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TALLGRASS PRAIRIE PRESERVE OPENS GATES TO FREE KIDS’ FISHING CLINIC

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve begins new tradition introducing youth to outdoors

The National Park Service (NPS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are joining the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) to sponsor a kids’ fishing clinic at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve on Saturday, April 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is designed for youth 15 and younger.

Three stocked ponds will be open for catch and release fishing. KDWP will provide fishing poles and bait during the clinic. After the clinic, the fishing ponds will be opened to anglers of all ages.

From noon to 1 p.m., the first 75 participants will enjoy free sack lunches provided by the Kansas Park Trust and Strong City Grocery. After lunch, KDWP staff will teach casting, knot tying, fish identification, and safety.

Volunteers from many organizations, including the Kansas State University Student Subunit of the American Fisheries Society, will be on hand to help kids practice new skills while fishing in one of the three ponds. The Watershed Institute will have an environmental education trailer on site filled with activities. Farmers and Drovers Bank of Council Grove will donate $100 in savings bonds. Prizes and gifts from Bass Pro Shops, TNC, NPS, KDWP, and others will be awarded.

The fishing ponds are located 1.5 miles east of Strong City on U.S. Highway 50. Turn north on U-Road at the Kansas historic marker and travel approximately one mile. The parking lot is on the west side of the road. The ponds are a short hike from the parking area.

In addition to a valid Kansas fishing license for anglers 16 through 64, everyone must possess a free Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve permit. These permits must be completed according to instructions located at the kiosk in the parking area prior to fishing. Worms and artificial lures are the only baits allowed, and anglers may fish from the bank only. Additional fishing regulations are posted at the parking area kiosk.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a public/private partnership with the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Kansas Park Trust. Located two miles north of Strong City on Highway K-177 (the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway), the preserve’s historic ranch headquarters is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information or to make group reservations, visit the preserve’s website, e-mail tapr_interpretation@nps.gov, or phone 620-273-8494.

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