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KDWP Hoping to Speed Up Bass Spawn

July 20, 2008

By Michael Pearce, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.

Jul. 20–Largemouth bass populations at El Dorado Reservoir may see some significant improvements, thanks to a facility being built in western Kansas.

Doug Nygren, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks fisheries chief, said construction is slated to begin any day on a new climate-controlled fish house at the department’s hatchery near Meade.

Biologists hope they can trick bass within the building to spawn in early April rather than in May, as is done in the wild.

“Right now our bass spawn too late in the year to take advantage the young-of-the year gizzard shad,” Nygren said. “The extra few weeks should give them a head start, allow them to put some body fat on and make it through that first winter.”

He said studies show the earlier a bass is hatched, the higher its chances of surviving.

Nygren said the first stockings of such bass should be next spring. El Dorado Reservoir is slated to receive some of the first.

Biologists will encourage earlier spawning within the new building by manipulating water temperatures and lengths of artificial daylight.

“We can also inject them with a hormone to get them to about spawn on demand,” Nygren said. “We’re excited about all of it.”

Leftover permits selling — Out-of-state hunters are taking advantage of 2,480 Kansas deer permits that went on sale Monday. About 700 had been sold by Friday.

Karen Beard, KDWP licensing chief, said the permits weren’t filled during the regular drawing for nonresident permits in June.

The permits are first-come, first-served for out-of-staters at www.kdwp.state.ks.us or by calling 800-918-2877.

Permits were available in deer management Units 6, 9, 10-15 and 18. The permits are for any whitetail deer.

Applicants must specify if they’ll hunt during the blackpowder, archery or firearms seasons when they buy a permit. They’ll also be allowed to designate one other management unit that adjoins the unit they’ve chosen.

Beard said sale of the leftover permits will probably slow until just before deer season, when demand will increase.

This year, Wildlife and Parks authorized about 17,640 nonresident deer permits compared to last year’s 14,230.

Early archery opener — Bowhunters wanting an early jump on the season may want to head to Fort Riley this year.

The season opens Sept. 1 on the fort, compared to Sept. 22 for the rest of the state.

Wildlife and Parks attorney Chris Tymeson said fort officials requested the early opener so some troops could hunt before deployment later in the fall.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.

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