|Shawnee Mission Park Catfish Harvest Set for Oct. 24|
Each spring and fall, crowds turn out to watch as rainbow trout are stocked in Shawnee Mission Park. But there is a lesser known fish stocking that goes on each year without much fanfare or attention.
The annual harvest of catfish from the park's rearing pond located west of the Shawnee Mission Park dam will take place on Thursday, Oct. 24. For this endeavor, 12 to 15 park maintenance workers from Shawnee Mission Park, Heritage Park, the Mill Creek Streamway Park, and Kansas Wildlife and Parks Fish Biologist Craig Johnson will don hip waders and harvest fish using nets. The fish will be placed into tanks on pickup trucks and taken to the Shawnee Mission Park boat ramp for release.
Shawnee Mission Park Manager Grant Evans said the water level in the rearing pond would be lowered to about half the normal level beginning late in the afternoon of Oct. 23. Park workers will begin their work at about 7 a.m. Thursday, but Evans said he did not expect the crews to start netting large numbers of fish until about 10 a.m. He said he expected the harvest to be complete by 1:30 or 2 p.m.
When delievered early last spring, approximately 6,000 catfish two to three inches in length and weighing in at 22 fish per pound, were placed in the rearing pond. Shawnee Mission Evans said the fish now average 10 to 12 inches in length and 0.5 to 0.75 of a pound each. In 2001, nearly 90 percent of the fish stocked in the spring were harvested in the fall and Evans said he expects a comparable return rate this year.
For more information, call Shawnee Mission Park's John Barkley Visitors Center at (913) 888-4713.