Outdoors

Going fishing? No fishing license required in Kansas this weekend

Gary Regan, and Maxine, fish during a sunset at Timber Hills Lake Ranch. The ranch offers fishing in more than 20 ponds and lakes to guests who rent a cabin.
Gary Regan, and Maxine, fish during a sunset at Timber Hills Lake Ranch. The ranch offers fishing in more than 20 ponds and lakes to guests who rent a cabin. The Wichita Eagle

Anglers can fish for free this weekend in Kansas.

Fishing license will not be required for anglers of any age in the state on Saturday and Sunday. It’s part of the state’s annual free fishing weekend.

“We want to give people a chance to get out and enjoy some fishing, when it’s probably the best fishing of the year,” said Doug Nygren, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism fisheries chief. “It’s perfect timing because schools are out, and the fish are on the (shorelines), which makes them a lot easier for fishermen on shore to be successful.”

Want to make sure you catch something? Check out The Eagle’s insiders guide to the five best fishing spots in Kansas.

Nygren said the free fishing weekend is an attempt to get people to try the sport, hoping they’ll like it enough to go again throughout the year. It’s also part of the agency’s plan to get more parents fishing with their children.

“With kids, going fishing with their family usually makes it more meaningful, rather than if the parents just drop them off,” said Nygren. “Ideally we’d like to see a family fishing tradition get started.”

All other days of the year, Kansas residents 16 to 74 must have a fishing license. For most adults those are $8.50 for a one-day license or $27.50 for an annual license. Senior citizens do get some price breaks.

Nygren also wanted to remind anglers that there are plenty of places for public angling in Kansas, including rivers and streams in most towns, 45 state fishing lakes, 200 community lakes and 26 major reservoirs. He also mentioned the department’s F.I.S.H. program, which leases private waters for public access.

“We lease about 100 miles of rivers and streams, some of them allow you to float and fish from a canoe, and we probably lease 100 private impoundments,” Nygren said. “Everybody has a close place to fish, at least over most of the state.”

For information, go to ksotudoors.com.

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