Michael Pearce

Kansas angler instructor classes scheduled.

Fishing’s Future, a national organization dedicated to getting more youth fishing by having a nationwide fleet of qualified instructors, has scheduled two instructor courses for south-central Kansas this spring.

March 21 a morning class will be held at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism headquarters in Pratt. April 18 another instructors course will be held at Harvey County West Park, north of Burrton. To enroll, call Stuart Scott at 316-283-5420 or go to the Fishing’s Future site.

Accredited instructors gain the experience and credentials to host accredited youth fishing clinics. Their name also goes on a registry that can be accessed by groups wanting to have a fishing clinic. Loaner equipment can often be obtained, too.

More updates

Spring migrations continue to roll on. Several friends have seen woodcocks lately, and the numbers of geese heading north last weekend was enough to give me a stiff neck from looking skyward so often. Reports earlier this week said the whooping cranes were still in south Texas, but they could show up at Quivira or Cheyenne Bottom at any time. Great prairie chickens are doing their things on leks in the Flint Hills, too. I’ve heard from several people who went exploring on backroads and were able to stop a few times and find leks by sound or sight.

Turkeys also seem to be splitting up a bit, though they’re probably still spending the nights in big, common roosting areas. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, drinking a hot coffee during a cool sunrise and listening the the toms gobble back and forth as they try to establish dominance.

Fish seemed to have responded nicely to last weekend’s warm up, too. I’ve heard from people catching white bass and wipers shallow, soaking up the warmer water, at El Dorado Reservoir and some crappie up towards the lake’s upper end. I’ll be fishing for saugeye at Kanopolis this evening. Earlier this week some friends did really well, though the fish weren’t terribly big. We all know that hot action may turn cold them second my line hits the water.

Thursday’s newspaper had a front page story on the Sedgwick County Commission’s desire to get the legislature to take the spotted skunk off the state’s threatened species list. What’s upsetting conservation groups the most is that they’re trying to get around the regular, Wildlife and Parks, review process that’s based on research and science.

One of the things that’s upsetting to the county commission is that a spotted skunk hasn’t been seen in the county for more than 20 years, yet they continue to have to adjust some of their projects.

Upcoming coverage

Sunday’s Outdoors page will, hopefully, have a feature on how the fish, and fishermen, have responded to this stretch of warmer weather. I’m hoping to base the story out of the trip to Kanopolis, but have some updates from other waters, too. I’m also hoping to have a few more details on the March 21 Fishing’s Future instructor’s class in Pratt.

Down the road, I’m hoping to have a feature on some of the scientific side of fishing and another could be a closer look at why blue-green algae appears to be a building problem, year after year.

March 22 I should have a preview of the upcoming Wildlife and Parks commission meeting in Topeka. It’s where they should set the 2015-16 deer seasons, and set the numbers of permits that will be available. There’s been some talk permits, especially for antlerless whitetails, will be reduced, as might some dates of the special January season.

Michael’s world

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a string of days as warm, and calm, in March as what we’ve had for about the past six days. I got way too much yard work done, and not enough time playing over the weekend. I fixed that earlier this week with a couple of hours fly-fishing a three-acre pond near Newton.

I’ve had permission to waterfowl hunt the pond for about 18 years, but never really considered fishing it. One main reason was because the pond sits not far from a barnyard with a lot of cattle. I assumed the water would be murky.

Well, this fall I noticed the water was clear and that there seemed to be quite a bit of aquatic vegetation. I caught, and released, 15 bass in about 90 minutes of casting streamers. (Of course the wind picked up as soon as I got there, and got my two rods readied.)

The fish were fat and had great color but they weren’t very long. I’ve only fished the pond once, but I suspect it may have an over population problems. (How else could I catch so many?) Since it’s about 15 minutes from my driveway, I’ll have to check it a few more times.

Kathy and I mapped out how “we” are going to expand our vegetable garden this spring. Really, all I want is more room to move around among the plants. I have no desire to add even more plants. (We know how that will probably turn out, though.)

Anyway, the garden is mostly cleared out and I’ll be checking the asparagus patch every few days. I need to get a big batch of horseradish ground up, too.

What a great time of the year!


Michael Pearce