KDWP To Revamp Trout Season Following Suggestions From Anglers

Pratt, KS – The time for trout fishing in Kansas is drawing nearer, and this year the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is making angler-inspired updates to the nearly 30-year-old program to improve angler satisfaction and program efficiency while managing around increasing commodity costs.

Based largely off of on-site interviews conducted with licensed anglers at 25 waterbodies across the state in early 2023, KDWP’s Fisheries Division staff will implement the following for Kansas’ 2023-2024 trout season:

  • Trout fishing waters will be stocked, and the season will begin, on December 1 (as opposed to November 1, so as not to compromise fish health in warmer water often experienced in November)
  • Each trout fishing water will be stocked during the most fished months of the trout season (as opposed to season-wide stockings at indiscriminate times)
  • The season will conclude at the end of March (as opposed to April 15), as only three percent of respondents indicated they fish for trout most in April
  • KDWP will stock less often but with higher densities of trout – an indicated preference of anglers surveyed

In total, KDWP plans to stock 30 waterbodies this fall with approximately 62,000 pounds of rainbow trout, providing anglers with ample wintertime fishing opportunities, while simultaneously not competing with other time-honored hunting and fishing traditions.

“The trout program is something we’ve been happy to support in Kansas since 1994,” said Jeff Conley, KDWP Fisheries program specialist. “However, over the years, we’ve made very few changes. This new format gives us the ability to continue the program during its most popular months, at higher stocking densities, while managing increasing costs for the fish, so the feedback received will definitely make us all more efficient.”

While most fish stocked will be rainbow trout, Kansas anglers can occasionally catch a palomino or golden rainbow trout. Not to be confused with golden trout, golden rainbow trout have a genetic variation that many fish growers selectively breed to create a novelty fish for anglers to pursue.

“All fish stocked will be a catchable size, but a few lunkers will also be added to give anglers extra opportunity to catch a trophy,” added Conley. “We can’t wait to see who catches them.”

Anglers 16 and older who wish to fish for trout must possess a $14.50 Trout Permit and fishing license, unless exempt. Kansas youth 15 and younger must possess a Youth Trout Permit, which can be purchased for just $7 (NOTE: Youth age 15 and younger are not required to have a fishing license). All anglers with a trout permit may keep up to five trout per day, unless posted otherwise.

To purchase a trout permit, visit GoOutdoorsKansas.com, download the GoOutdoorsKS mobile app, or visit a license vendor nearest you.

For more information on trout fishing in Kansas, click HERE.

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