When Alan June caught a 10-pound, 4-ounce rainbow trout on March 10 at Wyandotte County Lake, it was truly a long shot.
The Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department stocked only one fish that size among thousands. And it appears that June caught that lunker, which is now a lake record.
“The biggest trout I had caught before this one weighed 3 pounds,” said June, who lives in Basehor, Kan. “This fish totally caught me by surprise.
“I just stopped at the lake after work to relax and make a few casts. Then this happens.”
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June was casting from the back of his pontoon boat that was still in its slip. He cast out a yellow Rooster Tail and watched as the huge trout rose and trailed the lure for several feet before taking it. Then the fight was on.
June had to get out the pontoon and maneuver the fish around other parked boats before finally winning the fight. Another fisherman rushed over with a net and scooped up the flopping fish, and June was able to exhale.
The fish was weighed at the marina, and it was confirmed as a lake record, breaking the former mark of 8 pounds, 10 ounces.
“I am probably going to have it mounted,” June said, “if it meets the family budget.”
Turkey hunting classes planned
If you’re new to turkey hunting and want to know how to get started, the Missouri Department of Conservation has a deal for you. Actually, three deals.
The agency will have three Introduction to Turkey Hunting classes in the Kansas City area in the next three weeks:
▪ 10 a.m. to noon March 26 at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. To register, call 816-228-3766.
▪ 6 to 9 p.m. April 5 at the Parma Woods Shooting Range near Parkville. To register, call 816-891-9941.
▪ 5 to 9:30 p.m. April 7 at the Lake City Shooting Range near Buckner. To register, call 816-249-3194.
Kansas award winners
Kenneth Kieser of Kansas City was among the honorees at the Kansas Wildlife Federation’s recent Conservation Achievement Program banquet.
Kieser, a longtime freelance writer and author, was honored as conservation communicator of the year.
Other award winners were: Kansas chapters of Fishing’s Future, as conservation organization; Water Vision Team, as water conservationist; state Sen. Terry Bruce of Hutchinson, as conservation legislator; Thad Rhodes, as forest conservationist; Denise Scribner, as conservation educator; Dave Foster, as outdoor skills instructor; and Gail Fuller, as land and soil wildlife conservationist.
Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area grows
The Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area in eastern Kansas has added 145 acres to its mix of wetland and timber.
The acreage was purchased by the nonprofit Conservation Fund using funds provided for mitigation for construction of a pipeline. The mostly forested tract was then deeded to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, which has begun restoration work on the land.
The new acreage will be valuable not only for the added habitat it provides. It will also enhance existing land on the wildlife area, officials said.
“The addition makes prescribed burning much easier across a large continuous tract, and that is a critical process for the health of oak woodlands,” said Karl Karrow, manager of the Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area.