Big crowd likely for stocking ceremony
At Johnson County’s Shawnee Mission, Heritage Park and Kill Creek lakes, the pre-party has become almost as big as the main event when it comes to trout fishing.
A crowd shows up each spring and fall for the stocking ceremonies. Then an even bigger crowd shows up to open the season.
That’s what you can expect next week when the fall season opens. Trout will be stocked Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at Kill Creek, 2:30 p.m. at Heritage Park and 3:45 p.m. at Shawnee Mission. The lakes will then be closed until 5 a.m. Oct. 25, when the fishing gets under way.
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As usual, there will be plenty of rainbows attracting casts. Shawnee Mission will receive 2,000 pounds of trout, while Kill Creek and Heritage will receive 1,000 pounds apiece.
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District has built a tradition with its trout stocking program, providing cold-water fish at a time when fishing pressure would otherwise be low. The state-record rainbow, a 15.72-pound fish, was caught last winter at Kill Creek. And other large brood fish often are included in the stockings.
All people, regardless of age or residence, must have a Johnson County trout permit. A Johnson County Park and Recreation District fishing permit is also required for county residents ages 16 to 64, and for non-county residents ages 16 and older. A state fishing license is required for Kansas residents ages 16 to 74, and for non-residents ages 16 and older.
Shawnee Mission is located at 7900 Renner Road in Shawnee, and Kill Creek at 11670 Homestead Lane, and Heritage Park at 16050 Pflumm in Olathe.
Pheasant hunting’s marquee event
South Dakota’s nationally known pheasant season will get under way Saturday amidst great optimism.
The state, known as the nation’s undisputed leader in pheasant hunting, draws people from across the country for its much anticipated opener. In 2013, for example, 74,413 nonresidents flocked to the state to hunt ringnecks vs. 57,647 resident hunters.
This year promises to be even more attractive to out-of-state hunters. After a down year n 2013, South Dakota’s pheasants have bounced back in a big way. Results from a summer survey show that there was a 76 percent increase in birds spotted from last year, when numbers were down due to drought and a loss of habitat. Wildlife officials say the statewide pheasants-per-mile total are similar to those found in 2002, when hunters shot 1.26 million roosters.
Cruising for fall color
The Missouri Department of Conservation will follow tradition and offer the 28th annual drive for fall color Sunday at the Poosey Conservation Area near Chillicothe, Mo.
The driving tour will give visitors a chance to drive on roads and trails not usually open to public vehicles. The tour will begin at Pike’s Lake on the northeast side of the conservation area. The tours will begin at noon, with the last vehicles allowed to enter at 4 p.m.
The course will wind through a conservation area known for its fall color. All roads are graded and have gravel. But vehicles with high clearance or four-wheel drive are advised.
Officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation will be available at stations along the way to answer questions. For more information, contact resource manager Phil Sneed at 660-646-6122.
Take refuge at special event
Squaw Creek in northwest Missouri will celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with a Family Day event on Saturday.
Visitors will learn about wetlands management, get to view migrating ducks and shorebirds, canoe on the marshes, view exhibits, listen to talks and go fishing.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. and run through 2:30 p.m. It will be sponsored by the Missouri Western University Chapter of the Wildlife Society, the Friends of Squaw Creek and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.
Chronic Wasting Disease causes more problems
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that is highly contagious among deer, is back in the national headlines.
After about 280 whitetails on a private deer farm in north-central Iowa tested positive for CWD, the herd of 356 whitetails was killed in late August, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
The deer were quarantined more than two years ago after a whitetail was shot and tested positive for CWD at a hunting preserve in southeast Iowa. An investigation found that it came from the deer farm in the north-central part of the state.
The deer had been in quarantine while the owners of the deer farm were in litigation with the state over compensation for destroying the herd, according to The Des Moines Register. About $917,000 will be made available from the state to the deer-farm owners to clean and disinfect the farm.
Meanwhile, the owners agreed to place an 8-foot fence around its operation and keep it in place for at least five years after the deer de-population.
| Brent Frazee, email@example.com.