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Tuesday, February 7 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Technical Session. Evaluation of the Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats (FISH) Program

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AUTHORS: Susan Steffen, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; William K. Blair, Emporia State University; David Breth, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

ABSTRACT: As part of the Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats (FISH) program, KDWPT leases access rights of privately-owned ponds, stream, and river sites. The goal of the FISH program is to make it easier for people to go fishing by providing easily accessible, free locations close to home. We evaluated the FISH program by conducting creel surveys at nineteen FISH properties from March 1 to October 31, 2012. Our objectives were to measure angling pressure, catch and harvest, and level of importance of the program to anglers’ fishing participation. Of the nineteen properties sampled, the estimated number of anglers ranged from 3,744 at the Marmaton River site to 4 at the Delaware River site. Mean number of anglers was 616 anglers (SD = 843.83, N = 19) and mean pressure was 622.37 angler-hours (SD = 535.37, N = 19). Harvest was minimal; 54% of the total harvest was White Crappie Pomoxis annularis at the Marmaton River site. Overall, 37% of released fish were Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and 34% were Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides. Anglers estimated an average of 52% (SD = 33.05, N = 121) of their fishing trips in the previous twelve months occurred at FISH properties. Eighty-four percent (84%) rated the FISH program as important or extremely important to his or her overall fishing participation. Seventy-seven percent (77%) rated the on-site property at which he or she was interviewed as important or extremely important to his or her overall fishing participation. The FISH program should continue because it is important to a segment of the Kansas angling population and provides additional fishing opportunities with minimal cost.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am CST
Grand Ballroom E