Understanding Fish Limits in Kansas: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Fish Limits in Kansas: Regulations, Guidelines, and Conservation

Fishing has always been a popular pastime for many outdoor enthusiasts in the state of Kansas. With its numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs offering abundant fishing opportunities, it is essential to be familiar with the fish limits set by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism (KDWPT). These regulations not only help maintain healthy fish populations but also contribute to sustainable fishing practices.

Why are Fish Limits Important?

Fish limits are established to ensure the long-term viability and conservation of fish species within Kansas’ waters. Imposing specific rules on how many fish an angler can catch helps prevent overfishing and promotes responsible fishing practices. By adhering to these guidelines, anglers can enjoy their favorite activity while preserving natural resources for future generations.

Kansas Fishing License Requirements

Prior to heading out on your next fishing adventure in Kansas, it’s important to understand the licensing requirements set forth by KDWPT. All residents aged 16-74 years old must possess a valid fishing license issued by KDWPT. Non-residents aged 16 or older are also required to obtain a non-resident fishing license before casting their lines into any body of water within the state.

General Fish Limit Rules

The following general fish limit rules apply statewide unless otherwise specified:

  • Daily Possession Limit: Anglers may keep up to certain quantities of each particular species per day as defined by KDWPT regulations.
  • Total Length Limit: Some species have minimum length restrictions that must be met before keeping them. Any individual caught below this designated size should be released immediately.
  • Catch-and-Release: Certain bodies of water may have catch-and-release regulations for specific species, allowing anglers to enjoy the thrill of catching fish without retaining them.
  • Special Management Areas: Some lakes or sections of rivers might have unique fish limits due to conservation efforts or specific management plans. It’s crucial to be aware of any additional restrictions before fishing in these areas.

Fish Species and Specific Limits

The specific fish limits vary depending on the species being targeted. Here are some notable examples:


  • Largemouth Bass: The daily possession limit for largemouth bass is five, with a total length restriction requiring all caught individuals below 18 inches to be released immediately.
  • Smallmouth Bass: For smallmouth bass, the limit is two per day, each having a minimum total length requirement of 15 inches.


  • Channel Catfish: Anglers can keep up to ten channel catfish per day without any size restrictions imposed by KDWPT.
  • Flathead Catfish: The daily limit for flathead catfish is five, with no length limitations specified.

Sunfish and Crappie

  • Sunfish (Bluegill): Anglers are permitted to keep up to twenty bluegill sunfish daily without any size restrictions set by KDWPT.

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