Aquatic Education Program

Fishing Clinic

The small, freckle-faced 6-year-old boy with wispy-brown hair bit his lip as he struggled and grunted with his task at hand. He had just hooked his first fish and was intent on landing it, oblivious to the shrieks and cheers of other children around him. He finally beached his prize, a fat and flopping 2-pound channel catfish, and smiled with an ear-to-ear grin worth a thousand words. This is a scene replayed countless times by many children during fishing clinics sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.

Fishing clinics are hosted by department employees, partners and Certified Angler Instructors Most are geared toward younger children and others who may not have much experience with fishing techniques and tactics. Content covered in a clinic varies by presenters but all have fishing as a central theme. Fish identification, management, casting demonstrations, equipment, water safety, and even fish cooking are a few areas covered.

Participants don't even need their own equipment. Rods, reels, and other necessary fishing equipment will be provided for use at the fishing clinics.

The Aquatic Education Program, FishKS, has a program similar to Hunter Education where volunteers can become Certified Angler Instructors.  These instructors are essential to the success of FishKS by coordinating and assisting with fishing events statewide. To become a Certified Angler Instructor, you must attend a four hour class (Free) and complete supervised instruction. KDWP recognizes certification courses and programs from other organizations, such as Boy Scouts of America. If you are certifeid through one of these, please contact David Breth at 620-672-5911 to become FishKS certified, too. 

Please visit the Aquatic Education Calendar to find events scheduled in your area.  If you would like more information on FishKS or fishing clinics in your area, contact the nearest KDWPT office or the Pratt Operations Office at (620) 672-5911.

The Great Kansas Fishing Derby

The 2021 Great Kansas Fishing Derby is a KDWPT managed tagged fish contest hosted at 35 locations. The derby runs from May 1st to July 31st. 

Rules are simple = Unless you are exempt by law, you need a fishing license to fish and redeem a tag. That's it!  Just go fishing! When you catch a tagged fish at a conest water, remove the tag and go online to www.ksfishderby.com to redeem. No pre-registration is required.

A list of locations and additional information is available at www.ksfishderby.com.  Also, you can enter our prize drawing (one entry per person) for a chance to win our weekly raffle. 

PRIZES

Prizes for the derby are sponsored by KDWPT, Kansas WildScape Foundations (www.kansaswildscape.org), the Bass Pro/Cabela's Outdoor Fund (https://about.basspro.com/conservation/outdoor-fund/), and many local sponsors.  For a complete list, visit the derby website.  Make sure to thank them if you visit their locations.

Prize include gift cards, fishing gear, annual memberships, fireworks, camping packages, overnight rentals, and more!  All have a value of $20 or more. 

If you are interested in sponsoring tags, please contact David Breth at kdwpt.fishks@ks.gov.

2021 Derby Lakes (PDF - 92.82 kB)

Download this PDF for a list of all 35 locations in 2021. 

Event Request Form

If you are hosting a fishing education event, or wanting to include fishing education as part of your event, use the links below.  The first option is to print a PDF form and email to kdwpt.fishks@ks.gov   

The second link is an online submission form you can fill out and submit.

Helpful Resources to get started Fishing
Beginner Fishing Brochure (PDF - 3.95 MB)

Interested in fishing? Download this brochure to help you get started with information on what you need to start fishing, including what equipment and tackle you need, how to get a license, where to go, and more!

Certified Angler Instructor Program

In order to offer quality fishing education and meet the demand of the public, KDWPT created a Certified Angler Instructor program similar to the highly successful Hunter Education program.  Volunteers who attend a FREE certification class and pass a background check are able to use KDWPT resources to conduct fishing education events including clinics, derbies, and school programs.  Classes are offered by request and are limited to 25 participants.  This 4 to 5 hour class is designed to teach those that are familiar with fishing, how to teach others about the sport using both hands-on activities and literature.  This is not for those new to fishing and wanting to learn how to fish. For more information regarding this instructor program, please contact David Breth at 620-672-5911.  

Current certified instructors can find forms and information using the links below.

Volunteer Activity Form_2021 (PDF - 171.52 kB)

Instructors and Volunteers - please use this form to record volunteer hours at FishKS events.  Please verify printed names are legible and signatures are present when event concludes.  Only ONE DATE per form.  If event spans multiple days, please use a new form for each day.  This is the only way we can receive in-kind match for the grant.  Submit to David Breth via email, mail, fax, or text.

Supply Request Form_2021 (PDF - 134.85 kB)

Instructors - please use this form when requesting supplies for either a specific event OR for supplies needed in general.  If for a specific event, please list the name of the event, location, date.   Submit this form to David Breth via email, mail, text, or fax.  Please note, not all items may be available when requested.

Aquatic Education Calendar