Regulation prohibiting possession of live white perch effective Feb. 15
PRATT -- White perch have been added to the list of live species illegal to import, possess alive, or release in Kansas waters. At a 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 non-native species out competes native species, resulting in declines in native fish 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 may use the species as live bait. The regulation, which becomes effective Feb. 15, still allows use of white perch as bait, but only if the perch are dead.

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks staff recommended the regulatory change to help prevent anglers from inadvertently releasing white perch in noninfested waters.