Kansas anglers to soon find a new spot at King Lake to fish

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansans will soon be able to fish at the Sunflower State’s newest public fishing spot, King Lake in Emporia.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says King Lake, on the northern edge of Emporia State University and I-35 will soon be the Sunflower State’s newest waterbody open to public fishing.

KDWP said the move is thanks to an ongoing partnership between ESU and KDWP.

Located in front of ESU’s newly built Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center, KDWP said King Lake’s fishery will be managed by university students enrolled in Fish Ecology and Fisheries Management courses with the guidance of KDWP Fisheries biologists.

“This arrangement is going to allow students at ESU the opportunity to get hands-on experience managing a fishery while affording Emporia-area angles another location to wet a line,” said Ben Neely, KDWP Fisheries biologist. “We’re excited to see this fishery grow and to see more angles out there enjoying what this lake has to offer.”

KDWP said an initial survey of the lake was done by students in Dr. Rachel Bowes’ Fish Ecology class in November 2021. Working alongside KDWP biologists, it said students sampled 12 fish species – including good numbers of bluegill, largemouth bass and white crappie. It said students also found management strategies moving forward, which include supplemental stockings of channel catfish and largemouth bass to help achieve a balanced food web and increase angling opportunities.

Additionally, KDWP said winter stocking of rainbow trout has been considered to provide winter fishing opportunities in the area.

“Emporia State University is proud of our long-standing partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks,” said Dr. Brent Thomas, dean of Emporia State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The presence of a public fishing lake on our campus that is collaboratively managed by our students and the agency will provide unique applied-learning opportunities to our Fisheries and Wildlife students.”

KDWP noted angles can access the lake via the I-35 underpass off Highland St., east of the KDWP Research and Survey office and ESU soccer field. Currently, it said fishing regulations for King Lake follow statewide regulations, however, regulations could be adapted as additional surveys are held.

When fishing at King Lake, KDWP said a current fishing license is required and anglers may keep catches under the following guidelines:

Species Minimum Length Daily Creel Limit
Channel Catfish NA 10
Crappy NA 50
Largemouth Bass 15 inches 5

For more fishing in Kansas, click HERE.

For more information about ESU’s Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center, click HERE.

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