Will the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks stock my pond?

From at least 1914 until 1990 the Department provided free fish for stocking in private ponds. This program was popular with both landowners and anglers. However, in the 1980’s the Kansas Commercial Fish Growers Association lobbied the Kansas Legislature to stop the agency’s pond stocking program because they viewed it as an infringement on the free enterprise system. In response to their efforts, during the1990 the Legislative session a bill was passed that prevents the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism from stocking ponds with fish unless the fish have been purchased from a private fish grower or the pond is open to public access.

Since that time, the Department’s primary focus has been to provide technical assistance on managing fish populations in ponds and information on where pondowners can purchase fish.

Pondowners not wishing to purchase fish may want to consider enrolling their pond in the Department’s W.I.F.A. Program. This program allows the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks to lease private water from landowners for public fishing. Landowners participating in W.I.F.A. receive payments which vary according to the number of water acres enrolled and may receive fish stockings from the Department’s hatcheries.