Eight-month leases offered; those signing three-year contracts get ponds stocked free

PRATT -- Landowners interested in making some extra money by enrolling their pond or stream in the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Fishing Impoundments & Stream Habitats (F.I.S.H.) program are reminded that the deadline to enroll is Dec. 31. Under this program, landowners are paid $40 per acre for ponds and $500-$1,000 per stream mile for streams. In exchange, the public is allowed fishing-only access to the water for eight months. Other activities are not allowed.

Advantages of the program are many:

  • the landowner is free of liability in case of injuries resulting from ordinary negligence;
  • the landowner has to do nothing: the local fisheries biologist will post the area, and KDWP staff will patrol it; and
  • KDWP will stock ponds if the landowner is willing to sign a three-year contract.

This popular program enrolled more than 1,000 acres of ponds and 85 stream access miles in 2005, its fifth year. The program boast 135 sites in 41 counties, and ponds range from 5 acres to more than 100. Two access sites to the Kansas River were also leased.

To enroll in the F.I.S.H. program, landowners must contact a local fisheries biologist through any KDWP office, phone 620-672-5911, or download an application here.