Oct. 23, 2014

Commissioners vote to do away with floatline fishing permits

PRATT – Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commissioners engaged in lively discussion and voted on several regulations relating to fishing and more at the Oct. 16 public hearing in Salina. For those that were unable to attend, a video of the meeting can be seen at ksoutdoors.com by clicking “KDWPT Info / Commission / Past Meetings.”

The afternoon session began with time for public comments on non-agenda items, followed by a general discussion period where staff and commissioners discussed the possibility of reducing deer permits, and eliminating the Pre-rut Firearm Whitetail Antlerless-only season originally mandated by Kansas legislature. Other topics covered during this time were a series of regulations pertaining to antelope and elk, as well as permanent big game regulations, where KDWPT staff recommended there be no changes at this time.

Workshop topics discussed during the afternoon session, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, included regulations pertaining to general fishing provisions, boating identification numbers and decals, and vehicle permits.

The commission then recessed at 5 p.m., and reconvened at 6:30 p.m. to begin the public hearing. During this time, commissioners voted unanimously to eliminate the need for a permit to floatline fish and to increase the mesh size allowed in seines and cast nets used for taking baitfish to one-half-inch; Herington - Father Padilla Pond was added to the list of Type 2 trout lakes; a 35-inch minimum length limit for blue catfish was added to reservoirs Glen Elder and Lovewell; and a five-day creel limit was added to Coffey County Lake. Commissioners also unanimously voted to categorize Clinton, Glen Elder, Lake Shawnee and Lake Waubaunsee as an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) water due to zebra mussels, as well as categorize a stream located from the Lincoln Street Dam in Wichita to the Oklahoma line as an ANS-designated water due to white perch. 

In other items voted upon during the public hearing, commissioners approved utility fees for new camp sites at Sand Hills State Park.

The last item presented to commissioners was the potential downlisting of the redbelly snake from a Threatened Species to a Species In Need of Conservation (SINC). After much public comment, discussion and debate, commissioners voted 6-1 to accept the department’s recommendation to move the snake to the SINC list.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2015 at Bonner Springs Parks and Recreation, Sunflower Room, 200 E. 3rd St., Bonner Springs.