New ban for Shawnee Lake visitors

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Soon you’ll be seeing new signs up at Shawnee Lake that say “do not feed the wildlife.”

“As far as feeding the animals I think that is a tradition of ours,” resident Barry Richard Brown said.

That’s just one person who wasn’t happy to hear about the county’s new ban, which forbids anyone from feeding the wildlife at Lake Shawnee. A decision that was made on Monday by Shawnee County Commissioners.

“You know we get comments and complaints from trail users all the time, tired of running through goose feces in the east, west side of the lake,” Director of  Shawnee County Parks Terry Bertels said.

The problem is both feces from wildlife, and algae growing in the lake. There are also plans to put in a new filtration system which is all in an effort to improve the water quality at Shawnee Lake.

The system would include floating vegetation mats placed on the lake at its south end. The Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism is going to do what it can to make people aware of the change.

“What we would like to do is post signage that prohibits it and start with the small stick, warnings and educational pamphlets as to why this is necessary,” Bertels said.

First-time violators will receive a warning, while subsequent violations will result in up to $500 fine.

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