Beginning in the fall of 2016, the city of Fort Scott and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism partnered to release trout into Fern Lake at Gunn Park, providing a unique opportunity for anglers.
“This is something that benefits all age groups, because we see people from children to seniors out there fishing and enjoying Gunn Park,” said Jessica Schenkel of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Park is one of Fort Scott’s greatest assets, so having the lake being stocked with trout is icing on the cake.”
Mound City District Fisheries Biologist Don George said each fall the Kansas Department of Wildlife stocks the lakes in his district with channel catfish, but in the winter months bring in trout, which is a more rare opportunity.
“Trout are really a special fishing opportunity,” George said, explaining they survive and are active in cold water when other fish are dormant.
While fishing is allowed in Kansas all year round, trout season only runs from November 1 through April 15, and a special permit is required. The money received for those permits regulates the purchase of the fish to be released in the lakes, not taxpayers’ dollars.
“Anglers pay for what they get,” George said.
Trout will be released in the east lake at Gunn Park every two weeks through March, which George said will allow anglers to find more success in winter fishing.
“It was a very neat experience to watch and help the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism release trout into the lake in Gunn Park,” Schenkel said of her recent participation in the event.