Michael Pearce

The Eagle's outdoor reporter highlights the latest hunting, fishing and wildlife news.

Commission to consider transporting baitfish again

Moving sunfish, bluegill has been illegal in Kansas.

10/14/2012 7:47 AM

10/14/2012 7:47 AM

Legalizing the transportation of angler-caught green sunfish and bluegill for bait will go to a vote at Thursday’s Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission meeting near Fall River.

Transporting self-caught baitfish was made illegal this year as biologists hoped to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp, which could be confused for shad and some types of common minnows.

Though the regulation drew little protest when originally discussed and approved, many catfishermen who use live green sunfish for bait were upset last spring.

Mike Miller, department information chief, said the proposal going to a vote will allow only the transportation of those two species of angler-caught fish for bait, and only if they’re taken from waters without an invasive species problem. That rules out the many lakes with white perch and zebra mussels.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

•  Commissioners will vote to require anglers to possess a receipt for purchased baitfish when transporting or fishing with the bait.
•  A regulation will receive a vote that could allow tournament anglers to transport fish in their livewells along public roads to official weigh-in sites if the tournaments receive official permits.
•  Final discussion will occur on setting the fees Kansas senior citizens will be required to pay for hunting and fishing licenses beginning next year.

Those 65 and older have been exempt from the licenses for several decades. Miller said $9 per annual license or $40 for a special senior lifetime combination hunting and fishing permit have already been approved by the legislature. Requiring those 65-74 to have hunting and fishing permits will qualify Kansas for millions of dollars in federal matching funds, he said.

Thursday’s sessions begin at 1:30 and 7 p.m. until completion at Flint Oak, 2639 Quail Road, Fall River. For more information, call 620-672-5911 or go to www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.

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