The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 23, 2006 · Page 16
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 16

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Hays, Kansas
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Friday, June 23, 2006
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Page 16
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4* * B8 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS FRIDAY, JUNE 23,2006 Wildlife commission wiD take up topic of park fees SPECIAL TO THE HAYS DAILY NEWS SCOTT CITY — The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will meet next week in Scott City. It will face a full agenda with statewide implications. The meeting will start at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the William Carpenter 4-H Building. The evening public hearing begins at 7 p.m. On the agenda will be a discussion of department finances, especially in light of action taken by the Legislature. One of the primary changes will be the reduction of state park motor vehicle fees, which were cut in half by the Legislature's decision to provide additional lottery money for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Legislators left more than $4.6 million in the pot for the state's wildlife department, most of it to be used for reducing permit fees. Daily vehicle permits are $7, and annual fees are $46.65. The change will take place starting Jan. 1. The Legislature included enough money to cover the second half of 2007 — the first half of fiscal year 2008. Because the money is a one-time allocation, the agency still must find a long-term solution to it's money crisis. Several other issues that have been waiting in the wings will also be discussed at the Scott City meeting. They will include updating commissioners on the status of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms near Great Bend. The center will be operated as an extension of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays. Staff from Sternberg will operate the Cheyenne Bottoms center, which is being built from donated money. Two other issues have been circulating through the state for several weeks now, including recommendations made by the KDWP deer task force and the proposed changes in the state's fishing regulations. The deer task force has proposed several changes in the structure of the deer licensing program while the fishing regulations could allow changes in how people in bass tournaments can fish. Specific topics will include: • preliminary recommendations for the 2007 spring turkey season; • a review of the status of lesser prairie chickens in Kansas; • status of the landowner incentive program and playa lakes conservation efforts in western Kansas; The commission's afternoon session will recess at 5 p.m., reconvening for the public hearing at 7 p.m. Then, the commission will learn about efforts by the Kansas State Historical Society and the department to develop interpretive facilities for the El Cuartelejo ruins in Scott State Park. Topics to follow include: • 2006 late migratory bird seasons; • development of a regulation establishing caging standards for exotic animals and minimum qualifications for registered animal handlers, in response to a law passed by the 2006 SEASON CHARGES ON THE HORIZON tlons and laws will affect toe 2006 Kansas hunting fe&asWs. Upland bird changes will in* elude; II pheasant season Opens the first Saturday In November, a change from the traditional Second Saturday in November; • quail season opens the second Saturday In November;. • • quail season ends the third Sunday in January; and • prairie chicken season opens ' the third Saturday In November Big game changes will Include: Kansas Legislature controlling the possession of those animals. • a public hearing to establish 2006 early migratory bird seasons and to es- i after D9C. tinllrnlted aWnery ,iSn!ftf6wi &af*~ \mi haw available 1o rrortresl- mlts are hew lviWfWM-4 ... J..1. «ki.i . ' t • * . "A> - " elk unit Has bJS^i sprit _, id include the entire state bf Kansas . except Morten coufttyt ! r ,. /., ' '^ Sandhill crtn* thing** • Sandhill crane huntefe'must, ;•'.; take &h online crane identlflcalron.'f . test before obtaining & Bandhlll ^ i1 crane permit, The test can be.fourw ' online at ksflshandwlldllf*,; •';,; org/cvane. t . tablishing duck zone boundaries through 2010. Both the afternoon and evening sessions are open to the public. Aquatic nuisance species a growing problem PRATT — Many boaters, anglers, and other lake users have heard the news that zebra mussels are thriving in El Dorado Reservoir and the Walnut River in Kansas. Recently, several new lakes in the region have become infested with zebra mussels, including Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri; Skiatook, Oologah, Kaw, and Keystone lakes in Oklahoma; and Base Lake on Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Visitors to these lakes need to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels when moving from one lake to another. Zebra mussels are small freshwater mollusks that typically have a dark and white — zebra-like — pattern on their shells. This highly prolific species will rapidly attach to and cover any hard structure in the water. Once attached, zebra mussels are difficult to remove. Zebra mussels also cause problems by competing for food with young fish and native mussels. Although zebra mussels often make water clearer, the clear water can lead to conditions that create toxic algae blooms, whichcan kill fish. The clear water also can allow ultraviolet rays to damage fish eggs. Simple precautions might help control these organisms: • learn to identify aquatic nuisance species; • empty bait buckets on dry land, not into the lake; • inspect aquatic recreational equipment (boats, trailers, anchors, duck decoys, water toys — anything that holds water) and remove any visible organisms and vegetation; • wash equipment with 104-degree water (typical car wash hot-water rinse), a 10-percent chlorine and water solution, or dry for at least five days to remove or kill species that are not visible; • never move fish caught from one body of water to another; • do not release aquarium pets. Saturday — Hays Bass Anglers Association sixth annual Big Bass Challenge at Cedar Bluff State Park, Cove 1. Saturday — Kansas Birds of Prey Demonstration at Cedar Bluff State Park, Dispatch Group Shelter, For more information, contact the park office at (785) 726-3212. Saturday and Sunday — Free Park Entrance Days at Cedar Bluff State Park. July 15 — Deadline for applications for special hunts conducted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on state properties across Kansas. For more information go to kdwp.state.ks.us for details or pick up a brochure at any area office. Sept. 7 — Introduction to fly fishing, 7 to 9 p.m. Sponsored by the Hays Recreation Commission. The class is being presented by Lynn Davignon, fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Steven Hausler, outdoors editor for The Hays Daily News. A fishing license is required. For more information, contact HRC at (785) 623-2650. Yoiftafiell COURTESY PHOTO Ryan Bleske li pictured with a turkey that he shot In Russell County during the spring turkey season. Ryan It the ion of Calvin and Sharon Bleske of Victoria. Send your photo to Outdoors Editor, Hays Daily News, P.O. Box 857, Hays, KS 67601 STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays Daily News A juvenile bald eagle lifts its head above a nest located in a tree at the wildlife area at Cedar Bluff Reservoir. This is the second year that a nesting pair of bald eagles has successfully raised young at the reservoir. Eagles nesting at Cedar Bluff By MIKE CORN HAYS DAILY NEWS CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR — Keeping her distance, the bald eagle didn't like seeing three people within sight of her nest. She scolded them, flying at treetop level, but staying well away from the nest, presumably to ensure the safety of her chick. "The first time I came out, she came over tree-top high and just scolded me," said Kent Hensley, the wildlife area manager for Cedar Bluff. "She didn't want me here." It is an assumption, of course, that the eagle flying overhead was a female. Both males and females look similar. And they both nurture the chick that is in the nest. The sex of the bird overhead didn't matter much to Hensley. He was thrilled that the birds had nested in what had been a great blue heron rookery at the west end of the lake. A bald eagle nest at Cedar Bluff is exciting enough, considering that fewer than a dozen eagles are known to be nesting in Kansas this year. All of them are in eastern Kansas. The Cedar Bluff pair took up residency in a large, abandoned nest amid a sea of nests that had been used by the great blue herons. Hensley said that was quite a sight. "When the lake was full, it was an awesome sight," he said of seeing 150 nesting great blue herons. With the falling water levels, the herons have moved. "Most of the herons have moved closer on the river," Hensley said. However, it's the eagles that are thrilling him now. LEFT: Kent Hensley, Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area manager, looks at a nest containing a juvenile bald eagle Tues day on the wildlife area at Cedar Bluff. RIGHT: An adult bald eagle perches on a large dead tree near Its nest. "This would be the first time they've ever been documented here at the reservoir nesting," Hensley said. And it's the second year for the nesting pair, he said. "I just couldn't find the nest," he said of last year. Hensley is purposely vague when he talks about the location of the existing nest, wanting to ensure the safety of the immature bald eagle, which doesn't have the trademark white head of a mature bald eagle. "There were two," he said of the young birds in the nest. "I don't know if one of them fledged," which is the act of taking flight and leaving the nest. But he also fears that tragedy might have befallen one of the two chicks. "When I looked at them three weeks ago, you could tell one of them was really dominant," he said. Once considered an endangered species, the bald eagle has since been delisted. Bald eagles, however, remain on the federal threatened species list, and other federal laws offer strong protection from harm. "I'm sure that was the same nest they used last year," he said. Hensley has been Keeping close watch on the fledgling. "A while back she brought a rabbit to them," he said. "And J didn't have my stinking camera." For the most part, Hensley is content to stay back and watch, often with binoculars. "That's a symbol of who we are," he said of the nation's symbol. "I think it's awesome to have them here." Managing editor Mike Com can be reached at (785) &8-1Q81, ext. m or by e-mail at mcornedillynewt.nft. Should'a Utec SOUTHSIDE BAIT 70> Vint • H»yt, Kt

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