October 19, 2012

Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission approves hunting, fishing and park regulations

FALL RIVER—The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) commission conducted a public hearing at Flint Oak, Fall River on Thursday, October 18. In the public hearing portion of the meeting, the Commission acted on a variety of regulations.

The first portion of the hearing was devoted to fishing regulations, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2013. In response to angler feedback, the commission approved a department recommendation to amend regulations concerning the use and movement of live baitfish. To control the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), regulations established in 2011 prohibited anglers from using wild-caught baitfish in any impoundment or pool other than where they were caught. On Thursday, the commission approved a change that will allow anglers to catch bluegill and green sunfish from non-ANS designated waters and use them for bait in other waters.

Other fishing regulation changes include:

• the definition of an artificial lure will be “a man-made fish-catching device used to mimic a single prey item” (an umbrella-type device, such as the Alabama rig, may only contain two lures with hooks);

• Hand fishing permit holders will no longer be required to return a questionnaire after the season;

• several new creel/length limits for specific Kansas waters, including a 20-fish daily creel limit for crappie at Glen Elder Reservoir (anglers should be sure to consult the “What’s New For 2013” section in the 2013 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary available in January for a list of length and creel limits);

• Chase State Fishing Lake was added to the list of ANS-designated waters due to the recent discovery of zebra mussels;

• a permit was established that will allow tournament anglers to move live fish from ANS designated waters to a weigh-in site; and

• anglers who purchase baitfish from commercial bait dealers shall possess the receipt while fishing with the live baitfish.

Kansas state park motor vehicle permit fees were amended as a result of legislation that established an annual state park “easy pass.” Beginning in 2013, state park patrons will be able to purchase Easy Pass Annual Motor Vehicle permits when they register their vehicles. The easy pass will be valid for one year after purchase and will cost $15. Annual Motor Vehicle permits valid for a calendar year will still be available through KDWPT offices for $22.50 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees). Daily motor vehicle permit pricing was set at $3.50 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees) and a senior/disabled annual motor vehicle permit fee of $11.25 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees) was approved.

2012 legislation established a formula to determine restitution values for poached trophy-sized white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and antelope. On Thursday, the KWPT commission approved a regulation to adopt the Boone and Crockett Club’s gross scoring system for use in the formula. For white-tailed deer, the minimum Boone and Crockett score is 125, and the restitution value would equal the gross score minus 100, squared, then multiplied by $2. For example, a whitetail with antlers that scored 150 would be valued at $5,000 for restitution purposes (150 – 100 = 50 x 50 x $2 = $5,000). Each big game species has a minimum score and a similar formula to determine restitution value.

The Commission approved a regulation that will allow alcoholic liquor on KDWPT-managed land, which was made possible by recent legislative action. Current regulations only allow only 3.2 percent beer. Public land regulations can still prohibit alcohol use on specific areas.

Changes approved in the spring turkey regulations include amending the management units to coincide with the six units established for the 2012 fall season, increasing the bag limit in Unit 1 (northwest Kansas) to 2 birds and allowing hunters who draw one of the limited Unit 4 permits to use that permit in adjacent units.

In final action, the commission approved pricing recommendations and regulations establishing the senior lifetime combination hunting/fishing pass, and senior annual fishing, hunting licenses. With the passage of House Bill 314, hunting and fishing license exemptions for Kansans age 65-74 were eliminated. The commission approved recommendations for fees of $40 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees) for the senior lifetime hunting/fishing combination pass, $9 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees) for an annual senior fishing or hunting license and $18 (plus $2.50 vendor and issuance fees) for an annual senior hunt/fish combination license.

The next KWPT commission meeting is Jan. 10, 2013 in El Dorado.