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Kansas Free Fishing: Everyone May Fish Without a License June 2-3, 2012

Kansas free fishing for everyone during the 2012 Free Fishing Days, when anglers of all ages may fish without a fishing license. Even non-residents can take advantage the weekend of June 2-3.

Looking for a peaceful, uncrowded weekend outdoor experience? Try one of the more than 40 Kansas state fishing lakes. Anglers surveyed who fished state fishing lakes reported low levels of crowding, high satisfaction, and sufficient access from shore at these small Kansas gems. In most cases, there is minimal to no wait time to launch a boat and plenty of parking available.

In addition to fishing, picnicking and primitive camping are popular activities at state fishing lakes. Some — including Kingman, McPherson, Mined Land, and Ottawa — offer modern, affordable cabins for those who prefer not to camp. Many state fishing lakes also have ADA-compliant facilities, such as accessible docks and piers.

You don’t need a boat to enjoy the state fishing lake angling experience because numerous piers, jetties, and accessible shoreline are available for easy access. Almost half of anglers visiting these lakes fish from shore and find plenty of access without a boat.

As the name suggests, most state fishing lakes are managed for anglers, so no pleasure boating, skiing, or swimming is allowed. However, because Crawford, Meade, and Scott are also state parks, they provide full-service camping and allow swimming, and Crawford and Scott allow some recreational boating and offer recreational facilities such as sand volleyball courts, bathhouses, and horseshoe pits. Chase State Fishing Lake also has a swimming beach. Water-use restrictions may limit their appeal to some outdoor users, but for others, the limitation may be a peaceful plus.

Most visitors do not feel crowded at Kansas state fishing lakes, even on this busiest weekend of the year, so these lakes are great alternatives to large federal reservoirs. If you just want to enjoy nature, camp, and fish, you may be able to find a great family-friendly spot all to yourself.

In conjunction with National Fishing Week, RBFF has launched the “Nature’s Waterpark Showdown,” which uses the Facebook page to highlight parks around the country. In Kansas, El Dorado State Park has been nominated, one of 23 parks in the nation to receive the honor. The promotion will run for eight weeks and will culminate in a list of the top eight parks in the country based on fan votes. Once fans have voted, they can also register to win weekly prizes and one Grand Prize. The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for four to one of the top-eight parks of their choice.

Kansas has hundreds of lakes and streams, including numerous conveniently located community lakes. Finding the ideal fishing location is simple: go to the KDWPT website,, click "Fishing" at the top of the page, then “Where to Fish in Kansas” in the left-hand column.

Public fishing waters also are listed in the Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary, available on the KDWPT website or in printed form at KDWPT offices and license vendors around the state. The summary also provides a fish identification guide, length and creel limits, and a variety of additional information for anglers. The 2012 Kansas Fishing Atlas includes maps with locations of all state-managed and F.I.S.H. waters.

For information on fishing prospects, lake ratings for all sportfish may be found on the KDWPT’s online Fishing Forecast. In addition, the most recent biologists' fishing reports may be found on the Fishing Reports page.

Ordinarily, nonresidents 16 or older and residents age 16 through 64 must have a fishing license to fish in Kansas, but on Free Fishing Days, everyone gets to fish for free, making this the ideal time to introduce curious would-be anglers of any age to an outdoor pastime that will provide pleasure throughout their lives.

Late May and early June are some of the best times to take advantage of Kansas angling opportunities. If you haven't already bought a license or are curious about fishing, take advantage of this opportunity for Kansas free fishing on June 2-3, 2012.

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The above information was provided in news releases by the The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) on May 23, 2012.

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