Where to fish, how to fish legally, what to fish for, and much more included
PRATT -- Printed copies of the 2009 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary booklet will be available in early January, and among other things, the publication will let anglers know what new regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2009. From new regulations on methods of fishing to length and creel limits and a new free permit for disabled veterans, the booklet has everything the angler needs to begin the New Year right.

The following information details Kansas fishing regulation changes for 2009:

• floatline fishing -- floatline fishing will be allowed during daylight hours from July 15 through Sept. 15 at Hillsdale, Council Grove, Tuttle Creek, Kanopolis, John Redmond, Toronto, Wilson, and Pomona reservoirs. An angler will be allowed up to eight floatlines with no more than two hooks attached to each line. All floatlines must be under immediate supervision of the angler and must be removed from the water when fishing ceases. Materials used for floats are restricted to “closed cell” devices made of plastic, wood, or foam; metal or glass floats are not allowed. Closed-cell floats do not hold water. A floatline permit (available for $2.50) will be required. This is three-year pilot program.

• length and creel limits -- a five-fish daily wiper creel limit has been established at Coldwater City Lake, Douglas County-Lonestar Lake, John Redmond Reservoir, Leavenworth State Fishing Lake, Marion Reservoir, Paola-Lake Miola, and Lake Shawnee. An 18-inch minimum length limit on walleye has been established at Glen Elder Reservoir, and a five-fish per day creel limit on blue catfish has been established at Cheney, El Dorado, and Milford reservoirs. (Detailed length and creel limits are covered lake-by-lake in the booklet.)

• aquatic nuisance species (ANS) -- hydrilla has been found in Olathe Black Bob Park Pond. Zebra mussels were found in Lake Afton and Marion Reservoir in 2008, with expectations that they may be discovered in the Cottonwood and Neosho rivers, John Redmond Reservoir, and Coffey County Lake in the future.

• veterans permits -- legal Kansas residents who have been separated from the armed services under honorable conditions and have a disability certified by the Kansas Commission On Veterans Affairs as being service-connected and such disability is equal to or greater than 30 percent may apply through the Pratt Operations Office for free hunting and fishing licenses. Applications are also available on the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us.

The 2009 booklet also features state park information and detailed regulations for each body of water managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP).

In addition, a full-color fish identification guide features all the state's sportfish, complete with text descriptions and detailed illustrations by renowned fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri. Look-alike species are grouped together with complementary text to help the angler discern the difference between similar looking species such as white bass and wipers, blue catfish and channel catfish, the three black basses, and walleye, sauger and saugeye.

The booklet also provides the latest information about invasive species. Two pages are dedicated to this subject, complete with detailed illustrations and tips on how to prevent the spread of exotic plants, mollusks, and fish.

Anglers will find names and phone numbers of district fisheries biologists, as well as regional supervisors. A listing of natural resource officer contacts is also included.

For more information, contact the nearest KDWP office, pick up a copy of the 2009 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary wherever licenses are sold in early January, or download a copy from the KDWP website. Type "2009 fishing regulations summary" in the search box on the home page.