"We plan to put in gates at the low water bridge so the fish can't get into the pond and keep them in the stream."
It's not often a Kansan can say they've caught trout in Kansas, but for McPherson area residents, that can be said.
On Monday the McPherson Public Lands and Facilities Department stocked Lakeside Park with 250 pounds of rainbow and brown trout.
"This has been done before, but it has been quite some time," Public Lands and Facilities Department Director Wayne Burns said.
Trout aren’t exactly native to the waters of Kansas.
"If the water gets above 56 degrees that's when they lose the oxygen and die," Burns said.
That is why trout are brought in from other areas of North America.
One of the goals of the stocking is to make the stream that runs from Euclid Street all the way to Wall Park a prime trout stream.
"We are currently working with the state, this is kind of a trial run," Burns explained. "We plan to put in gates at the low water bridge so the fish can't get into the pond and keep them in the stream."
To fish for the trout, all a person needs is a valid state-issued fishing license. No trout stamp is required.
McPherson currently works with the state's Community Fisheries Assistance Program.
The program is designed with two goals in mind: remove barriers to fishing access and provide family friendly fishing areas close to where people live.
CFAP improves fishing opportunities at community lakes and currently leases the fishing rights from more than 200 community lakes statewide.
By doing this, more than 90 percent of those lakes do not require anything other than a Kansas State Fishing License to be used.
In addition by using funds from excise taxes on fishing equipment through the Sport Fish Restoration program, CFAP has begun replacing past yearly revenues to community lakes that had been charging access fees to anglers.
"What the goal of myself and my staff is to eventually have a trout festival possibly the last Saturday in January. We want to create a lot more activity and give people a lot more opportunity to catch fish. It's amazing the economic impact that it will have in just one day," Burns said. "Hopefully the state sees the benefits of it and the opportunities. If they like what we are doing, they will start stocking with us."
Trout season in Kansas runs from Nov. 1 through April 15. The trout for this round of stocking came from Culver's Fish Farm.
The city was able to save a little money by combining their order with a couple other communities out of Oklahoma. The stream will be stocked one more time before the season is over, likely before March.
The limit for fish caught will follow state guidelines at five fish per day per angler.
"Everybody go out and have a good time respect the fish and respect the area," Burns said. "Be honest and be respectful."