For more than 40 years, trout have provided winter fishing fun in select Kansas waters, and the Cedar Bluff stilling basin has been a part of that program from the beginning. However, the stilling basin below Cedar Bluff Dam won’t be stocked with trout in 2016. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Fisheries Division staff considered several factors before making the decision to discontinue stocking trout at the Cedar Bluff location.
Poor water quality has been a hindrance to trout welfare in the stilling basin for many years. Recently, the problem has become more acute due to lack of flow. Late seasonal turnover, brought about by prolonged warm weather in the fall, delays water quality improvement and limits the basin’s ability to provide a suitable environment for trout.
Economics also played a role in this decision. In the last two years, the cost of trout increased from $1.50/lb. to $4.00/lb. Revenues from trout permit sales did not keep pace with this increase, necessitating a statewide reduction in the number of trout stocked.
To maintain acceptable angler catch rates in the face of this reduction, it will be necessary to reallocate trout regionally. Some trout, originally destined for Cedar Bluff, will go to Webster stilling basin, which receives nearly twice as much trout angling pressure as Cedar Bluff.
For more information, contact district fisheries biologist, Dave Spalsbury, at (785) 726-3212, or visit ksoutdoors.com to learn where trout will be stocked this fall. The trout season opens Nov. 1, and more than 30 locations across the state will receive regular stockings until the season ends April 15, 2017.
Anglers 16 and older are required to have a $14.50 Trout Permit, in addition to a Kansas fishing license. The daily creel limit, unless posted otherwise, is five per day. Anglers 15 and younger do not need a trout permit, but they may only keep two trout per day.