Regulation prohibiting possession of live white perch effective Feb. 15

White perch have been added to the list of live species illegal to import, possess or release in Kansas waters.

At their Jan. 11 meeting in Winfield, the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission approved addition of white perch to the list of prohibited species. White perch are native to the Atlantic coast of North America but have invaded many waters west of their native range. Once established in a lake or stream, this species outcompetes native species, resulting in declines in their populations.

White perch have established populations in Browning Oxbow Lake, Wilson and Cheney reservoirs, and Kingman State Fishing Lake. Currently, anglers at white perch-infested waters use the species as bait. The regulation, which becomes effective Feb. 15, allows use of white perch as bait, but only as dead bait.

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks staff recommended the regulatory change to help prevent the spread of white perch to other waters in the state.