Kansas Trout Season Opener
EPAFrom October 15 through April 15, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) stocks rainbow trout in selected waters across the state. During this time, some waters stocked with trout require a $12.50 trout permit for all anglers 16 or older, whether they are fishing for trout or not (Type 1 Waters). Other waters require a trout permit only for anglers fishing for or possessing trout (Type 2 Waters).
Trout fishing at Mined Land Wildlife Area Unit #30 requires a trout permit year-round. Trout permits are valid for the calendar year, so permits purchased last January or later are valid through Dec. 31. All residents 16-64 years old and all nonresidents 16 and older must also have a valid fishing license.
The daily creel limit is five trout unless otherwise posted (two trout for anglers 15 and younger who do not have a trout permit). The possession limit is three times the daily creel.
While most designated trout waters in the state will be stocked with trout in time for opening day, the following waters will be delayed:
- Cedar Bluff Reservoir Stilling Basin;
- Pratt Centennial Pond;
- Kanopolis Reservoir Seep Stream;
- Smoky Gardens south of Goodland;
- the Sand Sage Bison Range Pond in Garden City;
- Solomon River above Webster Reservoir; and
- Glen Elder State Park Pond.
Other areas may have to delay stocking, as well. Before a trout fishing expedition, anglers are encouraged to check for updated information on stocking of trout waters. Visit the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us, and type "trout stocking schedule" in the search box.
As of Oct. 11, the Cedar Bluff Stilling Basin had yet to experience fall turnover, which occurs as surface water cools. When this happens, dissolved oxygen levels in the water can drop, and it takes time for the system to recover and provide conditions safe for trout. Rather than risk a fish kill for newly stocked trout, biologists have decided to delay the stocking. Conditions will be monitored, and if the basin is ready, trout will be stocked near the end of October.
Pratt Centennial Pond will not be stocked until cooler weather lowers water temperatures, possibly as early as late October.
The Kanopolis Reservoir Seep Stream is currently laden with duckweed and filamentous algae, creating water-quality problems. The seep stream is closed to all fishing, with plans to stock trout in late October and open the stream to fishing on Oct. 30, provided conditions have improved.
Smoky Gardens and the Sand Sage Bison Range Pond are currently dry. Both will need precipitation before trout can be stocked.
The Solomon River above Webster Reservoir is not stocked in the fall, nor is it stocked each year. Stocking is dependent upon flows. In years when flows are adequate, stocking generally occurs in January, February, and March.
The Glen Elder Park Pond is not stocked in October. The first stocking of the season is scheduled for mid-November each year in order to allow time for the water to cool.
Trout permits are available at the KDWP website, at KDWP offices, and license vendors.