Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats (F.I.S.H.) program.
The F.I.S.H. Program, which stands for Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats was patterned after the very successful Walk-In Hunting Access Program with a goal of increasing public fishing opportunities in Kansas.
The F.I.S.H. Program was first introduced to Kansas anglers and landowners in 1998. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) leases private waters from landowners for public fishing. Landowners participating in F.I.S.H. receive payments, as detailed below. F.I.S.H. provides anglers with a place to fish while leaving the land in private ownership. By providing a place to fish, the tradition of fishing can be preserved.
Special regulations are in place for the public that access F.I.S.H. properties and KDWPT officials periodically patrol the areas. Violators will be ticketed or arrested for vandalism, littering or failing to comply with fishing regulations. Access is limited to foot traffic, except on roads designated by the landowner in the case of very large tracts of land. Additionally, under this program some landowners are eligible for fish stocking, habitat managment, fence crossers, cattle gaurds, rock boat ramps, or rocked parking areas.
Each year, KDWPT publishes a fishing atlas with the location of each body of water enrolled in the program, boating allowances for each location, and common fish species.
F.I.S.H. sites are open for public access from March 1 to October 31 or year-round. Where winter fishing opportunities exist, landowners allowing year-round access receive a 10% lease increase.
The program leases privately-owned ponds for public access by the acre. Base lease rates range from $75-$125/acre/year depending on what county the pond is located in (as detailed on the "County Payment Rate Tier Map"). Boating allowance bonuses are available as well. Ponds allowing carry-in boats only will receive an additional $10/acre/year and properties allowing all boats access (adequate launching site must be present) will receive an additional $25/acre/year.
Another focus of the F.I.S.H. program is to increase access to streams for fishing. Depending on the quality of the stream's fisheries resources, annual lease rates for fishing access range from $500 to $1,500/mile.
Big River Access Leasing
The Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri Rivers are considered navigable waters and are thus public fisheries. However, locations allowing for public access are limited. To increase public access to these public fisheries, the F.I.S.H. program leases access sites from willing landowners. Landowners along these rivers, with adequate launch facilities, can annually receive $1,500/site. If the site is within 10 river miles of any other public access site a landowner can annually receive $2,000/site.
Interested in learning more about enrolling your property in the F.I.S.H. Program? Contact your nearest KDWPT Regional Office or submit your inquiry to the program coordinator.
This program is made possible by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (a Federal Aid Project funded by your purchase of fishing equipment), through fishing license sales.
Click the link above for a searchable web map showing the 2015 Public Fishing Access locations. Click on individual tracts and points to display location information. Zoom to areas by city or county name with the search box
and choose from various base map options.
Use the free ArcGIS App to add public fishing locations to your mobile device (data signal required). Once the app is installed on your device, search the Maps for "KDWPT FISH" and select the "KDWPT: 2015 Fishing Access" map.
Files and instructions for various location format options. Includes Garmin GPS, Google Earth/GE Mobile, and Point/Lat-Long .txt and .csv files.
Click on any of the map pages below to download individual pdf files.
The maps in this atlas pinpoint a variety of public fishing areas, as well as public lands across Kansas. Fishing Impoundment and Stream Habitats (F.I.S.H.) areas are privately-owned ponds or streams the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has leased and opened to public fishing. F.I.S.H. sites are labeled by an abbreviated access period, size, and boating restriction for each location. Each map also shows all federal reservoirs, state fishing lakes, river access areas, and community lakes.
Please use the locator map above to select the part of Kansas that you want to fish. To download a specific map page, click on the specific number on the map above. A download box will appear, asking if you want to open or save the PDF with the map details. Make your selection and print the maps. Maps are all the same scale and can be taped together to create a large area map.
For information on reading the maps and other information in the Fishing Atlas click on the General Fishing Information PDF above or print out the whole atlas by clicking on 2015 Fishing Atlas .
The Fishing Impoundment & Stream Habitat (FISH) program began in 1998.
The FISH program promises every fisherman who purchased a Kansas fishing license the opportunity to enjoy the state's diverse fisheries resources. Common sense and ethical behavior will ensure that the program may be expanded for all to enjoy in the future.
The following guidelines will assist sportsmen in using FISH tracts:
- Obey the lease boundaries. Stay within 50 ft of shoreline.
- If the FISH property is a river or creek, fish only on the side which is on the FISH tract. Do not walk or fish on adjacent property.
- Do not damage any standing crops.
- Obey all Kansas fishing rules and regulations and respect the rights of the landowners and others using the area. Treat the land as if it were your own and act responsibly when afield. your behavior will decide the future of this program and these areas.
- Take all your trash with you when you leave. If someone using the area before you left trash, please remove it also.
- Do not open gates or enter properties with vehicles. Park along the road or in areas designated as parking areas. Do not block access to field, nor block access along county roads. Landowners may need to work fields with big equipment, so please allow them to pass. Use fence crossing ladders located at access sites
- Do not attempt to contact cooperating landowners for the purpose of fishing on other portions of their land. Enrollment of land in the FISH program may have been done to reduce the landowner's direct contact with fisherman.
- All statewide length and creel limits are imposed on all FISH areas.
- The following regulations are enforced on Fishing Impoundments & Stream Habitat (FISH) areas: no target practice (KAR 115-8-1), no commercial or noncommercial hunting dog training (KAR 115-8-4), no discharge of fully automatic rifles or fully automatic handguns (KAR 115-8-5), camping by posted notice only (KAR 115-8-9), no horseback riding (KAR 115-8-11), no stocking or releasing of wildlife (KAR 115-8-12), no discharge of fireworks (KAR 115-8-14), no fires (KAR 115-8-15), no littering (KAR 155-8-18), no cereal malt beverage or alcoholic liquor (KAR 115-8-19), no destructive acts, including digging, destruction or removal of signs or vegetation (KAR 115-8-20).
On occasion, sites enrolled in the program are removed at the landowner's request. Make sure the land you are entering is posted with FISH area signs.
Funding for this program has been provided in part by fishing license fees.
F.I.S.H. Benefits Landowners and Anglers
F.I.S.H. provides anglers with a place to fish while leaving the land in private ownership. By providing a place to fish, the tradition of fishing can be preserved, and rural-urban ties can be strengthened. And, of course, there is a financial incentive.
Many landowners own waters far from home or don’t have time to worry about who’s fishing on their property, It may be more convenient for them to enroll in the F.I.S.H. Program. The department annually publishes a Fishing Atlas outlining each body of water enrolled in the program and anglers are asked not to contact landowners.
The Kansas Recreational Use Statute also provides limited liability for landowners enrolled.
Conservation officers periodically patrol F.I.S.H. areas. Violators will be ticketed or arrested for offenses such as vandalism, trespassing, littering, or failing to comply with fishing regulations.
Landowners have the option to withdraw from the program at any time. They will be paid a prorated portion of the agreed payment and provided with signs denoting that the water has been removed from the program.