The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is promoting its Fishing Impoundments and Stream Habitats Program (F.I.S.H.).
The program pays landowners to allow fishing access to their private ponds and streams. F.I.S.H. is patterned after the state’s Walk-In Hunting Access program (WIHA). Both programs were designed to increase access to quality hunting and fishing opportunities across Kansas.
More than 97 percent of Kansas land is privately owned. The F.I.S.H program leases private waters from landowners and opens them to public fishing. Landowners participating in F.I.S.H. receive payments for the use of their land, and anglers are in turn provided with a place to fish that might not have been available otherwise.
Special regulations are in place for F.I.S.H. properties, and KDWPT officials periodically patrol the areas. Violators will be ticketed or arrested for vandalism, littering or failing to comply with fishing regulations. Access is limited to foot traffic, except on roads designated by the landowner in the case of very large tracts of land.
Some landowners are eligible for fish stocking, habitat management, fence crossers, cattle guards, rock boat ramps, or rocked parking areas under the F.I.S.H. program.
Each year, KDWPT publishes a fishing atlas, featuring maps that show each body of water enrolled in the program, boating allowance, and fish species available. Most F.I.S.H. sites are open for public access from March 1 to October 31, but year-round access is available at some locations.
For more information about F.I.S.H. visit www.ksoutdoors.com.