Wichita city officials announced adult zebra mussels have been found in Cheney Reservoir at the intake structure where Wichita draws its water supply.

Wichita city officials announced adult zebra mussels have been found in Cheney Reservoir at the intake structure where Wichita draws its water supply.

Zebra mussels were first identified in Cheney Reservoir last year but this is the first report of adult mussels at the intake.

The city has been preparing for such a discovery for the past several years and is now ready to take the next steps to keep its water system clean.

“We’re looking at the best way to put a permanent protection system in place for the intake line at Cheney Reservoir that will either kill the mussels or prevent them from attaching to the pipe,” Debra Ary, division engineer for Wichita Water Utilities, said. “Currently, zebra mussels haven’t affected the flow of water into our system, but it’s important that we address the issue right now before they grow in numbers and have the potential to clog our pipeline.”

On Aug. 5 the Wichita City Council approved a study to thoroughly examine all of the current methods to stop the spread of zebra mussels and what treatments would be most effective for the intake structure and pipelines at Cheney Reservoir. While a timeline for putting a zebra mussel protection system in place hasn't been determined, Ary said the city is working diligently to start the design and construction phase as quickly as possible.

This is the second study undertaken by Wichita to address the issue of zebra mussels. The first was in 2005 that recommended a thorough public education program in conjunction with Kansas Wildlife and Parks.

Commission approves waterfowl hunting season

PRATT — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s waterfowl hunting season frameworks allowed a liberal hunting package for the upcoming 2008-2009 seasons.

These frameworks allow 74 days of duck hunting in the Low Plains Zone and 97 days in the High Plains. While surveys indicated habitat conditions on the duck breeding grounds weren’t as good as they were last year, numbers of several species, including mallard, blue-winged and green-winged teal, gadwall and redhead, were still above their long-term averages.

At its public hearing Aug. 14 in Hoisington, the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission approved the following department recommendations:

Bag limits, possession limits, shooting hours

• A daily bag limit of five ducks, which may include no more than two of the following species: scaup, redhead, wood duck. In addition, only one duck from the following species may be included in the daily bag: hen mallard, mottled duck, pintail, canvasback.

• A daily bag limit for coots of 15, and a daily bag limit for mergansers of five, which may include no more than two hooded mergansers. The coot and merganser seasons will run concurrent with the regular duck seasons.

• Possession limit for all species (ducks, coots, and mergansers) will be double the daily bag.

• Shooting hours for all species will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Duck Season Dates

• High Plains Zone Youth — Sept. 27 and 28.

• High Plains Zone (West of U.S. 283) — first segment, Oct. 4 through Dec. 30; second segment, Jan. 17 through Jan. 25, 2009.

• Early Zone Youth — Oct. 4 and 5.

• Early Zone — first segment, Oct. 11 through Dec. 7; second segment, Dec. 20 through Jan. 4, 2009.

• Late Zone Youth — Oct. 18 and 19.

• Late Zone — first segment, Oct. 25 through Dec. 28; second segment, Jan. 17 throught Jan. 25, 2009.

(Note: A map of duck zone boundaries is available at kdwp.state.ks.us/news/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/Migratory-Birds/Waterfowl-Zones.)

During the youth seasons, youth must be 15 years old or younger and accompanied by an adult, who cannot hunt. Two changes this year are that the supervising adult must be at least 18 years old (rather than 21 years old as in previous years), and the adult does not have to have a hunting license or stamps required of waterfowl hunters.

Hunting season for Canada geese will be Oct. 25 and 26 and Nov. 5 through Feb. 15, 2009, with a daily bag limit of three. For white-fronted geese, the season will be Oct. 25 and 26; Nov. 5 through Jan. 4, 2009; and Feb. 7 through 15, 2009, with a daily bag limit of two. The light goose season will be Oct. 25 and 26 and Nov. 5 through Feb. 15, 2009, with a daily bag limit of 20.

All waterfowl possession limits will be twice the daily bag limit, except for light geese, which will have no possession limit.

For falconers, duck and goose seasons are the same as the regular seasons, plus an extended falconry season of Feb. 25 through March 10, 2009, in both the Early and Late zones. There is no extended falconry season in the High Plains Zone.

For more details, phone (620) 672-5911.