Kingman State Fishing Lake News
Kingman State Fishing Lake News
As of May 15, 2013, 5,787 Largemouth Bass 6-12 inches; 1,533 Channel Catfish 10 inches; 56,000 Bluegill Sunfish fingerlings; 3000 Northern Pike fingerlings; and 416 Channel Catfish averaging 4 pounds have been stocked. Northern Pike fingerlings are expected in May and Redear Sunfish fingerlings will arrive in the fall. All this adds up to limited fishing opportunities for 2013 and even more limited opportunity to catch legal size fish. These fish should grow very quickly in the new available space in the lake.
Attention Fishermen, boaters, and waterfowl hunters!
Some time in 2002 the aquatic nuisance species (ANS) White Perch were introduced into the lake by unknown means. In the past 3-5 years white perch have had significant reproduction years and now dominate the fish population. Common carp and gizzard shad also make up significant proportions of the current fish population. The game fish population has been largely replaced by these species during that time and this has resulted in increasingly meager fishing success. Fisherman use at the lake in 2011 dropped to about 1/3 of the use seen in 1999.
As a result of these population trends at Kingman State Fishing Lake, the lake was drained and rehabilitated. Starting in August 2012, the lake was slowly drained and the existing fish population eliminated. The lake is refilling and has already been stocked with approximately 6000 Largemouth Bass 6-12 inches and 1500 Channel Catfish 8-10 inches. Bluegill and redear will be stocked in the fall of 2013 with some bluegill possibly being stocked in the spring of 2013. Northern Pike will be stocked somewhere around May or June and more Largemouth Bass will be stocked in the fall. Additional Channel Catfish will also be stocked this coming fall.
As of February 1, 2013, the lake was still 3 feet 2 inches below normal elevation, but authority to take water from the west creek feeding the lake was given about February 5. This additional water will help fill the lake more quickly. As of February 18, water was touching both boat ramps and both boat dock's furthest floats. The new brush piles added to the lake while it was down are now being inundated.
Attention campers and cabin renters!
The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed both State Lake Road and NW 90th avenue detouring traffic to NW 70th avenue north to the new access to Kingman State Fishing Lake.
Coming in 2012-2014!
The Kansas Department of Transportation will be upgrading highway 54 to a 4 lane through the Byron Walker Wildlife Area from 2012 to 2014. With this project, our hunters and fishermen will encounter difficulties with access due to that construction. We ask for you patience through this period! Hunters and fishermen need to understand that there will be significant restrictions on access and normal access points will not be accessible during construction. The construction will result in significant hazards to our users should they try to use historic access points. The entrance to Kingman State Lake will be moved to NW 70th avenue and the entance to the Byron Walker headqarters will be moved to SW 90th avenue. Some access points will be permanently removed! New/improved parking areas will be constructed during this period. During construction, much of the fence bordering the highway will be removed. Unauthorized access through missing fences and the construction site will not be allowed. Vehicles making unauthorized access will be subject to tickets and towing. Hunters and fishermen are advised to use NW 10th street as much as possible for access to the area when significant portions of the highway are closed to side access. If you have questions, call the area office at 620-532-3242.
A side benefit to the highway expansion is that we are in line to receive some of the broken concrete when they remove and replace the existing highway lanes. Plans are to completely surface the entire length of the Kingman State Lake dam as a first priority. Some ponds and marsh dikes may also be armored if material is available. The department has fought erosion problems on the dam since it's construction in the early 1930's. Armoring it with broken concrete will finally alleviate most of the wave induced erosion while providing fish habitat at the same time. Material will probably become available some time in 2013.
Visitors to the lake will see that two new cabins have been added to the lake attractions. The cabins opened September 1, 2010 to the public and have been used by hunters, fishermen, and visitors to the area. Cabin rentals are made online at: reserve.ksoutdoors.com. Rentals are $70 per night with a $12 service charge the first night. These are fully furnished cabins with hot water, kitchen complete with cookware and dishes, shower, and sleeping room for 6. Visitors will need to bring their own bedding, pillows, and towels. For more information, see the website.
The main water control structure that provides water to Kingman State Fishing Lake that was destroyed several years ago by high water was replaced in July 2008. The new structure should improve water availability to the lake and also protect the lake during periods of high rainfall.
Fishermen may have noticed new rip rap on the dam east of the dam jetty. Wave action has been damaging the dam slope in this area since it was refaced in 1995. Highway work east of Kingman made broken concrete available free to be used for this project. The work was completed this winter. This rip rap will protect the dam from further damage and also provide additional fish habitat.
A new canal was completed in November 2010 that will carry water directly to the lake from the main spring located north of the lake. Historically, water had to flood 3 marshes before any reached the lake itself. This canal should make water distribution to the lake more efficient, minimizing evaportation and tree uptake that normally happened when those marshes were flooded. Marshes will still be able to be flooded come fall.
New Handicap Accesible Jetty Available
The Byron Walker Wildlife Area, located seven miles West of Kingman on Highway 54, is one of the great attractions for the city of Kingman and for Kingman County. The Kingman State Fishing Lake, and its associated recreation area, is the focal point of the 4,600 acre recreation area. The west side of the lake is open for waterfowl hunting during hunting season. The lake itself is stocked with crappie, bass, pike, sunfish, and channel catfish for the anglers delight. There are picnic tables, fire pits, camping areas, four fishing jetties, two boat ramps with launching docks, a large shelter house suitable for larger parties or gatherings, and three nice, clean toilet facilities for your families’ comfort. Recently there have been two cabins built on the North East side of the lake that are available for rent. The cabins are outfitted with everything except food and personal items to make a sportsman or a family comfortable in their stay. The cabins are also designed to be handicapped friendly
However, until about a year ago (Nov '10) there was still something lacking. It was difficult for a handicapped individual to be able to get close enough to the waters’ edge to fish. Carl Jamieson, a local disabled fisherman, contacted Troy Smith, the Wildlife Area Manager, to discuss this shortcoming and see if something could be done to help handicapped sportsmen. Mr. Smith discussed having to remove the floating docks a few years earlier because they had become dangerous and had outlived their life span. He also indicated that he had been submitting budget proposals annually to get them replaced, but funding was not available. Mr. Jamieson asked if he might investigate the option of seeking donated materials, and was given the green light to proceed. A design was developed to construct a handicapped accessible surface on one of the existing jetties if the materials could be found at a reduced cost or donated. Mr. Jamieson started making phone calls. The first thing he was able to find was the framework material. Rick Yoder of Jayhawk Oilfield Supply not only supplied 14 lengths of 4 inch by 38 foot long oil well casing, but also delivered it to the lake at the northern most jetty, the site chosen for the construction. A couple more calls and Christy from Arensdorf Lumber dba Kingman Lumber donated 100 feet of ½ inch rebar to be used as bracing for the framework. Once the idea of the handicapped accessible fishing jetty was published in the paper under Letters to the Editor, Dan Hacker of Hacker Brothers Construction stepped forward and volunteered the material that was needed to create a smooth surface for wheel chairs and delivered 25 tons of GE, a compactable gravel, to the site. A couple more phone calls and Terry Schrag of Cannonball donated 300 feet of 1&1/2 inch square stock to construct the safety railings for the project.
Without the compassion and generosity of these people and their companies this project would never have happened. They eagerly stepped forward and supplied all of the necessary materials for the project. They all deserve our appreciation and a huge vote of thanks and support.
Once all the materials needed were acquired, the on-site work began in earnest last fall. The rip rap (rock) that is the main base of the jetty was repositioned around the edges to make a suitable base for the pipe form. The perimeter of the jetty was dredged to allow deeper fishing water close to the jetties edge and to inhibit water lily growth. The framework was finished and placed, the GE rock spread out and compacted, and the railings fabricated and installed. A barrier was put up to prevent vehicles from driving out onto the jetty, handicapped parking signs were installed, and a sidewalk was poured to allow easy access for wheel chairs from the two handicapped parking spots. The new jetty development is located just west of the two cabins at the North East end of the lake to allow easy access. All this new facility lacks is the fishermen, and not just handicapped fishermen. It is open to all.