Floatline fishing, 2009 fishing rules head evening public hearing agenda

The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing in Tonganoxie on Thursday, Oct. 2. The afternoon public meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Tonganoxie High School Auditorium, 404 East Hwy. 24-40.

The afternoon session will include reports on the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park’s (KDWP) Fiscal Year 2010 budget, as well as KDWP-related legislation anticipated in the 2009 Kansas Legislature.

Other general discussion topics on the afternoon session agenda include the following:

  • an overview of the Tonganoxie Schools Hunter Education Program;
  • updates on Commission Big Game and Hunt-of-a-Lifetime programs;
  • a report on the status of aquatic nuisance species in Kansas;
  • a summary of results from the KDWP's Licensed Angler Survey;
  • review of fall turkey season regulations; and
  • review of deer, elk, and antelope seasons, limits, and permits in preparation for 2009 seasons.

Following general discussion of the above topics, the afternoon session will include workshop session discussion in preparation for potential future regulatory action on big game permanent regulations. No changes are being proposed, but the discussion will allow public comments on legal equipment, deer management units, permit applications, and permit descriptions and restrictions.

KDWP staff will also report on state-listed threatened and endangered species. Staff have been conducting public meetings to discuss potential changes in the list of threatened and endangered species.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at the same location at 7 p.m. for the evening session, which will begin with general discussion of the following:

  • donations to the Beau Arndt scholarship fund, as well as a viewing of a video program developed by KDWP and the Arndt family;
  • a review of trail development projects recommended for funding through the federal Recreational Trails Program; and
  • an overview of the department’s cabin reservation system.

Following the general discussion portion of the evening’s agenda, the commission will conduct a public hearing on department regulatory recommendations.

One recommendation would establish fees for rental of new cabins that will be installed at several state park and public land locations during the coming year.

Also slated for public hearing action is a department recommendation establishing provisions and restrictions governing floatline fishing, as well as floatline fishing permit requirements. Currently, floatline fishing is not a legal method of take in Kansas although it is allowed in Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. KDWP is recommending that floatline fishing permits be made available for the issuance fee only ($2.50) to enable the department to survey participants and gather data that will help assess the pilot program. The department is recommending that floatline fishing be allowed from sunrise to sunset from July 15 through September 15 on eight reservoirs (Hillsdale, Council Grove, Tuttle Creek, Kanopolis, John Redmond, Toronto, Wilson, and Pomona). All floats would need to be under immediate supervision of the angler and would be removed from the water when fishing ceases. KDWP is recommending that an angler may use no more than eight setlines or eight floatlines (one line per float) with not more than two hooks each. Material used for floats would be restricted to “closed cell” materials; metal or glass floats would not be allowed. In addition, floats would have to be marked with the angler’s name and address.

Another regulatory proposal scheduled for public hearing would establish statewide limits and open seasons for fishing in 2009. No changes are proposed in statewide limits or seasons, but several changes are being recommended on special length and creel limits on selected waters.

If necessary, commissioners will recess on Oct. 23, to reconvene Oct. 24 at 9 a.m. at the same location to complete unfinished business. Time will be made available in all sessions for public comment on topics not on the agenda.

If notified in advance, KDWP will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission of Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the commission secretary at 620-672-5911.