EMPORIA (KSNT) – A new fishing spot will be open soon according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks near the city of Emporia.

This new public fishing spot will be at King Lake, located on the northern edge of Emporia State University and Interstate 35. It is the result of an ongoing partnership between ESU and the KDWP.

It is positioned in front of ESU’s newly constructed Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center and will be managed by ESU students enrolled in Fish Ecology and Fisheries Management courses with the guidance of KDWP Fisheries biologists.

“This arrangement is going to allow students at ESU the opportunity to get hands-on experience managing a fishery, while affording Emporia-area anglers another location to wet a line,” said Ben Neely, KDWP Fisheries biologist. “We’re excited to see this fishery grow and to see more anglers out there enjoying what this lake has to offer.”

An initial survey conducted by students in Dr. Rachel Bowes Fish Ecology class in the lake in November of 2021 sampled 12 fish species, including bluegill, largemouth bass and white crappie. Students also identified management strategies moving forward which will include supplemental stockings of channel catfish and largemouth bass to help achieve a balanced food web and increase angling opportunities. Also, winter stocking of rainbow trout is being considered to provide winter angling opportunities in the area.

“Emporia State University is proud of our long-standing partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks,” said Dr. Brent Thomas, dean of Emporia State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The presence of a public fishing lake on our campus that is collaboratively managed by our students and the agency will provide unique applied-learning opportunities to our Fisheries and Wildlife students.”

Anglers can reach King Lake via the I-35 underpass off Highland Street east of the KDWP Research and Survey office and the ESU soccer field. At the moment, fishing regulations for King Lake follow statewide regulations; however, regulations may be adapted as additional surveys are conducted.

When fishing at King Lake, an up-to-date fishing license is required unless you are exempt and anglers may keep the following:

  • Channel Catfish
    • Minimum length: NA
    • Daily creel limit: 10
  • Crappie
    • Minimum length: NA
    • Daily creel limit: 50
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Minimum length: 15 inches
    • Daily creel limit: 5

For more information on fishing in Kansas, go here. For more information on ESU’s Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center, go here.