Outdoors

Lakes prepared ahead of fishing season openers

Rainbow trout were released Tuesday into Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City, Kan. Wildlife officials released around 4,000 pounds of trout into the 400-acre lake, which is also stocked with catfish, crappie, bass, walleye and wiper.
Rainbow trout were released Tuesday into Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City, Kan. Wildlife officials released around 4,000 pounds of trout into the 400-acre lake, which is also stocked with catfish, crappie, bass, walleye and wiper. The Kansas City Star

Forget what the weather forecasts call for.

Spring will arrive Saturday. Well, a trout fisherman’s version of spring anyway.

That’s when the first of the area’s season openers takes place.

▪ Trout have been stocked in Shawnee Mission and Kill Creek lakes in Johnson County, and the season is set open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

That’s rain or shine, snow or ice. The lakes are covered with ice, but the show will go on, regardless of the conditions.

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District doesn’t encourage ice fishing, but it doesn’t prohibit it either, according to a department official.

▪ More than 10,000 fishermen are expected to follow tradition and show up for the season opener Sunday at Missouri’s four trout parks.

At Bennett Spring, Roaring River, Montauk and Maramec Spring parks, fishermen will jam the streams for the 6:30 a.m. opener.

The Missouri Department of Conservation, which stocks the streams at the parks, will put in three trout per anticipated fishermen, based on permit records from past Sunday openers.

▪ Tradition also will be on display at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kan., when the season opens at 6 a.m. March 7.

There’s an asterisk that goes with that date, because it’s weather permitting. The Unified Government does not allow ice fishing, and there currently is ice on the lake. If it doesn’t melt by March 7, the opener might be moved back a week.

The Unified Government stocked 4,000 trout Wednesday, the second large stocking it has made this winter, so there will be plenty of fish in the lake when the season opens. Two more stockings of 4,000 trout apiece are planned.

▪ More trout fishing in the ‘burbs is available on the Missouri side of the metro area.

The Missouri Department of Conservation stocks Coot and Plover lakes at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area near Lee’s Summit, Chaumiere Lake in Kansas City North and the lakes at the Fountain Bluff Park in Liberty. The lakes were stocked this week and are open to fishing.

Fish abound in Wyandotte County

Fishermen in Wyandotte County will have plenty to cast for this year.

In addition to the large stockings of trout, 15,000 pounds of channel catfish have been added to the Kansas City, Kan., waters. Pierson Park and Big Eleven lakes also have been stocked with channel catfish.

In addition, Wyandotte County Lake was stocked with walleyes, largemouth bass and crappies in December. It will take a while for those fish to reach catching size, but the Unified Government is hoping those fish will play a big part in the lake’s future.

Expect a cool down at Coffey County

The fishing has been good this winter at Coffey County Lake near Burlington, Kan., while the Wolf Creek Generating Station sends warm water into the lake.

But that may come to an end starting Saturday when the power plant is temporarily shut down for routine maintenance. That means water temperatures will drop until warm weather arrives.

The maintenance is scheduled to continue for 52 days.

Turkey group to have annual fundraiser

The Parkville Gobblers, a chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will have its annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on March 6 at the Parkville Athletic Complex, 6014 Missouri 9 Highway, Parkville.

The event will include dinner and a silent and live auction and raffle.

Tickets will cost $55 for a single, $75 for couples and $20 for Jakes (youths 17 and under). To purchase tickets or receive more information, call Darrin Buehler at 816-746-9867.

To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to bfrazee@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter.com@fishboybrent.

Where to find the trout

▪ Shawnee Mission Park is located at 7900 Renner Rd., Shawnee. Kill Creek is at 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe.

▪ Bennett Spring State Park is located near Lebanon, Roaring River near Cassville, Montauk near Salem, and Maramec Spring near St. James.

▪ Wyandotte County Lake is located at Leavenworth Road and 91st Street, Kansas City, Kan.

▪ The James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area is located at 13101 SE Ranson Rd., Lee’s Summit. Fountain Bluff is at 2200 E. Old 210 Highway, Liberty. Chaumiere is located at N. Cleveland Avenue and NE 43rd Terrace, Kansas City North.

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