PRATT – Woodson State Fishing Lake, known locally as Lake Fegan, is scheduled for needed repairs and enhancements. Flooding that occurred last fall damaged the popular Woodson County lake’s spillway, and while assessing the damage, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) engineers noted that the outlet valve and tubes needed attention. The 180-acre lake, which is located just 5 miles east of Toronto, was constructed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and some of the infrastructure is showing its age.
To repair the spillway and outlet valve, lake levels need to be significantly dropped, and a siphon line will be installed this week to begin that process. KDWPT fisheries biologists and Public Lands staff have decided to take advantage of the project to renovate the lake’s fishery and enhance angling access. This will require draining of the lake over the next several months. A public fish salvage will begin May 1, removing daily creel and length limits for the lake. Legal angling methods currently allowed at Woodson SFL will remain in place until further notice.
During the renovation, the current fish population will be removed. Before refilling, and while repairs to the outlet and spillway are completed, fish habitat will be added to the basin. Other enhancements may include extending boat ramps, as well as improving fishing piers and shoreline access. Once repairs and habitat enhancements are complete, the lake will be refilled and restocked. This process may take up to a year.
It will then take several years for the fishery to fully develop and provide good angling opportunities, but fortunately, Yates Center City lakes, Toronto Reservoir, and Wilson State Fishing Lake are all within a 30-minute drive. In the mean time, local anglers can bet that this historic fishery will come back better than ever.