Agency adds two new lakes to Community Fisheries Assistance Program
PRATT -- In the spring of 2005, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) launched the Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP). Using matching funds from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motor boat fuel, the department began offering leases for fishing rights to the state's 221 community lakes. Most municipalities with community lakes signed on immediately, enabling them to eliminate fees formerly charged for angler access. The result was that fees for anglers on nearly 14,000 acres of water were removed.

Now, KDWP has announced that two major community lakes have entered the program: Afton Lake, 20 miles southwest of Wichita, and Council Grove City Lake, near Council Grove. These two lakes comprise an additional 675 surfaces acres of water available to anglers free of charge.

In 2005, CFAP used $800,000 in federal aid from a $1,000,000 federal Sport Fish Restoration Act reauthorization. KDWP was responsible for 25 percent of the program's cost. Operation and maintenance of local community fisheries accounts for the department's 25 percent match.

“We're happy to have these new lakes in the program because the communities will no longer have to charge anglers to fish,” explains Doug Nygren, KDWP Fisheries Section chief. “Removing this barrier increases opportunities at some very good community lakes.”

Lakes that had never been charging fees are also included in the program. Lease money for these lakes can be used to improve fisheries and angler facilities. KDWP has designed a lease rate formula based on the number of surface acres and the quality of the fishery and facilities at these lakes. Larger lakes offering more facilities receive greater lease amounts than smaller lakes with fewer facilities. This formula allows KDWP to offer the program to all community fishing lakes.

Along with the lease payments, the department provides participating local governments with increased access to resources and contact with district fisheries biologists. Lakes in the program also receive priority for fish stocking, habitat improvement services, and additional improvement grants. This improves fisheries management and facilities for Kansas anglers statewide.

For more information on CFAP, visit the KDWP website.