Newly-updated publications show latest outdoor offerings

PRATT -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park (KDWP) develops numerous publications to help outdoorsmen and women of the state enjoy their favorite pastimes. Some of these publications, such as the hunting and fishing regulations summaries, are updated annually. Others that cover areas with less frequent annual changes are updated as needed. Now, KDWP has announced that two of these publications have been reprinted and are available -- the Fishing Guide to Kansas and the Kansas State Parks. Both are four-color, magazine-quality brochures.

Kansas has always had some of the best channel, flathead, and blue catfishing in the country. Channel catfish are found in nearly every stream, river, pond, lake, and reservoir in the state. The state's reservoirs hold large populations of channel catfish, as well, but today's Kansas anglers have even greater variety. Crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, wipers, walleye, sauger, saugeye, and bluegill are plentiful in many parts of the state.

To help anglers find these fish -- and identify them -- KDWP has updated its Fishing Guide to Kansas, which contains maps and listings of all the publicly-owned waters in the state. Each listing shows what fish are found at each location, as well as what facilities are available at the site. Listings include the state's 26 large reservoirs, more than 40 state fishing lakes, and more than 200 community lakes. Public stream access is also included. In addition, the guide contains highly-detailed color illustrations of the state's sportfish, including state and world records for each.

KDWP's new Community Fisheries Assistance Program has leased fishing rights to most community lakes this year, allowing anglers to fish from the shore or a boat with no additional fees. These lakes are also identified in the guide.

KDWP has also updated a similar publication covering state parks. The agency currently manages 24 state parks across the state, plus the Prairie Spirit Trail. Most provide utility and primitive camping, as well as access to reservoirs, trails, and wildlife areas. Other offerings include shower houses, boat ramps, marinas, historical landmarks, and more. Eight state parks (Cedar Bluff, Cheney, El Dorado, Eisenhower, Lovewell, Prairie Dog, Tuttle Creek and Webster) provide primitive and modern cabins. The Kansas State Parks lists all these state parks and facilities available at each.

A few parks are preserved natural areas, allowing visitors to enjoy unspoiled wild Kansas, and the guide identifies these. Many parks host annual events such as concerts, festivals, and competitions, and the guide lists contacts so that users may find out what events are scheduled at each park.

Whatever the outdoor interest -- hiking, camping, wildlife observation, fishing, bike riding, horseback riding, hunting, or just plain relaxing -- a Kansas state park has it. Those who have never been to a Kansas state park can use this guide to find the nearest place to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity. For those who haven't visited a state park recently, a second look is in order; there may be something new in the Kansas State Parks.

To obtain a copy of either of these publications, visit any KDWP state park or regional office, phone 620-672-5911, or request one through the agency's website email, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Fishing Guide to Kansas and Kansas State Parks may also be viewed and downloaded at this website.