General public can post their own fishing reports to complement KDWP's
PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has provided fishing reports to anglers for more than 25 years. What started as a weekly mailing has evolved into electronic reports posted on the agency's website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. While this technology makes it possible for agency staff to update reports at any time, it has also led to greater public expectations.

In an effort to improve the accuracy of fishing reports, KDWP has developed a link on the "Fishing Reports" page of its website called "Public Fishing Reports." By clicking on this link, anglers can sign onto a web log (blog) and let other anglers know about their fishing experiences at different waters in the state. The general public, marina operators, bait store owners, fishing guides, and others can make their reports available through this medium, adding additional information to what KDWP field staff have collected and posted.

"KDWP's 19 district fisheries biologists are responsible for updating the fishing reports once a week," says Doug Nygren, KDWP Fisheries Section chief. "With more than 250 lakes in Kansas, there is no way that they can cover every lake every week, so they often rely on local contacts. Hopefully, this new public fishing report system will fill in some of the gaps.

"By its very nature, fishing success is fickle," Nygren continues. "On any given day on any given lake, one angler may be doing well while another is having no luck at all. Our reports are designed to give anglers a general barometer of fishing activity, not a set-in-stone forecast. Boat traffic, angling pressure, weather, water turbidity, and seasons all affect fishing success."

KDWP staff hope that the new public reporting system will provide more information in a more timely manner. To participate, go to www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Click "Fishing," then "Fishing Reports," and then " Public Fishing Reports ." Scroll down to find the appropriate region of the state on which to report or view comments.

More lines in the water and more reports on the screen could spell greater success for Kansas anglers while providing KDWP staff with additional information.