No trick, just trout

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Parks Supervisor Todd Farrell displays one of the almost 400 rainbow trout that were stocked in Fern Lake at Gunn Park on Tuesday afternoon. (Laurie Sisk/Tribune)

A handful of fishermen at Fern Lake on Tuesday got a little added bonus as a truckload of rainbow trout made its way to Gunn Park in the first stocking of the lake this season. In preparation for trout season, the lake was stocked with 395 pounds of rainbow trout from Crystal Lake Fisheries, Ava, Mo. on Tuesday afternoon. The dump was the first of 11 this season and will include about 400 fish each dump, with the exception of Monday, Nov. 12, which will be a drop of about 725 fish for a total of 4,725 fish at Fern Lake this season. The drops will continue on a bi-weekly basis throughout the season.

The season, which opens Thursday and continues through April 15, will require people who fish at Fern Lake to purchase a trout stamp, which they can do at Wal-Mart or online at Licenses may also be purchased by phone at 1-800-918-2877.

No matter what fish you are targeting, Farrell said you must still have the trout stamp.

There is a limit of 5 trout per licensed fisherman per day and a possession limit of 15, which would include those fish stored in refrigeration at home. Youth 15-years-old and younger may fish without a permit or trout stamp, but have a limit of two trout per day. Trout stamps are currently $12.50.

"Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks set everything up for us," City of Fort Scott Parks Supervisor Todd Farrell said. "It's paid for through the state."

The fish are furnished by the state at no cost to the city to promote fishing in Kansas.

"This is a program that the state does to encourage fishing for all ages, whether it be kids, young adults or elderly people," Farrell said. "It's something that they encourage."

Farrell said the fish are purchased with revenue from licenses.

Though Farrell said he doesn't know exactly how much trout season increases fishing at Fern Lake, he did say there is a noticeable increase in fishing during trout season at the lake.

Farrell said a variety of methods are used to catch trout at the lake, from flyrods to spinner bait.

"This is the only lake in Bourbon County that gets stocked with trout," Farrell said.