A few more points of interest from the last Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism Commission meeting near Great Bend.
– Lloyd Fox, Wildlife and Parks Big Game Program coordinator, said the agency is exploring ways to implement the legislative mandate to offer a permit that allows a hunter to shoot a whitetail buck and doe on the same basic permit. (The legislature hopes the concept will get hunters to shoot more does.) Fox said the agency is looking for an alternative that is “revenue neutral” so it doesn’t cost the department too much in lost permit sales. They are considering implementing the system just for non-resident hunters, who many feel are failing to take their share of does.
– The agency is continuing to look at a regulation change that would allow anglers to transport bluegill and green sunfish from waters that do not contain invasive species. Such a regulation change would allow catfishermen to again catch and use their favored bait on set-lines for flatheads. They also would like to make it mandatory that anglers carry receipts for livebait purchased from a dealer while the angler is traveling with, or fishing with, the bait. The topics will possibly go to vote at an October commission meeting near Fall River.
– There is also a push for a daily creel limit of 20 crappie for Glen Elder Reservoir.
– Jim Pitman, agency turkey biologist, said the 2012 spring season saw about 60,000 permits sold and more than 31,000 bird shot. The success rate of about 60 -percent is one of the highest in the nation. Pitman wants to liberalize permit options and limits in some parts of western Kansas.
– Kevin Jones, law enforcement chief, gave an update on legislative-mandated fees to be charged for restitution when trophy-class animals are poached. For instance, poaching a 150-inch buck would require $5,000 in restitution. Poaching a 350-inch elk would require more than $40,000 in restitution. The new regulations begin in 2013.
– Robin Jennison, department secretary, told commissioners and the public that the agency now owned all of the state park cabins, thanks to state funding provided by Gov. Sam Brownback. That will allow the parks to show a higher profit margin on the cabins that used to be funded by Kansas Wildlscape.
He also said the state is looking into sponsoring a resort to be built at a Kansas lake. Clinton Reservoir currently seems to be the most likely choice.