Fishing regulations focus of next commission meeting

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Public hearing portion of meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

PRATT – It may be prime hunting season in fall, but staff at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) are already working hard to plan for the 2015 fishing season. Several regulatory changes pertaining to traditional rod-and-reel fishing, as well as non-traditional forms such as floatlining, will be heard and voted on at the Oct. 16 Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Salina. The meeting will be held at Martenelli’s Restaurant, 158 S. Sante Fe, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and reconvene at 6:30 p.m. for the evening session.

The afternoon session will begin with time for public comments on non-agenda items, followed by a general discussion period. Topics covered in the general discussion include Secretary’s remarks regarding agency and state fiscal status; an update on the 2015 legislature; an update on Tourism Division activities; a series of regulations pertaining to antelope and elk; permanent big game regulations; and a series of deer regulations.

Workshop topics for the afternoon session, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include general fishing provisions, boating identification numbers and decals, and vehicle permits.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 6:30 p.m. at the same location to discuss any remaining workshop items and begin the public hearing. Public hearing items to be discussed and voted on during the evening session include eliminating the need for a permit to floatline fish; increasing the mesh size allowed in seines and cast nest used for taking baitfish; certain creel, size, and possession limits; other special fishing provisions; camping and utility fees at Sandhills State Park; threatened and endangered species; and general provisions related to nongame species.

Time will be available in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on non-agenda items. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., Oct. 17, to complete any unfinished business.

Commercial-free live video and audio streaming of the meeting will be broadcast through ksoutdoors.com.

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2015 at Bonner Springs Parks and Recreation, Sunflower Room, 200 E. 3rd St., Bonner Springs.

Source: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

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