There was a time when Cheney Lake rivaled Wilson Lake for Kansas' top striper fishery.
Those days are probably gone forever, but Cheney's striper fishing could improve.
Doug Nygren, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks fisheries chief, said a new program that allows Kansas to produce its own young stripers is working well, especially this year.
"We have enough this year that we'll have the opportunity to stock heavy on lakes with stripers and maybe put some in lakes that don't have stripers," he said.
Nygren predicted Cheney could get nice numbers of striped bass. Jeff Koch, Cheney's fisheries biologist, said the current population of sizable stripers is low in the lake.
"I don't know if we've (test-netted) more than a handful in the last few years," he said. "I know at least one was caught through the ice. It was about 10 to 15 pounds."
Striper stocking was stopped at Cheney from about 2001-07 because of possible poor survival conditions.
"As a reservoir ages, the water becomes more shallow and warms faster," Koch said. "Stripers do better in cooler water and it's been harder and harder to keep stripers alive. That's why we switched almost exclusively to wipers, which are far more hardy."
Local DU chapter honored — The Wichita Area Ducks Unlimited Chapter has been recognized as one of the nation's top 100 chapters.
The conservation group has about 3,500 chapters nationally, 85 in Kansas.
Barry Allen, Ducks Unlimited regional director, said the rankings are based on net money raised for conservation.
In 2009, the Wichita chapter netted about $43,000 through their annual fall fund-raising banquet and a late winter waterfowl hunters party.
"About 87 percent of that goes directly to habitat conservation," Allen said. "A lot of that money will stay in Kansas. We're spending nearly a million a year on Kansas wetlands projects."
Allen said Ducks Unlimited has donated about $3.4 million for on-going conservation work at the Jamestown Wildlife Area east of Concordia.
About $5.6 million has gone to assorted projects at the McPherson Valley Wetlands.
For the second consecutive year, the South Johnson County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited was also ranked in the top 100.
Allen said they raised about $100,000 for conservation last year.