Search Results for: lakes

Five Kansas lakes under public health warning due to blue-green algae

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism, has issued a public health warning for five lakes due to a harmful algal bloom.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water, such as wading, skiing and swimming, is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. The lakes currently under a watch or warning status are:

  • Warning: Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Norton County
  • Warning: Kirwin Lake, Phillips County
  • Warning: Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Warning: Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Warning: Sam’s Pond, Syracuse, Hamilton County
  • Watch: Webster Lake, Rooks County

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning, but contact with the water should be avoided. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed, and all other parts should be discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.

Zebra mussels continue infestation of Kansas lakes

Two more lakes found to have invasive mollusks

050814-zebraTOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Wellington Lake in Sumner County earlier this month. Wellington city staff discovered the invasive, sharp-shelled mollusks as they replaced buoy lines. KDWPT staff subsequently found well-established populations of zebra mussels of various ages in the old and new parts of the lake.

In May, KDWPT confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Paola City Lake, or Lake Miola, in Miami County. On May 23, an angler snagged an old fishing rod near the boat ramp with live adult zebra mussels attached and reported it to the local KDWPT game warden. KDWPT aquatic nuisance species staff subsequently found more zebra mussels of various ages in several parts of the lake. The population appears to be well-established.

Wellington Lake covers approximately 675 surface acres, and is managed by the city of Wellington. Lake Miola covers approximately 220 acres and is managed by the city of Paola.

KDWPT manages both lakes’ fisheries as part of the department’s Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP).

Both lakes offer outdoor activities such as boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, camping and hiking. Jessica Howell, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator, reminds lake visitors that everyone using the lakes plays a key role in stemming the spread of mussels to uninfested lakes.

“This situation shows how important it is for boaters, anglers, swimmers and skiers to be aware of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” Howell said.  

Anglers encouraged to use caution on ice covered lakes

Warmer temperatures will begin causing weak spots on frozen waters 

PRATT – A recent cold-spell had many Kansas lakes covered in thick ice, creating ideal conditions for ice fishing, but even with very cold temperatures, ice anglers must be vigilant. Now that temperatures are warming, extreme caution must be used in avoiding weak spots on lakes and reservoirs.

If you have an itch to drop a line this winter, keep these following common-sense ice safety rules in mind:

Spring rains fill local ponds and lakes

As pond-filling rains ended Tuesday afternoon, Dragoon Creek at U.S. 75 looked more like the Dragoon River, with rapid flow pouring into Pomona Lake. Rain gauges showed 2 to 4 inches fell across Osage County Monday and Tuesday. With another inch or so added overnight Wednesday, Pomona Lake’s elevation was 977.62 feet Thursday; normal pool elevation is 974.

Outdoors: Frozen lakes require extreme caution

PRATT – After nighttime temperatures in the single-digits and daytime highs in the teens and twenties, most Kansas water bodies are covered with a sheet of ice. While beautiful and perhaps alluring to anglers and explorers, a frozen lake can be deadly and deserves respect and caution.

Corps urges waterfowl hunters to be safe on area lakes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges hunters to be safe and take precautions this winter when hunting at any of the district’s 18 lakes throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

Most waterfowl hunters do not think of themselves as “boaters.” The boat is just a mode of transportation to reach their favorite hunting spot; as a consequence, they do not consider the safety precautions that are important for a safe and enjoyable hunting trip. Packing boats beyond capacity with decoys, guns, dogs, gear, and their buddies creates a very dangerous safety hazard. 

Corps to reopen area lakes’ operations

Pomona, Melvern lakes’ federal facilities to be open by Friday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District is reopening operations following the shutdown of the federal government for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation which began on October 1. This includes visitor centers, boat ramps and similar facilities that are typically open this time of year at all 18 of the district’s lake projects. The following camping areas will be reopened by Friday, October 18:

Pomona Lake, Kan. – Outlet, 110 Mile, Cedar, and Wolf Creek Group Camp; Melvern Lake, Kan. – Outlet and Sundance parks;

Federal recreation areas closed at Melvern and Pomona lakes

KANSAS CITY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District has closed USACE-operated campgrounds and day-use parks due to the shutdown of the federal government for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation. The closure includes federal facilities at Melvern and Pomona lakes.

Affected recreation areas will remain closed until after the shutdown is lifted. This includes all visitor facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and similar facilities at all 18 lake projects in the Kansas City District.

Zebra mussels found in two more Kansas lakes

Glen Elder Reservoir and Lake Wabaunsee have the invasive species

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake), in Mitchell County, and Lake Wabaunsee, in Wabaunsee County. Zebra mussels are bean-sized mollusks with striped, sharp-edged, two-part shells. Twenty-one Kansas lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels.

“These latest discoveries show how important it is for the public to be aware of the dangers of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator.

Osage County State Fishing Lake among available bathymetric maps for anglers

PRATT – What’s a bathymetric map, you ask? Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of lake or ocean floors. So, it’s really a topographical map of the lake’s floor, and those maps have traditionally only been available for our larger reservoirs. However, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism fisheries biologists have been working on a project for the past year to build bathymetric maps of many of our smaller lakes. Anglers can use these maps to help locate fishing hotspots.

Lucky for Osage County State Fishing Lake fishermen, a map is now available of that lake, too.

Biologists created bathymetric maps of these smaller lakes for two reasons: they help biologists manage fisheries more efficiently and they help anglers find more fish. These new maps will help anglers identify creek channels, depth changes, and in some cases, habitat cubes placed in the last few years. In other words, a little bit of studying can help anglers navigate new water quickly and efficiently. And maps that show depth and contours of the lake floors can help anglers locate spots that hold fish or are fish highways.

To be successful, anglers rely on using an assortment of tools, including specialized rods and reels, different colors and sizes of lures, the newest electronics, and cell phone apps that give up-to-the-minute weather reports.

A printable version of the Osage County State Fishing Lake map can be downloaded or viewed here, or see the 46 bathymetric maps available for small impoundments across Kansas here:

Osage City library’s health fair encourages wellness of body, mind and spirit

The Osage City Public Library is hosting a community health fair for all ages 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, 2017. The health fair will feature numerous local organizations and businesses that encourage everyone to be healthy in mind, spirit and body. All are invited to stop by the library at 515 Main St., Osage City, for the health fair, or call the library at 785-528-3727 for more information.

As of today, the following businesses and organizations have confirmed they will have representatives at the health fair to share information about their services or products: Osage County EMS, Salt Creek Fitness and Rehabilitation, Auburn Pharmacy, Vintage Park, Allen County Community College, Schroeder Drugs, Flint Hills Technical College, East Central Kansas Aging and Disability, Gravel City Adventure and Supply, Osage County Clerk’s Office, Dirty Kanza Promotions, ECKAN, TOPS, Osage County Health Department, Citizens Insurance Services, American Family Insurance, Newman Regional Health, CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness, Osage City Public Library, Drug Free Osage County, Frontier Extension District, Young Living Essential Oils, Harmon’s Dental, Osage County Sheriff Office, Newman Medical Partners, Peterson Health Care, SOS, Catholic Charities USA, ECAT, Kansas Radon Program, city of Osage City, Salvation Army , RCIL, Three Lakes Learning, Higher Power Health and Yoga, Stormont Vail, Encompass Home Health, Osage County News, Melvern Lake Corps of Engineers, Sunflower Gymnastics, Home Health CareGivers, VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, St Francis Hospital.

Kids, wake up bright and early Saturday, it’s time to go fishing

Two fishermen discuss the best bait to use at the 2015 kids fishing competition at Pomona State Park.

It’s going to be an excellent time for fishing in Osage County this weekend, with free fishing statewide, and Pomona State Park’s annual kids fishing derby on Saturday.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism observes National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3-11, 2017, by letting Kansas anglers fish for free on June 3 and 4. That means that anyone may fish in Kansas without a fishing license.

To participate in the Pomona State Park kids fishing derby, registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, with first lines going in at 8:30 a.m. The Friends of Pomona State Park have also planned a kids’ carnival that will begin at 10 a.m. The event will be at Boat Ramp No. 2.

Kansas lakes and rivers are known for producing big crappie, abundant channel catfish, huge flathead catfish and giant blue catfish. However, thousands of farm ponds that dot the rural landscape are filled with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish. Federal reservoirs are known for producing great walleye, wiper, crappie and white bass fishing.

For more information, contact Pomona State Park at 785-828-4933.

Gerald Scheid, 98, Vassar: May 16, 1919 – May 19, 2017

VASSAR, Kan. – Gerald Scheid, 98, passed away Friday, May 19, 2017, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka, Kan. He was born on May 16, 1919, near Vassar, Kan., the son of Henry and Edna Kraft Scheid.

Gerald had lived all of his life around the Vassar community.

He was a farmer and stockman, and had worked for the Kansas Forestry Department planting trees around the Pomona and Melvern lakes. He had also worked at Pomona State Park and then for Rural Water District No. 3. He started the Vassar 4-H in 1938, was a community leader for over 60 years, member of the Vassar and Lyndon school boards, State of Kansas 4-H Family of the Year in 1987, and a member of the Vassar United Methodist Church.

On May 2, 1944, Gerald married Belva Jane Bowman in Pomona, Kan. To this union six sons were born.

Overbrook Overlook: City to study water system

The Overbrook City Council voted unanimously to approve a $30,000 grant from USDA Rural Development to fund an engineering survey of the city’s water system, including wells and distribution grid. Kramer Engineering will be conducting the survey as soon as paperwork is completed.

Property donated

The council recently accepted a donation of property from the owners of the lot located north of the post office. The property was donated with the request the city pay appraisal and closing costs and provide a receipt of donation. The donation will be used to incentivize new business to Main Street.

City trash and recycle pick up service

The city council approved a two-year extension of the contract with Osage Waste. Service for both regular trash and curbside recycling will continue at the current rate.

Problem pets prompt review of ordinance

Overbrook Police and animal control have received complaints about dogs running loose. City ordinance No. 383 instructs authorities to fine the dog owner at the rate of $60 for first offense; $120 for second offense; and $180 for additional offenses, plus cost for boarding and court fees may be added. The city council heard a request from a resident asking for a change to current the pet limit stated in Ordinance No. 101 (three dogs plus one other pet – total of four pets). The council will consider with a decision due at the June meeting. Residents can call city hall to give input regarding this potential change.

Wildlife officers pull stolen vehicle from Osage State Fishing Lake, discover zebra mussels

When state wildlife officials pulled a decades-old stolen vehicle out of Osage County State Fishing Lake last Thursday, they also made a grim discovery: Zebra mussels.

“We got it out of the water, pulled it onto the shore, and saw obvious zebra mussels on it,” said Captain Dan Melson, of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism law enforcement division, Friday. “It didn’t take long to confirm them.”

With the four mussels found on a late ‘80s Honda Civic that had been reported stolen more than 25 years ago, the discovery confirmed the infestation of the third major lake in Osage County with the invasive nuisance species.

According to Melson, Osage County game warden Lynn Koch discovered the vehicle submerged with its roof about five feet under the water surface last Sunday, April 23, while running sonar in the locally popular fishing lake.

“We have sonar in most of the boats,” Melson said. “We’ve asked game wardens to check locations where cars could be dumped in lakes.”

Melson said Koch located the vehicle on the east side of the lake, off the end of a fishing pier in an area that had been closed off to vehicle traffic about three years ago. He said the vehicle was reported stolen in the early 1990s from Topeka, and it had an expiration date of 1991 on its license tag decal. The windows were all intact and vehicle had little damage except for some items removed, the captain said.

Besides collecting a few zebra mussels and serving as fish habitat, the vehicle had apparently also been a nuisance to many fishermen over the years.

“It had plenty of hooks and sinkers on it,” Melson said.

Discovery of the vehicle left investigators with a cold 25-year-old car theft case with low priority for solving, but Melson said similar efforts in the past have solved missing persons cases.

“We had repeated this same sonar work six summers ago and discovered six vehicles – two had missing persons in them,” he said.

Friday, KDWPT released confirmation of the presence of zebra mussels in Osage State Fishing Lake. KDWPT reported the officers who discovered adult zebra mussels attached to the vehicle reported the find to KDWPT fisheries staff, who verified the discovery.

Traffic jams downtown Osage City during 13th annual Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto Show

Approximately 300 entrants participated in the 13th annual Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto Show. The event was held in downtown Osage City, along Market Street, on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The award winners are:

Gilbert Austin ‘Cornbread’ Burnett Sr., 90, Topeka: March 23, 1927 – March 29, 2017

040317-burnett-smTOPEKA, Kan. – It is with broken hearts, loving memories, loyal dedication and caring love from family members, that we sadly announce the passing of Gilbert Austin “Cornbread” Burnett Sr., 90, of Topeka, Kan. Gilbert had fought dementia, macular degenerative eye disease, which caused him to become legally blind, and congestive heart failure, before passing away on March 29, 2017. Gilbert passed peacefully at his home in Topeka, with his family by his side. He just reached and celebrated his 90th birthday on March 23, 2017.

Gilbert graduated from the Melvern (Kan.) Schools. He served in the United States Army during World War II and the Korean War. He served as a surgical technician at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, and then at Camp Carson, Colorado. While in the service he collected over 5,000 pints of blood. He was discharged at the rank of sergeant. He worked and retired from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Topeka. As a pastime, he was a landlord, renting to many tenants over the years. He also built two houses on his own. While working at Goodyear, he also loved to farm the land, raise livestock and garden. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle to many. Gilbert will be dearly missed by many. He was the best. His motto was “Hurry up and wait.”

Chamber Chatter: 2016 year in review

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce had a busy year welcoming new businesses to the community. Ribbon cuttings were held at AG Choice, Keepsake Jewelry, Auburn Pharmacy, Osage City Library’s new addition, Designs by Diane, Higher Power Health and Yoga, McCoy’s Steren Electronics, and That Other Place.

After Hour Mixers

Throughout the year, a few of the Osage City Chamber of Commerce members hosted an After Hours Mixer showcasing their business. Members enjoyed the hospitality of Edward Jones Investments, Lusk Properties, COF Training Services, H and H Appraisal, and Flint Hills Beverage.

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 27th annual Kansas Sampler Festival was held in Winfield on May 7-8, 2016. It was the next to last year that the festival will be in existence with the 28th and final year to be held in Winfield again next year.

Chamber Scholarships

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce were pleased to announce Kailyn Robert and Joseph Schemm were the 2016 recipients of our $250 scholarship. Kailyn, daughter of Michelle and Quintin Robert, will be attending Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, and Joseph, son of Cheryl and Douglas Schemm, will be attending Kansas State University in the fall. The revenue from the $5 that sellers pay to be listed on the maps for the spring and fall garage sales goes directly for these two scholarships.

Osage County Fair

The Osage County Fair Board worked very diligently to have the 2016 Osage County Fair be one of the best fairs so far.

Osage City’s Christmas on Market Street: Full day of holiday fun on Saturday, Nov. 26

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving and, surprise, next Saturday is Christmas! Christmas on Market Street, that is. On Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce will host a celebration of “Legends, Rails and Jingle Bells” during the annual Christmas on Market Street. The Chamber has a full day of fun planned for the whole family.

The annual celebration opens the Christmas holiday season in Osage City, with an evening, lighted Christmas parade and lighting of the downtown lights as a finale. Plus, there will plenty of opportunities for kids to meet up with Santa Claus and tell him their Christmas wish list.

Below is a schedule of Christmas on Market Street activities for all ages. For more information, visit the Osage City Chamber of Commerce at, or follow the Chamber on Facebook.

Zebra mussels found in Cedar Bluff Reservoir

Invasive, sharp-shelled mollusks are among the state’s most unwanted species

Aquatic-Nuisance-Species_coTOPEKA, Kan. – The spread of invasive zebra mussels continues to lakes across Kansas, with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism now confirming the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Cedar Bluff Reservoir, in Trego County. There is no known method to completely rid a lake of this invasive species.

In Osage County, zebra mussels are present in Pomona Lake and Melvern Lake.

Cedar Bluff is owned and operated by the federal Bureau of Reclamation. In July, the BOR conducted its annual plankton sampling survey which revealed zebra mussel veligers. The results were reported to KDWPT aquatic nuisance species staff on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Department fisheries staff began a search on August 25 and found a population of adult zebra mussels near the Muley Boat Ramp on the south side of the reservoir.

Cedar Bluff Reservoir is the western-most reservoir in Kansas confirmed to have zebra mussels. While the reservoir is managed by the BOR, KDWPT manages the fishery. The lake consists of about 6,869 surface acres at conservation level and has a maximum depth of 42 feet. Cedar Bluff State Park and the lake are popular destinations and offer a variety of recreational activities such as boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, camping and hiking.

Lake enthusiasts play the primary role in stemming the spread of zebra mussels to uninfested lakes.

Gayle Eugene Cook, 89, Baldwin City: May 21, 1927 – Aug. 20, 2016

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Gayle Eugene Cook, 89, of Baldwin City, Kan., died Aug. 20, 2016. He was born May 21, 1927, at home in Baldwin City, to Murlin Lewis Cook and Orpha Phyllis (Cunningham) Cook.

He attended school in and around Baldwin City, and graduated from Baker University after serving in the Army in Europe from 1945-1947.

Gayle married Rose Marie Newland at 7 a.m. on Feb. 14, 1948, at Ives Chapel Church, Baldwin City. Their children include Gaylene Rose Tunison, Austin, Texas; Charles Robert (Deborah) Cook, Wellsville, Kan.; Theodore Ray Cook MD (Karolyn MD), Newton, Kan.; and Fred Samuel (Amy) Cook, Olathe, Kan. He has 14 grandchildren, five foster grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He has several others he considered his own, as well – including Timothy James Olson, Las Vegas, Nev.; M. Eugene Tunison (Sheryl), Oakton, Va.; and others too many to name.

Gayle was a principal and a teacher at Edgerton, Kan., an accountant for Great Lakes Pipeline Company, and later graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College, in Kansas City, Kan. He practiced as a chiropractor in Osage City, Kan., from 1956 until 1980, when he became a clinical instructor at Palmer College of Chiropractic until he retired in 1992.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas