If you’re looking forward to attending the Johnson County trout opener, don’t go by the day you have circled on your calendar.
By BRENT FRAZEE
The Kansas City Star
You’ll show up a week late.
The opener at Shawnee Mission, Heritage and Kill Creek lakes has been moved up a week to accommodate the hatchery that stocks the lakes for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. About 2,600 pounds of trout were stocked Wednesday at Shawnee Mission, and 1,400 pounds at Heritage and Kill Creek.
The lakes are temporarily closed to fishing to allow the trout to acclimate to their new surroundings. The season at each of the lakes will open at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The biggest problem? The lakes are still covered with ice of varying thicknesses.
Ice fishing will be allowed, but the Johnson County Park and Recreation District discourages it. Officials urge fishermen to use extreme caution. With warm weather predicted over the weekend, the ice may become weak and dangerous.
The trout season at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kan., is scheduled to open March 1.
But don’t count on it.
County officials don’t allow ice fishing on the lake. And the ice is 6 to 7 inches thick.
If the warm spell opens the water by next weekend, the season will begin on schedule. If not, the opener will be delayed a week, officials say.
La Cygne’s anomaly
During most winters, La Cygne Lake in eastern Kansas offers fishermen a respite from the snow, ice and cold.
This year? Not so much.
Most years, lake temperatures can soar into the 60s when operators of the La Cygne Generating Station use lake water to cool the steam that travels through the turbines, then pump that warm water back into the lake.
That can result in instant spring for fishermen, no matter how cold the air temperature gets.
But that hasn’t been the case this year.
One of the units at the power plant was off-line for 17 days in parts of January and February for routine maintenance. With the unusually cold weather, that left water temperatures much lower than normal. And fishermen noticed the difference.
Ah, but there is good news for fishermen. As of last weekend, both units were back on-line. And with the warmer weather that is forecast, it shouldn’t take as long for the water to warm as it would have if the bitter cold had stuck around.
The Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation can help you prepare for the warmer days ahead.
• The organization’s Women in the Outdoors section will have a women’s-only archery day March 15 at Dry Creek Sporting Clays, 1257 Road 137, in Emporia, Kan. The event is open to women 13 and older, and will provide the basics, information on where to shoot, how to choose a bow and supervised target practice.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance registration is required and limited to the first 50 who sign up. Call Tami Cushenberry at 620-343-9156 or email email@example.com to sign up.
There will be a charge of $60 for non-Women in the Outdoors members ages 18 and older, $25 for members 18 and older, and $25 for participants ages 13 to 17.
• The Flint Hills Gobblers Chapter also is making plans for its nationally known turkey clinic.
The clinic, which will be open to youngsters and adult beginners, will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 29 at Dry Creek Sporting Clays in Emporia. The event, which recently was chosen as the nation’s top youth event by the National Wild Turkey Federation for 2013, is free.
To register, call Gib Rhodes at 620-437-2012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth turkey hunt
A turkey hunt for youths ages 11 to 16 will be held April 5 at the Melvern Wildlife Area in eastern Kansas.
Hunters must register by March 12 by contacting wildlife area assistant manager Clint Bowman at 620-699-3372.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to email@example.com.