide technical assistance to landowners for various conservation practices.

The Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism conducts research to discover new and better ways to manage ponds for fishing. Knowledge of improved management techniques is then passed on to the public through presentations, personal contact, and written material such as this booklet.

The Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism's Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP) is specifically designed to provide technical assistance to landowners desiring to improve terrestrial wildlife habitat on their property. Depending on agency budget, WHIP may also offer financial help to acquire seed and plant material, labor and machinery. Advice and assistance pertaining to construction, development, and management of ponds for both fish and wildlife can be obtained by contacting any Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism office.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation information and assistance to landowners. Help regarding location, design, construction and maintenance of ponds can be secured from Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in all Kansas counties. Pond owners may obtain cost-share funding through programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The Division of Biology at Kansas State University conducts fish and wildlife research and provides advice to pond owners. The Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, a cooperative venture between the National Biological Service, K-State, the Department and the Wildlife Management Institute, enhances research and education in fisheries and wildlife. The Unit trains students in the fields of fisheries and wildlife, and provides information that is available to assist pond and owners and the public. The University’s Cooperative Extension Service also supplies information and advice as well as trees and shrubs for planting at nominal prices. Assistance from these groups can be secured by contacting any county agricultural agent, the Unit, or the fisheries and wildlife extension specialist at Kansas State University.

Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA)

When building a new pond or refurbishing an old one, a landowner must obtain a permit from KDA’s Chief Engineer of the Division of Water Resources for the construction, operation and maintenance of any dam that is 25 feet or more in height, or six feet or more in height with the ability to store 50 acre-feet or more of water.

The landowner must also file for a permit to appropriate water on impoundments built to retain 15 acre-feet or more of surface water. Water appropriation rights are obtained through the Division of Water Resources for a fee that is based upon the quantity of water for indirect use (evaporation loss from the surface of the water, and seepage loss). The minimum fee is $200. Without a water storage appropriation permit, the reservoir could be subject to removal, or required to be drained until a permit is obtained.

For information about pond permits or water rights, visit the Division of Water Resources online, call 785-564-6700, or write to the Division at 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism (KDWPT)


A permit from KDWPT is required to construct a pond or otherwise modify habitat occupied by threatened or endangered fish and wildlife species. For information, call the KDWPT Ecological Services Section at 620-672-5911, email, or write the Ecological Services Section, Pratt Operations Office, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, KS 67124-8174.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

The USACE is responsible for protecting the public interest in waters of the United States. This is accomplished through a Department of the Army permit program. Under this program, most activities involving work in waters of the United States, including wetlands, require authorization from the Corps of Engineers. Individuals, companies, corporations, Federal and State agencies, and local governments planning construction activities in a stream, river, lake or wetland should contact the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, BEFORE ANY WORK IS BEGUN.

Persons planning any construction activities in or near any water body should write or call: Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, Regulatory Branch, 601 East 12th Street, Room 402, Kansas City, MO 64106, phone: 816-389-3990 FAX: 816-389-2032 or visit the Regulatory Branch website.



Farm Service Agency (FSA)


Cost sharing programs administered by the FSA will not be allowed without proper permits. Farm Service Agency personnel are familiar with pond permit requirements and can help fill out applications. For information, visit the Kansas FSA State Office online, call 785-539-3531, or write or visit the Kansas FSA State Office at 3600 Anderson Ave., Manhattan, KS 66503-2511. Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel can also provide this assistance.