Douglas State Fishing Lake News

Lake News

  • The lake is now open to fishing. In 2011 you can expect to catch healthy harvestable catfish, with bluegill and redear sunfish being fair. Black crappie will need some more years to develop before they are ready for exploitation, but catch and release can occur. There are some lunker bass in this lake, however with the fisheries still being young after renovation, you can still expect to catch a lot of 12" fish.
  • A new vault toilet has been installed on the west side to improve user satisfaction.
  • Shoreline access has been improved through the selective removal of trees and brush along the shoreline on both sides of the lake.

Lake Renovation History:

The valve was opened October 17, 2005 to drain DGSL for repairs and fishery renovation. A public salvage was held January 7 through 29, 2006. Snaggers caught about 60 flathead catfish, a few channel catfish, many common carp, few grass carp, few largemouth bass, and a few crappie. Flathead catfish ranged from 10 to 60 lbs. Almost all fish were caught during the first 2 days of the salvage. Two boats overturned while anglers were trying to land large flatheads. Repairs completed included: valve replacement, slip lining of the intake line, re-sloping the back side of the dam, extending outlet works, installing stop-log structure, and fencing off the dam. Repairs were completed by July 2006. Fishery habitat work began in January 2006 and 274 brush piles were constructed. Twenty dirt mounds were pushed and packed by dozer and rocked with shot rock. Mounds were about 25 feet in diameter and about 5-8 feet tall and were located at the 12-15 foot contour. Rotenone was applied during the summer 2006 to remaining pools of water within the basin to kill the remaining fishery, a total kill resulted. Fish stockings began later in the summer of 2006. During summer 2007, 60 upright tree structures were constructed and placed. Two fish feeders were installed in 2007, and 6150 lbs of sinking feed was dispensed to enhance channel catfish growth. Douglas took awhile to begin refilling, but heavy spring rains got the level moving upward, by May 6, 2007 the lake covered 90 acres and by July the lake covered about 135 acres. DGSL was estimated to be 5 feet low March 6, 2008; 4 feet low and covered 162 acres on March 21. During May DGSL filled completely. Due to funding shortfall, feeding was not accelerated as planned. A total of 6,750 lbs (37.5 lbs/acre) of sinking fish feed was dispensed out of 3 feeders. Freestate Flyfishing Club donated and helped place 70 PVC stake structures on July 19. An additional 12 brushpiles were added July 29.

A multi-year timber stand improvement project is underway in the timber around the lake. This property is part of the historic Baldwin Woods area, and is among the highest quality forest found in Kansas. There are markedly different habitats within the forest around the lake, creating a diverse habitat. Management is focused on maintaining a quality Oak-Hickory woodland and ensuring the natural recruitment of new trees. Don't be surprised to see trees being selectively removed, removing large groves of cedar trees that became established in abandoned fields from prior homestead farms, and fires being intentionally lit by trained professionals. Prescribed burning is a great tool in woodland management, it is just not common to see in Kansas.