When you think about trout fishing, Kansas does not pop into your consciousness right away.  This program of stocking trout into deep former strip mining pits has produced some quality angling.  In 2014 one Kansas angler caught a 15.72-pound, 28.5-inch rainbow trout to establish a new state record for the species.

By releasing 935 trout every two weeks beginning in mid-October until the end of May, Kansans enjoy great trout fishing.  Most of the fish are about 10-inches in length and weigh about 1/2 pound each.  Five percent of each release includes 14-inch or larger fish.  These trout can live year around in these deep cool lakes.  As a result it is possible a trout in the 3 to 5-pound range will take your bait.

Trout season runs from November 1st to June 15th.

Land reclamation of mined land is a success story of monumental proportions.  Such land provides recreational opportunities for photographers and wildlife observation as well as the more common consumptive uses of hunting and fishing.

Near Parsons, KS is the Mined Land Wildlife Area.   The land was once the victim of “Big Brutus” a 12 million pound electric coal shovel.  Brutus striped away the land in search of coal deposits.  In his wake came deep pits reclaimed as lakes and ponds stocked with bass, trout and other species of game fish.

There are several hundred pits in the area providing some 1,500-acres of public fishing.  Each lake is specifically managed for particular species.  The trout lake is 28-acres containing particular water elements that allow rainbow and brown trout to live all year around.

Sheltered from the wind, the lake is too small for larger boats.  Float tubes, canoes and Kayaks are best suited for this situation.

For information regarding this fishing opportunity contact Mined Land Wildlife Area, 507 E. 560th Avenue, Pittsburg, KS 66762.  The office phone number is 620-231-3173.  Information is also available online at, the website for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.   Local information is available at, the local tourism bureau website.


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