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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:20am - 10:40am
HUMAN DIMENSIONS & FISHERIES: Angler Opposition to an Increase in the Minimum Length Limit for Walleye at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Kansas

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AUTHORS. Susan Steffen, David Spalsbury - Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

ABSTRACT. A 21-inch minimum length limit (MLL) on Walleye at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Kansas, was proposed to prevent recruitment overfishing by reducing exploitation of spawning-sized Walleye.  Management biologists were proactive in identifying angler opposition to the proposed regulation by analyzing information from the 2013 Kansas Licensed Angler Survey.  KDWPT and politically-appointed commissioners received complaints from anglers about the proposed regulation change.  KDWPT held a public meeting on July 27, 2017 to provide anglers with additional information about the 21-inch MLL and allow for open discussion.  Fisheries biologists were stationed around the room with PowerPoint presentations and informational posters to allow anglers to visit each station at their leisure and interact with fisheries biologists in small groups.  This format was successful because it allowed for productive dialogue and prevented counterproductive arguing.  The human dimensions information presented to the group included results from the 2013 Kansas Licensed Angler Survey which indicated the 18-inch MLL on Walleye (and current regulation in place at Cedar Bluff Reservoir) was the most accepted by anglers in comparison to a 15-inch, 21-inch, and seasonal 24-inch MLL.  One group of anglers from the survey that supported the 21-inch MLL specifically were those who had previously fished at Cheney and El Dorado reservoirs, which already had the 21-inch MLL on Walleye.  Although most Cedar Bluff Walleye anglers do not currently support the proposed 21-inch MLL, we anticipate gradual acceptance of the new regulation in a few years upon realizing the benefits of the regulation, similar to what occurred at Cheney and El Dorado reservoirs.  The next step is for the commissioners to vote on the proposed 21-inch MLL for Cedar Bluff Reservoir on November 16, 2017.  The results of the commissioners’ votes and public comment will be discussed.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST