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Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism gets new licensing system

 

In late February, the computer license sales and reservation system the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has used for many years will be no more. A new and improved system, provided by Active Network, will go into full operation. Active Network has provided the software and point-of-sale hardware for 11 years that allowed KDWPT to accept campsite and cabin reservations and sell licenses online, maintaining all license records electronically. That contract expired and a new contract, with some changes, is now in place.

 

License buyers and campers won’t notice a big difference; however, the current license sales system will shut down at 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 18, and the new system will be online at 8 a.m. on Feb. 22. No license or permit sales will be available through the system for roughly three days. The campsite and cabin reservation system will shut down at 12:01 a.m., Feb. 20 and go back online at 6 p.m., Feb. 21.

 

While it may be inconvenient for anyone who tries to buy a license or make a reservation during the downtime, this time is important to allow data to be transferred, configurations to be completed and to ensure everything is working properly before going live. The new system will retain the KDWPT numbers of everyone who purchased a hunting or fishing license in the old system, and there will be no changes in pricing.

 

The new system will provide some advantages to users, including allowing customers to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the same time they make camping or cabin reservations. It will allow customers to reprint licenses within 48 hours if they were unable to print during the transaction. Other features include allowing customers to browse available licenses and permits before they make a purchase, buy licenses or permits for multiple years when available (such as buying a 2017 hunting license and a 2016 HIP stamp) and logging in with an email address to edit personal information on record such as address and phone number.

 

One significant change with the new system involves permits that have carcass tags attached, such as deer, turkey, elk, and antelope, which could have been purchased from home and printed out on a desktop printer under the old system. This caused many issues for Law Enforcement since there was no way to prohibit someone from printing multiple carcass tags with one permit. In the new system, permits with carcass tags will have to be purchased and issued through a license agent or over the phone, in which case the permit/carcass tag will be mailed to the customer.

Kansas Bowhunters to meet in Hutchinson

 

The Kansas Bowhunters Association invites you to join them for their 44th Annual State Convention and Banquet in Hutchinson Feb. 24-26. If you have a passion for bowhunting, bowfishing, archery, outdoor gear, photography, paintings, arts and crafts, custom made knives, bows, antlers, wildlife or taxidermy, make plans to attend this fun-filled weekend. The Atrium Hotel and Conference Center, 1400 North Lorraine, will host the event. Rooms can be reserved at a discounted rate by calling 620-669-9311 by Feb. 17.

 

Friday evening will feature an informal gathering with Colorado-based bowhunter and writer Lou Phillipe, who has 45 years experience bowhunting big game. Saturday morning events include exhibitor displays, as well as a ladies’ get-together.  Saturday afternoon and evening include an informal question and answer period with staff from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, an awards ceremony and banquet with guest speaker presentation, fundraising auction, raffle drawings and kids pizza party. Sunday morning events include a worship service and guest speaker presentation.       

 

For more information and to purchase admission tickets, contact Barry at 316-299-8845 or e-mail kbasec@gmail.com.

KDWPT biologists discuss bobwhites In new TV series

 

“Bobwhites on the Brink,” a five-part film series by the syndicated television conservation news magazine, This American Land, examines the reasons for the nationwide decline of the bobwhite quail and the efforts being made to reverse the trend on the American landscape. In the fourth segment (#604) of the series, viewers are brought to Kansas in large part due to the success of the state’s Conservation Reserve Program in providing species habitat. The segment explores how agricultural operations in the U.S. have morphed from small field/multi-farm set-ups, to giant corporate expanses of row crop acreage, and how Kansas is leading the country in demonstrating how bobwhite habitat can be successfully integrated on working lands.

 

Some Kansans may have viewed the series on Smoky Hills Public Television and on the Kansas Topeka Washburn University PBS stations late last year, but for those who missed it, there’s still time to tune in. “Bobwhites on the Brink” will air on KTWU Channel 11, Topeka, Sundays at 3:30 p.m., beginning January 15. However, the last two shows of the series (#604 and #605) will air at 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on February 5 in a 1-hour block. The series will also be available online on the This American Land website, www.thisamericanland.org/Episodes/season-six; on NBCI’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/BringBackBobwhites; and on the KDWPT website, ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Upland-Birds/Bobwhite-Quail.

 

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), in partnership with select states, worked over a period of several months to help develop the story. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism worked directly with NBCI to demonstrate how the expansion of mechanized clean-farming techniques in row crop agriculture have effected bobwhite quail, among other grassland birds and wildlife species.

 

In addition to Kansas, film crews visited South Carolina, Texas, and Kentucky to document how a decline in active forest management and the conversion of livestock grazing operations from native grasses to exotic fescue across millions of acres, combined with changes in row-crop agriculture, have decimated habitat range-wide for bobwhites and related wildlife over time.

2017 fish consumption advisories

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) are issuing revised fish consumption advisories for 2017. The advisories identify types of fish or other aquatic animals that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination. General advice and internet resources are also provided to aid the public in making informed decisions regarding the benefits as well as the risks associated with eating locally caught fish from Kansas waters.

 

Definitions:

Bottom-feeding fish: buffalos, carp, carpsuckers, catfishes (except flathead catfish), sturgeons, and suckers.

Predatory fish: black basses, crappies, drum, flathead catfish, perches, sunfish, white bass, wiper, striper, walleye, saugeye, and sauger.

Shellfish: mussels, clams, and crayfish.

General Population: Men and women 18 years of age or older.

Sensitive Populations: Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing and children age 17 or younger.

 

Meal size (before cooking):

Adults and Children age 13 and older = 8 ounces

Children age 6 to 12 = 4 ounces

Children younger than 6 = 2 ounces

 

Statewide Advisories

Kansas recommends the following consumption restrictions because of mercury in fish:

  1. Sensitive Populations should restrict consumption of all types of locally caught fish from waters or species of fish not specifically covered by an advisory to one meal per week because of mercury.
  2. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass (black basses):
  3. Sensitive Populations should restrict consumption of these species to one meal per month because of mercury.
  4. General Public should restrict consumption of these species to one meal per week because of mercury.

 

Waterbody specific advisories for all consumers

Kansas recommends not eating specified fish or aquatic life from the following locations:

  1. The Kansas River from Lawrence (below Bowersock Dam) downstream to Eudora at the confluence of the Wakarusa River (Douglas and Leavenworth counties); bottom-feeding fish because of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
  2. The Spring River from the confluence of Center Creek to the Kansas/Oklahoma border (Cherokee County); shellfish because of lead and cadmium.
  3. Shoal Creek from the Missouri/Kansas border to Empire Lake (Cherokee County); shellfish because of lead and cadmium.
  4. Cow Creek in Hutchinson and downstream to the confluence with the Arkansas River (Reno County); bottom-feeding fish because of PCBs.
  5. The Arkansas River from the Lincoln Street dam in Wichita downstream to the confluence with Cowskin Creek near Belle Plaine (Sedgwick and Sumner counties); bottom-feeding fish because of PCBs.
  6. Antioch Park Lake South in Antioch Park, Overland Park (Johnson County); all fish because of the pesticides dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane, and dichlorophenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs).

 

Kansas recommends restricting consumption of bottom-feeding fish to one meal per month from the following location because of PCBs:

  1. The Little Arkansas River from the Main Street Bridge immediately west of Valley Center to the confluence with the Arkansas River in Wichita (Sedgwick County).

 

General advice for eating locally caught fish in Kansas

  1. Sensitive populations should consider restricting their total mercury intake for both supermarket fish and locally caught species. Concerned parents and other persons may wish to consult with a physician about eating fish and mercury exposure.
  2. Mercury exposure can be reduced by limiting the consumption of large predatory fish. Larger/older fish of all types are more likely to have higher concentrations of mercury.
  3. Avoid the consumption of fish parts other than fillets, especially when eating bottom-feeding fish. Fatty internal organs tend to accumulate higher levels of fat-soluble contaminants such as chlordane and PCBs than fillets.
  4. Consumers can reduce their ingestion of fat-soluble contaminants such as chlordane and PCBs by trimming fat from fillets, and cooking in a manner in which fat drips away from the fillet.
  5. Avoid subsistence level (relying on wild-caught fish for daily nutritional needs) fishing activities in large rivers within or immediately downstream of large urban/industrial areas and wastewater outfalls. Fish in these areas are more likely to contain traces of chemical contaminants.
  6. In waterbodies where watches or warnings related to harmful algae blooms have been applied, fish should be consumed in moderation and care taken to only consume skinless fillets. Avoid cutting into internal organs and rinse fillets with clean water prior to cooking or freezing.

 

Internet resources from KDHE, KDWPT, EPA, FDA, and the American Heart Association

 

To view the advisories online and for information about KDHE’s Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program please visit our website at: http://www.kdheks.gov/befs/fish_tissue_monitoring.htm

 

For information about harmful algal blooms, including current watches and warnings, visit this KDHE website: http://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm

 

For information about fishing in Kansas including licensing, regulations, fishing reports and fishing forecasts please visit the KDWPT fishing website: http://ksoutdoors.com/Fishing

 

For general information about mercury in fish, national advisories, and advisories in other states please visit this EPA website: http://www2.epa.gov/choose-fish-and-shellfish-wisely

 

For information about sensitive populations and mercury in fish please visit this FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm110591.htm

 

For information regarding personal care products and pharmaceuticals in fish please visit this EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/pilot-study-pharmaceuticals-and-personal-care-products-fish-tissue

 

For information about the health benefits vs. the risks of including fish in your diet please visit this American Heart Association website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Fish-101_UCM_305986_Article.jsp

 

For technical information regarding the EPA risk assessment methods used to determine advisory consumption limits please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/fish-tech

Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams hosts playa workshop

 

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) is conducting a free Playa Lake Workshop and Tour on Jan. 10-11, 2017. The event will feature an optional landowner tour on Jan 10, followed by the workshop at Finnup Center For Conservation Education, 312 E Finnup Drive in Garden City on Jan. 11. Landowners with an interest in playa lakes and wetland conservation should make plans to attend.

 

The Jan. 10 playa lake tour in Lane County will feature onsite demonstrations from playa lake landowners. Information provided also includes advice on program cost delivery and how playa lakes can be managed for better conservation, recharge and recreational enjoyment. Sharp Brothers Seed Co. will be provide lunch at their headquarters in Healy.

 

The workshop will feature speakers who have decades of experience in playa lake management, ecology, hydrology research and program cost delivery. Three local landowners will share their personal experiences with playa lakes on their farms and ranches. Lunch will be provided.

 

To register for the free conference, go to the KAWS website, www.kaws.org. For more information contact Joe Kramer, jkramer@kaws.org, Mary Howell, kfu.mary@gmail.com or Jessica Mounts, jmounts@kaws.org.

Wild about Kansas photo contest winners selected

 

Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine, a bimonthly, subscription-based publication of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, will publish winning entries from the 2016 Wild About Kansas Photo Contest in the 2017 January/February photo issue. This year’s judges reviewed 213 submissions from 113 photographers of all ages and skill levels, providing a tough job for the panel of five. After much deliberation, 39 entries were selected to be published in the magazine’s special photo issue.

 

Photos were judged based on creativity, composition, subject matter, lighting, and overall sharpness. Categories included wildlife, outdoor recreation, landscapes, other species, and hunting and fishing. The 2016 results are as follows:

 

Adult

Wildlife

1st: Tony Pianalto, “Majestic”

2nd: Kevin Fruechting, “Twin Toms”

3rd: Chuck Gibson, “Hummingbird”

Honorable Mention: Frank Orth, “Screech Owl”

 

Outdoor Recreation

1st: Chenoa Casebier, “Sleeping Under The Stars”

2nd: Jeff Doggendorf, “Dry Rattlesnake Creek Riverbed”

3rd: Kayla Borell, “Rise To Wake”

Honorable Mention: Rick McPherson, “Frostbite Regatta”

 

Landscapes

1st: Robert Dilla, “Sunset Through The Keyhole”

2nd: Tim Wood, “On Konza Prairie”

3rd: Nicki Tomlinson, “Autumn Reflections”

Honorable Mention: Chuck Gibson, “Lovewell”

 

Other Species

1st: Jaci Novak, “Snack Time”

2nd: Mary Mejia, “Honey Bee At Sunflower”

3rd: Chuck Gibson, “Frog”

Honorable Mention: Rick McPherson, “Bison At Maxwell Refuge”

 

Hunting and Fishing

1st: Dale Benedict, “Spring Turkey Opening Day”

2nd: Clarence Maedgen, “Breaking Ice”

3rd: Tony Pianalto, “Rooster”

Honorable Mention: Kristin Vinduska, “My Retirement Plan”

 

Youth

Wildlife

1st: Isaac Schultz, “Buddy”

2nd: Solomon Schultz, “Cute”

3rd: Madison Larson, “Groundhog”

Honorable Mention: Lily Schultz, “Lily Frog”

 

Outdoor Recreation

1st: Madison Larson, “Watching Fireworks”

2nd: Elly Gossard, “Sisters Exploring”

3rd: Isaac Shultz, “Family Time”

Honorable Mention: John Walker, “Nice Shot”

 

Landscapes

1st: Johanna Walker, “Cider”

2nd: Yazmin Adams, “Fun Under The Sun”

3rd: Elly Gossard, “Calm Lake Day”

Honorable Mention: Cloey Kennemur, “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay”

 

Other Species

1st: Lily Shultz, “Gathering”

2nd: Kieren Shultz, “Big”

3rd: Corley Becker, “Resting Frog”

Honorable Mention: Johanna Walker, “Blending In”

 

Hunting and Fishing

1st: Ashley Fields, “Crappie Bait”

2nd: Kieren Shultz, “Peaceful”

3rd: Solomon Shultz, “Fishin’”

 

To subscribe to Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine today and start receiving Kansas’ premiere outdoor magazine, call (620) 672-5911, or visit www.ksoutdoors.com Services/Publications/Magazine.

 

Details on the 2017 contest will be made available on www.ksoutdoors.com in early spring.

2016 Mountain Lion reports

 

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologists have been busy investigating a flurry of mountain lion reports lately. Three more mountain lion reports were confirmed in Kansas recently, bringing the total number of confirmed sightings for the year to four.

 

A hunter recently checked his trail camera on Fort Riley to find a photo of a mountain lion taken on Nov. 9. On Nov. 20, about 55 miles away, another hunter’s trail camera in Shawnee County snapped several photos of a mountain lion passing by at around 1 a.m.

 

Four days later and about 20 miles away, a couple of young raccoon hunters in Wabaunsee County were hunting with a single hound when it bayed “treed.” They were quite surprised when they shined their lights into the tree and found a mountain lion staring back at them. They had the presence of mind to take some video and snap a few photos for evidence, and even called a few friends and family out to see the lion for themselves. Biologists later visited the site and were able to recover a few hairs from the tree limbs. It is uncertain at this time whether sufficient material was present for DNA extraction, but if so, it can help biologists determine the animal’s sex, where it came from, where it has been, and where it may end up.

 

It is uncertain whether these recent confirmations are the result of a single or multiple cats. Young male mountain lions can wander great distances in search of a home range, and the proximity and timing of these latest sightings indicate a single lion is a possibility, but this is not a certainty. An additional sighting is still being investigated, and if confirmed, Kansas may have a record year for mountain lion sightings.

 

Since 2007, when the first mountain lion was confirmed in Kansas, 18 more have been added to the total. Most are presumed to be transient young male lions displaced from states north or west of Kansas. Consistent with this theory, the presence of arm barring on several of these recent confirmations is an indicator of a young (less than 3 year old) lion. A resident population, as indicated by the presence of kittens, adult females, or repeated documentations in the same vicinity, has not been observed nor confirmed.

 

Visit www.KSOutdoors.com, Wildlife & Nature, Wildlife Sightings for more information.

2017 licenses go on sale December 15

 

Hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts carrying 2016 licenses in their wallets and purses are reminded that current year licenses will expire on December 31, 2016. The good news is, 2017 licenses can be purchased beginning December 15, 2016 and are good through the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.

 

Still in need of some stocking stuffers? Consider purchasing your family hunting and fishing licenses so they can enjoy another year of their favorite outdoor activities. If you buy the Youth Multi-year license, for youth 16-21, or one of the five-year hunting and fishing licenses, you can save a bundle. Really want a gift that has the “wow factor?” Gift someone special a lifetime hunting or fishing license and give them outdoor experiences for a lifetime. Payment options are available.

 

Visit your local license vendor, regional Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism  office, or go online to www.ksoutdoors.com to make sure you’re equipped for another year of outdoor fun.

Hunters boost Kansas’ economy

 

On Nov. 11, sleepy little towns in western Kansas will transform into centers with crowded motel parking lots, busy streets and packed cafes. If you’re up before dawn on Nov. 12, you’ll see men and women dressed in khaki and orange looking happy, despite the hour, while feeding and watering hunting dogs or grabbing breakfast at the local “Hunters’ Pancake Feed.” Everyone is upbeat because opening day is finally here.

 

This year’s positive bird forecast has hunters raring to go. But there are others who anticipate this day almost as much: the business owners in these small rural communities. Hunters are good for the Kansas economy.

 

On the second Saturday in November, 40,000 to 50,000 hunters will be in the field pursuing pheasants and quail in Kansas. Many hunters will have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to get here and those hunters will spend a minimum of $150 per day on lodging, food and fuel. Most will stay three or four days, and when bird populations are good, the second weekend can be just as busy. When all the revenue generated by hunters in Kansas during the year is added up, it will top $400,000,000.

 

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting is responsible for nearly 8,000 jobs in Kansas, generating $2.9 million in salaries and wages and $60 million in state and local taxes. Through the purchase of annual hunting licenses and permits, hunters generate more than $20 million and qualify Kansas to receive nearly $10 million in federal aid that is derived from excise taxes on hunting and shooting equipment. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s wildlife programs receive no general tax funding, so hunters pay for all wildlife conservation and law enforcement efforts.

 

For bird hunters, a good opening weekend means heavy game bags and the camaraderie of friends and family. For Kansas business owners, a good opening weekend means extra sales and a better bottom line.

Hunting, fishing and trapping amendment on November ballot

 

In addition to voting for their chosen candidates and other important matters in the Nov. 8, 2016 general election, voters will decide whether to amend the Kansas Constitution’s Bill of Rights to add a constitutional right to hunt, fish and trap wildlife.

The proposed amendment would specify the people have a right to hunt, fish and trap by traditional methods, subject to reasonable laws and regulations that promote wildlife conservation and management and that preserve the future of hunting, fishing and trapping. The amendment would also specify that hunting and fishing are the preferred means for managing and controlling wildlife, and that the amendment shall not be construed to modify any provision of law relating to trespass, eminent domain or other private property rights. 

The amendment would be created if approved by a majority of Kansas voters. A “Yes” vote will be a vote in favor of adding the amendment to the constitution, and a “No” vote will be a vote against adding the amendment. If the amendment passes, current laws and regulations governing hunting, fishing and trapping of wildlife would still apply, as the proposed right is subject to reasonable laws and regulations. If the amendment fails, there would be no changes to current laws and regulations.     

The proposed amendment was introduced into the 2015 Legislative Session as House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5008 by Representative Couture-Lovelady and Representative Lusker, but no action was taken. It was carried over to the 2016 session where it passed both chambers by large margins. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) testified in support of the resolution.

According to the website Ballotpedia.org, 19 states currently have similar constitutional provisions for the right to hunt and fish. Two others have constitutional provisions guaranteeing the right to fish, and two have statutes providing for the right to hunt and fish. Vermont established its right to hunt and fish in 1777, but most of the other states have created their rights since 2000.

Hunters and anglers provide all of the support for Kansas’ wildlife and fisheries management programs. These programs are entirely funded by license/permit fees and a federal match from the excise tax paid by hunters and anglers on equipment they buy (these revenues can only be used to fund wildlife and fisheries programs; they cannot be used for state park maintenance). The state’s share of the federal excise tax can only be returned to Kansas if someone buys a license or permit. KDWPT does not receive any state general funds for any of its programs.

For more information about KDWPT, visit KSOutdoors.com or TravelKS.com.