June 5 and June 6, 2021
A fundraiser for the Native Stone Scenic Byway and the Volland Foundation
Please email us to join the waitlist
$40 + tax
2nd Annual Kansas Fish Wizards Tour
The Volland Foundation and the Native Stone Scenic Byway announce the 2nd Annual Fish Wizards Tour on June 5th and 6th.
Come along for a fun-filled trip to see and learn more about the beautiful and amazing fish species in the streams of beautiful Wabaunsee County, Kansas! More than 20 species of fish are found in the crystal clear waters of these Flint Hills streams.
The Fish Wizards Tour will be led by renowned fisheries scientists, Joe Tomelleri, Mike Kaminski, and other Kansas fisheries scientists. Participants are in for an unforgettable experience as they learn sampling techniques, fish identification, and life history information of many native fish species.
Our tour leaders are quite an accomplished crew! Joe Tomelleri is the world’s leading freshwater fish illustrator and has more than 1,100 illustrations. His work has been featured in more than 1,000 publications, including Trout and Salmon of North America, Outdoor Life, Eddie Bauer, and of course Kansas Fishes. His illustrations are scientifically accurate and document the species in their native colors.
Mike Kaminski, M.S. is a fisheries biologist with over twenty-six years of experience sampling fishes throughout the U.S. while working for agencies in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. His primary interests are stream fish ecology, fish taxonomy, water quality, and education. Mike has spent the past nine years teaching at the college level and currently teaches and manages the science labs at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.
Brian Bohnsack, PhD, will assist with the tours and provide insights on the principles of fish and wildlife management based on his long career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
June is an ideal time for the 2nd annual Fish Wizards Tour. Many of the fish will be dressed in their peak spawning colors to attract mates and deter rivals. We will be in for quite a display of beautiful colors and will see some unique displays fish use to attract their mates!
Meet at The Volland Store, 24098 Volland Road – about 8 miles southwest of Alma, Kansas, on Old K-10 Highway. Click here for a map and directions and print them out before you come. Cell phones are iffy around here.
The tour will start at 10am. Plan to arrive at the Store at 9:45am.
Participants on Saturday should try to arrive by 9:30 to give extra time for road delays. Don’t hurry. We will wait for you, knowing you may be behind a hundred bicycles. The 200-mile marathon bike riders and traffic associated with the Unbound Gravel bike race (formerly the Dirty Kanza) will ride through Wabaunsee County on Saturday. Be alert!
Individuals will be provided directions to the nearby sampling locations, and participants will caravan in their personal vehicles to the creek. This will require some driving on gravel roads. The fun begins when we arrive at the creek! The Fish Wizards will locate and seine for fish, then bring them up for the participants to see “up close and personal.” After wading and watching and learning, a boxed lunch will be provided around noon, and you are invited to visit and linger in the shade, departing at your leisure.
Attendees will need to be able to walk down stream banks. Please wear comfortable clothes and walking or hiking shoes that can get wet and/or muddy. You may want to bring a change of clothes, and you are encouraged to bring waders or hip boots, although they are not required. Volunteers can wade in and help with the sampling efforts if desired. Please bring sunscreen, bug repellent, a lawn chair, and if the weather is hot, bring an umbrella for shade from the sun.
Attendance is limited to 30 individuals for each day. Reserve your spot now! The registration is $40 + tax. The event is a fundraiser for the Native Stone Scenic Byway and the Volland Foundation. Registration fees are non-refundable. Every effort will be made to provide the tour on-site. In the case of heavy rain and/or stream flows, a presentation will be given about Kansas fish species and the history of Wabaunsee county.
The Fish Wizards Tour is open for everyone! Kids through senior citizens will enjoy learning about amazing and beautiful fish species of Kansas.