4-State Kayaking concerns

A 4 Stater Taking A Kayak Down To The Water


FORT SCOTT, Ks. – Many consider the 4-State area to be synonymous with summer fun, and that can be seen in the large number of locals and visitors who love to get out on the water. But in an area where crossing state lines can happen so frequently, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks wants kayakers to be cognizant about the rules of the river which vary by state.

“In Kansas, our laws are different than in Missouri or Oklahoma. And in Kansas, our rivers and streams, except for the Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas Rivers which are navigable rivers, everything else is basically privately owned and you need permission to be on that water,” said Donald George, a fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says they deal with the issue every summer and would like to help folks who just want to have fun on the water avoid getting in trouble.

“If you’re on (private) property without permission, you’re trespassing. So yes, that can get a person in trouble even if they’re unknowing about the laws,” said George.

But the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks doesn’t want people thinking the sunflower state is unwelcoming to kayakers which is why they’ve made special arrangements in Fort Scott.

“We have leased under the walk-in fishing program, part of the Marmaton River which is from an area at Rock Creek upstream of Fort Scott all the way down to Gunn Park. For people interested in kayaking and paddling a real river in Kansas that’s close, the Marmaton River is a great opportunity,” said George.

If you’re interested in learning about local kayaking or river safety in general, check out the Facebook page of the Joplin Kayak and Canoe group.