Good Fishing Getting Better

Good Fishing Getting Better

PRATT – If you’ve looked at Kansas’ 2018 Fishing Forecast or followed the Weekly Fishing Reports at, you know that Kansas anglers have enjoyed amazing fishing this year. But have you ever wondered how this happens? The revenue from the fishing license you purchase, along with funding from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), pays for the operation of four fish hatcheries operated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Kansas hatcheries at Meade, Pratt, Milford and Farlington have produced more than 100 million sport fish already stocked into Kansas waters this year.

Sport fish may be stocked as fry (less than one-half inch long), fingerlings (1-3 inches long), intermediates (6-8 inches long), or adults, depending on stocking requests, available pond/raceway space and workforce resources available. Fisheries biologists use data gathered through sampling efforts, angler and creel surveys and consider lake conditions when making annual stocking requests.

In 2018, the following sport fish have been stocked for your enjoyment in public waters in Kansas:

  • Bluegill/green sunfish hybrid – 7,885 adults and 541 fingerlings
  • Black crappie – 17,898 fry
  • Bluegill ­– 28,111 fingerlings
  • Channel catfish – 1,403 adults, 169,195 fingerlings, 30,224,453 fry (317,465 intermediate channel catfish will this fall)
  • Grass carp (sterile) – 890 intermediates
  • Hybrid black crappie – 25,000 fry
  • Largemouth bass ­– 476,171 fingerlings, 240 intermediates, 805,906 fry
  • Wiper – 140,563 fingerlings, 8,409,300 fry
  • Redear sunfish – 77,173 fingerlings
  • Sauger – 28,451 fingerlings, 1,975,000 fry
  • Saugeye – 132,158 fingerlings, 9,664,600 fry
  • Smallmouth bass – 4,133 fingerlings
  • Striped bass – 1,100,000 fry
  • Walleye – 73,183 fingerlings, 56,172,720 fry

If you purchased a trout stamp this year, you helped with the purchase of 58,591 rainbow trout that were stocked into more than 30 designated trout waters across the state between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2018. And a new schedule of trout stockings will begin Nov. 1, 2018 when the trout season re-opens.

In addition to the channel catfish raised at our hatcheries, KDWPT also purchased 76,000 catchable-sized channel catfish from private hatcheries in Kansas. These fish were stocked into lakes enrolled in the Urban Fishing Program, which provides high-quality fishing opportunities close to home for anglers living in our larger cities.

Of course, revenue from license sales and WSFR fund much more ­– including management and research activities, law enforcement, grounds maintenance, habitat enhancement and education. WSFR funding for fisheries programs comes from excise taxes on fishing equipment, boats and motors, and motorboat fuel. It is allocated to the states based, in part, on the number of licensed anglers in each state.

License and WSFR revenue has not only supported the programs necessary to have safe, productive and enjoyable fishing opportunities in Kansas, it’s also resulted in more than 109 million fish stocked into Kansas waters so far in 2018. And more fish will be stocked this summer and fall.

Kansas fishing is good and getting better.