Early migratory bird seasons top evening public hearing agenda

SCOTT CITY -- The public is invited to attend a meeting of the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission Thursday, June 29, at the William Carpenter 4-H Building in Scott City. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m.; the evening public hearing begins at 7 p.m.

The afternoon session will begin with department reports on 2006 legislation affecting the department, fiscal years 2006 and 2007 budgets, fiscal year 2008 capital improvement projects, and a status report on the planned Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area . The session will also include discussion on the following topics:

  • a report from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
  • status of the department’s Deer Task Force, which is developing recommendations for future deer permitting and management;
  • preliminary recommendations for the 2007 spring turkey season;
  • a review of the status of lesser prairie chickens in Kansas;
  • an update on the sale of commission big game permits;
  • a report on Hispanic hunter education efforts in southwest Kansas;
  • status of the Landowner Incentive Program and playa lakes conservation efforts in western Kansas;
  • state park motor vehicle fees, which will reflect adjustments to half-price in 2007 due to action by the 2006 Kansas Legislature;
  • the Archery in the Schools program, which is being implemented on a pilot basis; and
  • a summary of the department’s stream monitoring program.

The afternoon session will recess at 5 p.m., and the Commission will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location. The Commission will hear a report on efforts by the Kansas State Historical Society and the department to develop interpretive facilities for the El Cuartelejo ruins in Scott State Park . The commission will then conduct a workshop session, in preparation for potential future regulatory action, on the following topics:

  • changes in fishing regulations in 2007, including establishing length and creel limits by regulation instead of Secretary’s Orders, implementation of a fishing tournament registration and tournament Bass Pass, modification of trout permit requirements, and development of a paddlefish snagging permit;
  • 2006 late migratory bird seasons; and
  • development of a regulation establishing caging standards for exotic animals and minimum qualifications for registered animal handlers, in response to a law passed by the 2006 Kansas Legislature controlling the possession of those animals.

The evening session will also include a public hearing to establish 2006 early migratory bird seasons and to establishing duck zone boundaries for the years 2006 through 2010. Department recommendations for early migratory bird seasons include the following:

  • Rail (Sora and Virginia): Sept. 1 through Nov. 9, with bag and possession limits of 25 and 25, respectively;
  • Snipe: Sept. 1 through Dec. 16, with bag and possession limits of 8 and 16, respectively;
  • Woodcock: Oct. 14 through Nov. 27, with bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively;
  • High Plains Teal: Sept. 16 – 24, or Sept. 9 – 24, or Sept. 16 – 23 (depending on total days allowed by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service), with bag and possession limits of 4 and 8, respectively;
  • Low Plains Teal: Sept. 16 – 24 or Sept. 9 – 24 (depending on total days allowed by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service), with bag and possession limits of 4 and 8, respectively; and
  • September Canada Goose: Sept. 16 – 25, with bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively. The area open for September goose hunting is proposed to be expanded from past years, and to include all of Kansas east of U. S. 183 and north of K-96.

The public hearing will also include a recommendation to maintain the current duck hunting zones, with minor boundary modifications (one to move a small area southwest of Great Bend from the Early Zone to the Late Zone in order to provide late hunting opportunity on the Arkansas River, and one to move a small area east of Dodge City from the Late Zone to the Early Zone to better match the season with waterfowl use of several playas located in that area).

If necessary, the Commission will recess on June 29, to reconvene June 30 at 9 a.m. at the same location to complete its business. Time will be made available in all sessions to allow public comment on topics which are not on the agenda.

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Commission Secretary at 620-672-5911.