|Kids can Fish at Kill Creek Park Beginning June 12, Adults to Follow on July 1|
Park officials have announced plans to open the lake to fishing for children 15 and younger starting June 12 and then to open fishing to everyone on July 1.
"How many times in a person's lifetime do they get to fish a place that has never been fished before," Johnson County Park and Recreation Director Michael Meadors recently mused. ""That will just be a treat. What a neat experience!"
Since the park opened in late 2001, the lake has been closed to fishing in order to allow fish populations to grow to catchable size.
Kill Creek Park is located at 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe. To get to the park, exit Kansas Highway 10 at Kill Creek Road and proceed south to 115th Street. Turn right and go to Homestead Lane. Take a left onto Homestead. The park entrance is on the right near the crest of the first hill.
Park Manager Monte Fiegel said the decision to allow fishing comes about a year earlier than originally anticipated, but was recommended by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in order to manage the 2,800 catfish earlier stocked in the lake.
"We had anticipated we would open when the black bass were there (at catchable length), but it was actually a recommendation by Wildlife and Parks to go ahead and open to work on the catfish because they need to be thinned out," Fiegel said. "They're all pretty good size and they're actually competing somewhat with the bass now. So if we thin them out a little bit, it will give the bass a little boost. The bass are running 13 to 14 inches and the (minimum) length limit is 18 inches."
Once the lake does open to fishing, officials anticipate creel limits will be strictly enforced, including for children and on the catfish. Park hours through Oct. 31 are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
"We decided to open it up and let people get used to the regulations," Fiegel said. "They're going to see early on that none of the bass are of harvestable size, so it gets them in the habit of catch and release."
While some have complained about how long it's taken to open Kill Creek to Fishing, Fiegel noted that Shawnee Mission Park went five years after opening in the early 1960s before fishing was allowed.
For more information about fishing at Kill Creek, call Mike Ray, Superintendent of Park Safety & Interpretation, at (913) 438-7275 Voice, or (913) 831-3342 TDD.