TOPEKA (KSNT) – State wildlife officials say trout season is changing in Kansas following feedback from anglers.
Nadia Marji with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) said in a press release the 30-year-old trout fishing program will be updated for the purpose of creating program efficiency and improving angler satisfaction. KDWP staff conducted off and on-site interviews with licensed anglers at 25 locations across the state in early 2023.
Changes made to the Kansas 2023-2024 trout season include:
- Trout fishing waters will be stocked, and the season will begin, on Dec. 1 (as opposed to Nov. 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
Marji said the KDWP plans to stock 30 reservoirs and lakes this fall with 62,000 pounds of rainbow trout to give anglers ample fishing opportunities this year.
“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 the majority of the fish that will be stocked are rainbow trout, Marji said anglers can hope to see occasional palomino or golden rainbow trout.
“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.”
To fish for trout, you need to be 16-years-old or older and purchase a trout license for $14.50 along with a normal fishing license. Those who are 15-years-old or younger must have a $7 youth trout permit. All anglers with a valid trout permit can keep up to five trout per day unless otherwise noted.