A new law that greatly restricts an angler’s ability to transport live bait they’ve caught could be weakened by next year.
At Thursday’s Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Kansas City, Doug Nygren, Wildlife and Parks fisheries chief, proposed that anglers be able to transport bluegill and green sunfish if they are caught from waters without invasive species, said Chris Tymeson, department attorney.
This is the first year anglers have not been allowed to transport baitfish they’ve caught from one water to another. The commission passed the law several months ago, hoping to prevent anglers from unknowingly transporting invasive species to new areas. A main concern was anglers confusing invasive Asian silver carp with native gizzard shad, a popular bait commonly caught and moved by anglers.
At an April 26 meeting at Wichita’s Great Plains Nature Center, several commissioners said many anglers were upset by the new law, and asked for a possible more lenient solution.
Tymeson said the suggestion will draw more discussion at an August commission meeting and could be up for a vote at an October meeting.
Also at the meeting at Kansas City’s Cabela’s:
• Regulations were officially approved that will prohibit the use of bait on all public areas managed by Wildlife and Parks. Walk-In Hunting Areas are not effected. The use of liquid scents and attractants is still permissible.
• Hunters are now limited to no more than two treestands or ground blinds per wildlife area, and all must show the hunter’s contact information.
All ground blinds and decoys can not be left unattended after dark.
• Those guiding hunters on public lands must obtain a free permit from the area manager and complete a survey form at the end of the season.
• The legal shooting hours on sandhill cranes now runs from sunrise to sunset. Previously it was a half-hour after sunrise until 2 p.m.
• Wildlife and Parks also asked that public lands be closed to archery turkey hunting the first weekend in April so area managers can conduct youth and disabled hunts on those lands without competition from bowhunters. The proposal will receive further discussion at future meetings.
To read more about Thursday’s commission meeting go to http://blogs.kansas.com/outdoors.
The next commission meeting will be Aug. 23 at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center near Great Bend.