Let the fishing begin!…but don’t litter

Fishing got a lot better in the Wichita area yesterday – and it obviously wasn’t because of the weather.

It was the first day of the new year Kansas Wildlife and Parks stocked channel catfish in lakes within the Wichita area urban fisheries program. Before the fishing season is done for the year they’ll have stocked about 50,000 pounds of catfish into about 30 local urban and suburban lakes. The fish range from 3/4-pound to three pounds.

Among yesterday’s stocked waters -Lake Afton and Chisholm Creek Park North Lake.

While at Chisholm North Vaughn Weaver, of Wildlife and Parks, and fish-grower Mark Harbin saw a bit of littering gone bad when they spotted a gull hanging upside-down from a small willow.

The bird had the treble hooks of a crankbait in the webbing of one foot. Several yards of fishing line were tangled in the tree.

After about five minutes of working together Vaughn and Harbin freed the gull and it flew to freedom.

Photos of the project will run on www.kansas.com/outdoors on Sunday.

After photographing the release of about 400 catfish a few minutes later I looked down and my feet were tangled in fishing line.

Come on, folks, these local fishing holes are far too special to leave them littered.