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Fishing for permission answers

A frequent blog and newspaper reader asked the following questions. I called Kevin Jones, Kansas Department Wildlife and Parks law enforcement chief, for some answers. Jones did a good job of explaining what can be some complex laws.

Do you need a license to fish on your own property? No, if you own the property you can legally fish any lake, pond, puddle, stream, flooded ditch or minnow bucket without a fishing license.

When can you deny access to your waters? If it’s water on your property you can deny access to it. Even if the water is public property, like the Arkansas River, you do not need to grant permission for someone to cross your private lands to access that water.

Do you have to grant access if you stock your waters with state-raised or state-provided fingerlings? Well, the state hasn’t provided fingerlings for stocking private waters for many years. Even if your waters were stocked with such fish decades ago you don’t have to grant access.

Who is exempt from licensing? Disabled? Over-65? Anyone else? For Kansas residents, those 15 and younger or 65 and over are exempt from licensing but still need permission to access private waters. Jones said there’s also a long list of others who are exempt though most residents don’t meet that criteria.

Also, those fishing some private waters are exempt. Basically if the water is totally contained on the property – like a simple pasture pond – no fishing license is needed. However it’s a complicated issue.

Jones said flowing waters, like streams and rivers, still require a fishing license for most as do waters with shared property. According to Jones my family’s 12 acre lake, which is fed by a small creek and touches land owned by two family members, requires all of our guests to have licenses unless exempt by age.

Where can we get a copy of the Rules and Laws? Click below.