The Lakewood fishing lake in Salina is one of 40 bodies of water across Kansas where anglers can catch fish and win prizes. The Great Kansas Fishing Derby will return for its second year, beginning Sunday.
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks an angler’s prized catch may actually be worth a prize this spring and summer in Kansas, thanks to the return of the Great Kansas Fishing Derby.
This year’s Derby will run from this Sunday, May 15th to September 15th. During that time, anglers can try their luck at catching one of more than 500 specially tagged fish located in public waterbodies across the Sunflower State.
“It’s a new year, but our goal remains the same – get people fishing and generate support for communities and nearby waters,” said David Breth, KDWP sportfishing education coordinator. “Participants will be excited to know that we’ve extended this year’s Derby to give anglers more time to win. We also added a few more lakes, and there are more tagged fish.”
How It Works
Pre-registration is not required, and participation is free, though normal fishing license requirements remain in effect. To get your Kansas fishing license, visit gooutdoorskansas.com or download KDWP’s mobile licensing app, “Go Outdoors Kansas,” here ksoutdoors.com/License-
Anglers who catch a tagged fish as part of the Great Kansas Fishing Derby should remove the tag and enter the number at ksfishderby.com. A follow-up communication will notify the angler of what they’ve won and where to claim their prize. Ksfishderby.com will also allow anglers and non-anglers to register to win additional prizes through random drawings.
“Businesses, municipalities, and more are supporting the Great Kansas Fishing Derby by sponsoring many of our prizes, and without their support, the Derby wouldn’t exist,” added Breth. “Thanks to them, anglers can win concert tickets, state fair kid’s packs, gift cards to Bass Pro/Cabelas and KDWP, fishing tackle, experiences, cabin stays, and cash this year.”
If that’s not incentive enough, the Derby offers another major prize this year. Every angler who catches and redeems a valid derby tag will be entered into a drawing to win a lifetime hunting and fishing license sponsored by Kansas Wildscape Foundation.
Where To Fish
All participating waterbodies are open to the public and managed, in whole or in-part, by KDWP. Also included in the list of participating waters are ponds and lakes currently enrolled in KDWP’s Community Fisheries Assistance Program. By leveraging funding from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment, KDWP leases public access – at no additional cost to the public – to gorgeous waters that once required special county, community or city permits. To learn more about these waters, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/
“Our staff will tag as many species of fish as possible, including bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, drum and carp,” said Breth. “Last year, someone won $250 in KDWP gift cards by catching a tagged warmouth.
“We will list the species tagged on ksoutdoors.com on the lake pages… If you catch one, make sure to snap a photo and share with us on social media or post online using #ksfishderby.”
If a tagged fish meets legal length limits, the fish may be kept. However, anglers may release their catch if they first remove the tag (see ksfishderby.com for instructions).
Businesses and groups interested in sponsoring tagged fish for this year’s Derby can find sponsorship details at ksfishderby.com.
For more information on fishing in Kansas, visit ksoutdoors.com/Fishing.
For more on the Derby, visit ksfishderby.com.
2022 Derby Lakes:
- Salina – Lakewood
- Meade State Fishing Lake
- Horsethief Reservoir
- Wichita – KDOT East
- Wichita – KDOT West
- Sedgwick County Lake Afton
- Lyon State Fishing Lake
- Critzer ReservoiLake Fort Scott
- Chase State Fishing Lake
- Butler State Fishing Lake
- Wellington City Lake
- Lake Lenexa
- Lake Olathe
- Paola – Lake Miola
- Holton – Banner Creek
- Leavenworth State Fishing Lake
- Montgomery State Fishing Lake
- Barber State Fishing Lake
- Harvey County East
- Harvey County West
- Pratt County Lake
- Topeka – Lake Shawnee
- Osage State Fishing Lake
- Douglas State Fishing Lake
- Geary State Fishing Lake
- Herington Reservoir (New)
- Council Grove City Lake
- Yates Center Reservoir
- Gridley City Lake
- Garnett – North Lake
- Crawford State Fishing Lake
- Chanute – Sante Fe Lake
- Great Bend – Veteran’s Memorial Park
- Jewell State Fishing Lake
- Sebelius Reservoir
- Scott State Fishing Lake
- Cedar Bluff Reservoir
- Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake #2
- Shawnee State Fishing Lake