In addition to fishing, picnicking and primitive camping are popular activities at state fishing lakes. Some — including Kingman, McPherson, Mined Land, and Ottawa — offer modern, affordable cabins for those who prefer not to camp. Many state fishing lakes also have ADA-compliant facilities, such as accessible docks and piers.
You don’t need a boat to enjoy the state fishing lake angling experience because numerous piers, jetties, and accessible shoreline are available for easy access. Almost half of anglers visiting these lakes fish from shore and find plenty of access without a boat.
As the name suggests, most state fishing lakes are managed for anglers, so no pleasure boating, skiing, or swimming is allowed. However, because Crawford, Meade, and Scott are also state parks, they provide full-service camping and allow swimming, and Crawford and Scott allow some recreational boating and offer recreational facilities such as sand volleyball courts, bathhouses, and horseshoe pits. Chase State Fishing Lake also has a swimming beach. Water-use restrictions may limit their appeal to some outdoor users, but for others, the limitation may be a peaceful plus.
Most visitors do not feel crowded at Kansas state fishing lakes, even on this busiest weekend of the year, so these lakes are great alternatives to large federal reservoirs. If you just want to enjoy nature, camp, and fish, you may be able to find a great family-friendly spot all to yourself.