Water at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Kids Fishing Pond remains low and will stay that way until repairs are made on the KDWPT headquarters basement wall to prevent flooding.

The water level at the Kids Fishing Pond at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Pratt, is very low and will remain that way until changes are made to the department headquarters foundation.

On Sept. 3, 2018, when floodwaters overtopped the Ninnescah River, the Kids Fishing Pond and Centennial Pond, water was forced into the northeast corner of the headquarters basement.

The foundation was compromised so some form of rehabilitation on the basement is needed to help prevent the same kind of problem from reoccurring in the future, said Mark Miller, KDWPT chief of information.

In order to prevent water from seeping into the basement until repairs are finished, the kids pond level is being kept very low to prevent the subsoil moisture from getting high enough to get back into the basement, Miller said.

Once repairs on the basement are complete, the water level in the kids pond will be restored to normal levels. No specific date for completion of repairs has been set but kids will be able to fish in the spring. Restocking of the pond will be done as necessary to maintain a good fish population.

During the flood, the kids pond was completely overtopped and some fish escaped. After the flood receded, the department was concerned about silt accumulation in the pond. Some dredging may be done to get the pond to a desired level but the decision to dredge has not been made, Miller said.

A change in KDWPT policy now calls the kids fishing pond a youth mentoring pond. This allows adults to fish at the kids fishing ponds, but only if a child is present and fishing at the same time. This change is designed to allow children and adults to better enjoy the fishing experience at the ponds.

While the kids pond is at a low level, the Centennial Pond next to the kids pond is at normal levels. It has been stocked with trout and fishing has been good, Miller said.