KDWPT / Fishing / Fishing Regulations / Definitions


The following definitions apply to all regulations and laws governing fishing in Kansas.

Bait fish: Minnow or carp family (Cyprinidae), sucker family (Catostomidae), top minnows or killifish family (Cyprinodontidae), shad family (Clupeidae), sunfish family (Centrarchidae), excluding black basses and crappie, which may be used only if caught by hook and line. Bait fish exclude any of those fishes specifically named by regulation as Kansas threatened or endangered species.

Calendar day: A 24-hour period from midnight to midnight.

Cast net: A circular or conical, weighted net designed to be cast, mouth downward, by hand and withdrawn by lines attached to its margin.

Creel limit: The maximum number of a species of fish or frog that can be taken per person in a calendar day.

Culling: Replacing one live fish held by an angler for another live fish of the same species if the daily creel limit for that species of fish has not been met.

Department lands and waters: State parks, lakes and all other recreational or wildlife areas controlled by the department, including federal reservoirs.

Dip net: A small hand-held net with rigid support about the mouth and used to land fish.

Free-floating device that anchors a single line with no more than two hooks. All float material shall be constructed only from plastic, wood, or foam and shall be a closedcell construction. A "closed-cell" construction shall mean a solid body incapable of containing water.

Nonsport fish: Carp, drum, white amur (grass carp), threadfin and gizzard shad, goldfish, gar, suckers (including carpsuckers and buffalo), eel, sturgeon, goldeye, bowfin & white perch.

Possession limit: The maximum total number of a species that can be retained per person at one time.

One or more water impoundments:

  1. Constructed by man rather than natural, located wholly within the boundary of the lands owned or leased by the person operating the private water impoundments;
  2. Entirely isolated from other surface water so that the impoundment does not have any connection either continuously or at intervals, except during periods of floods, with streams or other bodies of water so as to permit the fish to move between streams or other bodies of water and the private water impoundments, except that the private water impoundments may be connected with a stream or other body of water by a pipe or conduit if fish will be prevented at all times from moving between streams or other bodies of water and the private water impoundment by screening the flow or by other means.

Walking catfish, silver carp, bighead carp, black carp, snakehead fish, round goby, zebra mussel, quagga mussel, white perch, fertile (diploid) grass carp, New Zealand mudsnail. (It is illegal to possess or release any live wildlife species listed above.)

Setline: A line, anchored at one point, with no more than two hooks, and not associated with a hand-operated mechanical reel.

A slot-length limit prevents anglers from keeping fish within a certain size range. For example, if the slot length limit for bass is 13-18 inches, bass between 13 and 18 inches long must be returned to the water.

Snagging: The hooking of a fish in any part of its body other than the inside of the mouth.

Sport fish: Northern pike, walleye, sauger, saugeye, yellow perch, striped bass, white bass, wiper (white bass/striped bass hybrid), black bass ( largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth), trout, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, paddlefish, and panfish ( bullhead, black and white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, warmouth, and rock bass).

Take: To harass, harm, pursue, shoot, wound, kill, molest, trap, capture, collect, catch, possess or otherwise take or attempt to take.

Tip-up: An icefishing device designed to signal the strike of a fish.

Total fish length: The length as measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, with mouth closed and tail lobes pressed together.

Trotline: A line anchored at one point, with more than two hooks and not more than twenty- five hooks, and not associated with a handoperated mechanical reel.