Low water levels, now stable, had necessitated the change

NORTON -- In September of 2003, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) removed a 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass at Keith Sebelius Reservoir due to a severe decline in water levels. This action was taken because the lower water levels reduced bass habitat and caused overcrowding of the fish.

However, a subsequent minimum pool agreement at Sebelius Reservoir, reached between the Almena Irrigation District and KDWP, has kept declining water levels mostly stable throughout the past two years. Relatively stable water conditions and harvest have helped balance the largemouth bass population. In response, the 15-inch minimum length limit has been reinstated, and signs have been posted notifying anglers of the change.

Keith Sebelius Reservoir supports two species of black bass -- largemouth and spotted bass. The 15-inch length limit is now in effect for both species. All other limits, remain in effect. Biologists monitor the fisheries annually to assess numbers, size, physical conditions, and growth rates of the various species within the reservoir. Harvest restrictions such as length limits and creel limits are evaluated on an ongoing basis.

For more information on Keith Sebelius Reservoir, contact KDWP fisheries biologist Mark Shaw at 785-425-6775.