Sports

Rainbow trout to be stocked in Lake Shawnee, different Kansas waters this month – Pittsburg Morning Solar

rainbow-trout-to-be-stocked-in-lake-shawnee-different-kansas-waters-this-month-pittsburg-morning-solar

It’s that time of year again.

Time for trout anglers around Topeka to ready their gear, purchase their trout permits and take watch as large trucks from Crystal Lake Fisheries, of Ava, Mo., unload 7,000 pounds of rainbow trout into Lake Shawnee.

Only this year’s stocking, slated for the morning of Oct. 24, won’t be publicly viewable like in past years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather, Shawnee County Parks and Recreation plans to hold a Facebook Live event to show the public the trout that are being stocked this fall.

“We are disappointed that we won’t be able to invite the public out to see the trout stocked this month, but the safety of our park patrons is a priority,” said Jeremy Myers, director of park operations, in a news release.

After Lake Shawnee has been stocked with trout, the lake will be closed to fishing from Oct. 24 until 6 a.m. Oct. 31 to allow the fish time to disperse and acclimate to their new surroundings. However, trout season doesn’t officially begin in Kansas until Sunday, Nov. 1, meaning anglers will have to wait until the following morning to pursue the tasty salmonid.

The season runs until April 15, 2021, and anglers who plan to pursue trout must purchase a trout permit for $14.50 from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, which stocks the lake with trout as part of its Community Fisheries Assistance Program. Anglers under 15 are allowed to fish for trout without a permit for a daily creel limit of two, but can purchase a permit to increase their daily take to five fish.

All residents must also have a valid state fishing license to fish in Kansas if between the ages of 16 and 74. Those who aren’t trying to catch trout do not need to purchase a trout permit to fish on Lake Shawnee, unlike some other lakes. To purchase a trout permit or fishing license online, go to https://ksoutdoors.com/License-Permits/.

A second stocking of rainbow trout is tentatively slated to take place this spring during the last Saturday in February, which in 2021 will land on Feb. 27.

Other trout locations

Other locations across the state stock trout, as well, including in Salina, Hutchinson, Dodge City, Pratt, Pittsburg, El Dorado and Great Bend. Many of these areas are initially stocked in late October and then periodically restocked each month through March.

These locations have differing regulations regarding fishing, with some requiring all anglers to purchase a trout permit to fish those lakes and others requiring only trout anglers to purchase one.

Lakes, ponds and streams requiring all anglers to purchase a trout permit are: Coffeyville’s Le Clere; Dodge City’s Lake Charles; Eisenhower State Park Pond; Fort Scott Gun Park Lake; Glen Elder State Park Pond; Kanopolis Seep Stream; KDOT East Lake in Wichita; Lake Henry in Clinton State Park, Lawrence; Pratt’s Centennial Pond; Walnut River Area in El Dorado State Park; Willow Lake in Tuttle Creek State Park, Manhattan; Webster’s Stilling Basin; Sandsage Bison Range and WA Sandpits (periodically dry); Vic’s Lake and Slough Creek in Sedgwick County Park; Fort Riley’s Cameron Springs and Garnett Crystal Lake.

Waters where trout permits are only required of trout anglers include: Salina’s Lakewood Lake (changed to a two-trout creel limit for 2019-20); Moon Lake on Fort Riley; Scott State Park Pond – Barrel Springs Pond; Hutchinson’s Dillon Nature Center Pond; Atchison’s City Lake No. 1; Holton’s Elkhorn Lake; Syracuse’s Sam’s Pond; Cimarron’s Grasslands Pits; Colby’s Villa High Lake; Great Bend’s Vet’s Lake; Meade State Fishing Lake; Cherryvale’s Tanko Lake and Herington’s Father Padilla Pond.

Pittsburg’s Mined Land Wildlife Area in Cherokee County also is stocked with trout year-round in the Unit 30 Trout Pit, and as such requires anglers year-round to carry a trout permit to fish its waters. Unit 30 also is stocked with brown trout, and as of January of this year there is no longer a 20-inch minimum and daily creel of one brown trout per day on the unit. Therefore, anglers may keep brown trout in combination with rainbow trout for a combined daily creel of five.

After the trout season ends April 15, there still may be some trout in the ponds and lakes around the state. Anglers are allowed to fish these waters without a trout permit at that time, but the limit of five trout per day and 15 in possession will still remain active. This does not include the waters that are stocked year-round.

To catch a trout

There are a variety of techniques available to catch trout. Some anglers prefer to use a fly rod, floating hand-tied flies on the top of the water like bugs to catch the eye of hungry trout. Others like fishing Berkley PowerBait or salmon eggs on a single hook or jig under a bobber or on a drop shot, or using fishing lures such as Mepps spinners, Rooster Tails, Little Cleos and Yakima Mag Lips to trigger the trout’s instincts to chase baitfish.

Fishing guide Clyde Holscher said in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal in 2017 that he also likes to use Ned Rigs to go “bass fishing for trout” and will sometimes cut the Z-Man TRD stickbaits in half to make it more bite-sized for the trout. He also uses Pro-Cure scent on the plastic to help draw in fish.

Record rainbows

Multiple state record-setting rainbow trout have been caught in Lake Shawnee, including a 15.43-pounder caught by Nicole Wilson and a 14.25 pounder caught by Jay Melkus, both in March 2012.

In April 2011, a similar scenario played out on the lake when Topekan Bob Lorson caught an 11.02-pound rainbow trout to briefly hold the state record.

Ed Ames, of Tecumseh, bested his mark just 18 days later with a 13.65-pound, 31 7/8-inch fish on April 20, exactly one year and five months before his death on Sept. 20, 2012.

“I was at work the day Eddy caught the rainbow trout,” said Ames’ widow, Nancy, in a previous Capital-Journal article. “He called me all breathless and said he thought he’d caught a record-breaking trout. He and Gary Day needed to go to the Wildlife and Parks office to have it weighed and verified. He was pretty excited, and I thought he was kidding.”

For anglers looking to break the record again this year, the current mark sits at 15.72 pounds, a 28.5-inch beauty caught by Josh McCullough, of Spring Hill, in February 2014 on Kill Creek Park Lake south of De Soto with Berkley Gulp bait.

Crappie bite

Other species of fish are beginning to hit hard, as well, as the annual race by predatory fish to stock up on food for the long winter is kicking off in waters across the state.

White bass, crappie and largemouth bass can all be found chasing schools of shad in the shallows, making for some fun bank fishing opportunities as waters continue to cool. Catfish also move in closer to the bank during this time, and running a crankbait parallel to the shoreline is a great way to target a few channel cats, especially in the early mornings before the sun comes up.

Council Grove’s Phil Taunton submitted a photo of Topekan Jim Hanna holding up a white crappie he caught while fishing with Phil and crappie guide Joe Bragg at Council Grove Reservoir.

“Crappie fishing and catching is on fire,” Taunton said.

Dock fishing can be good around this time of year for crappie, as well, as crappie start to school up during the colder periods. At this time, Shawnee County Parks and Rec has yet to announce if Lake Shawnee’s heated dock will be open for 2020-21 as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

TNT, dynamite

A delegation of anglers from Kansas BASS Nation headed out this week to Toledo Bend at Many, La., to take on other state teams from across the region at the 2020 TNT Fireworks BASS Nation Central Regional.

The final day of competition was set to end Friday after press time, so final results will be printed in next week’s paper.

The 2020 Kansas team consists of Trevis Unger, Chris Brimager, Larry Fralick, Jeff Cherne, Dale Manning, Jesse Jordan, Rick Muhl, Kevin Miller, Jason Baird, Joel Porter, Alex Torkleson, Jeff Nolte, Keith Pflumm, Thomas Heinen, Richard Heflin, Mike Turner, Branden Garrison, Jeremihia Cole, Kyle Klein and Douglass Troxel.

Good luck to all!

0 Comments
Share

admin

Reply your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*