Still time to register for Kids Fishing Clinic

Spots are still available for The Wichita Eagle’s 12th annual Kids Fishing Clinic on June 8 at Chisholm Creek Park.

For kids 12 and under, the fishing clinic is in conjunction with the Great Plains Nature Center’s annual Walk With Wildlife, which introduces people of all ages to wildlife usually ranging from insects and tiny snakes to large birds of prey and deer.

All equipment is provided for the fishing clinic, and volunteers are on-hand to assist the children. All participants must be accompanied by an adult. Fishing is scheduled in 30-minute periods 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is catch and release. Gift packs will be provided to the children.

Registration forms can be found in the newspaper or at The Eagle’s front counter at 825 E. Douglas.

If needed, the child’s name, age, preference for afternoon or morning session, address and contact phone number can be printed on a piece of paper and mailed to Kids Fishing Clinic, Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202. Session preferences cannot be guaranteed. Assigned times will be mailed to participants.

The clinic is free after a $2 fee to enter the Walk With Wildlife. Money should not be sent to The Eagle.

For more information call 316-268-6240 or contact psmith@wichitaeagle.com.

Free fishing days — Fishing licenses won’t be required in Kansas on Saturday and next Sunday. The first weekend of June has offered free fishing opportunities for several years.

Mike Miller, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism information chief, said it’s the state’s way of participating in the first weekend of National Fishing Week.

“It’s kind of an opportunity for people to try it before they buy it,” Miller said. “If a family has several kids of license requirement age, this gives them a chance to get out as a family. We’re also hoping people might get out and discover a state fishing lake or state park they may not have otherwise tried if they had to buy a (fishing) permit.”

All parks have boat ramps — Miller said all Kansas state parks currently have open boat ramps.

Low water conditions from several years of drought had left some state park ramps high and dry, or leading into water not deep enough for safe launching earlier this spring.

Miller said a huge crane was used to open a boat ramp area at Kanopolis State Park, where a long sand bar blocked boaters from leaving the ramp’s cove and heading to open water.