Monday, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks released its annual Kansas fishing forecast, a tool I anxiously await each year that tells anglers the best locations for the fish they are looking for.
This is one of the coolest, most useful tools in evaluating where to go fishing in Kansas during spring. The report incorporates the KDWP’s Density Rating, Preferred Rating, Lunker Rating, Biggest Fish (found during sampling), the Biologist’s Rating (which introduces a human element – the biologist’s personal opinion given the data), and the Three-Year Average; all things that help the angler who wants to find bigger, more numerous fish.
This report is done through actual sampling, too, which I find to be cool. Lakes, ponds and reservoirs are monitored by biologists – through test netting and electroshocking – and the data is compiled. Since it’s impractical to survey each lake every year (especially smaller reservoirs), the 3-year average is included.
This is different from a fishing report. It’s more of an indication of what is to come during spring and summer, since it is actual data about what is in the lake, numbers-wise, whereas your typical fishing report, found here, often relies on word-of-mouth and gives more indication of what is happening at a particular moment – or more often, what was happening a week ago.
Perusing the 2009 Kansas Fishing Forecast today, all indications say if walleye are your thing and you want to take a fishing trip this year, you’re best served heading to Lake Scott. Compared to other lakes and reservoirs in Kansas for walleye fishing, it is far superior. Webster Lake may have a higher density, according to this forecast, but Lake Scott has a much higher density of fish 20 inches and above (called the Preferred Rating).
If crappie are your thing, travel to Moline New City Lake, Lake Wabaunsee (near Eskridge, Kansas), or Sedan City Lake for the best chances for success.
Crappie numbers are pretty good at Lake Scott as well, so that would be my pick as far as a summer vacation destination to plate the tastiest fish Kansas has to offer. Other states have similar reports, and this is one way to plan an inexpensive trip and ensure high chances for success.
Has anyone seen similar reports for other states? What are they saying?
Photo: iStockphoto.com/Judy Foldetta
Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on Google+.