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Lake shop to offer live bait after mix-up stalls application

Staff writer

Marion County Lake’s reopened shop plans to start selling live bait Tuesday, but a county commissioner first will need to hand-deliver paperwork in Emporia.

Lake supervisor Isaac Hett hopes David Crofoot’s errand will iron out a mix-up that marooned the shops application in bureaucratic purgatory.

The trouble started with confusion over the right place to mail a check.

The application and payment were sent in late April to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Tourism’s Pratt headquarters — not its live bait office in Emporia.

“Instead of just sending it over, they didn’t act,” Hett said. “And they didn’t tell us anything, so we didn’t know what had happened.”

Hett began calling the department for answers after months of delay and found the application had been sitting at the wrong office.

He put together a new application, the county approved another check Monday.

Crofoot had other business to take care of in Emporia so he offered to deliver the paperwork in person.

“I am hoping by tomorrow we will have our live bait license,” Hett said Monday afternoon.

The state will provide a receipt with proof of approval that will allow Hett to place order at Bill’s Outdoor Sports in McPherson.

“If I can put in an order, we should begin selling bait next Tuesday,” Hett said.

The shop will offer medium and large minnows, perch, and goldfish.

It will begin selling night crawlers, chicken livers, and shrimp, which don’t require a permit, Memorial Day weekend.

Weeks of warm weather have meant brisk business for sales of Pop, Gatorade, and ice.

“We also have sold a lot of worms,” Hett said. “Night crawlers can be used to catch pretty much anything and they are easy for kids.”

The bait shop has drawn steady traffic, but Hett also is looking forward to events that will encourage more people to visit the county lake this summer.

A cruise, live music by the Justus Band, and a fireworks show are planned for July 3.

No admission will be charged. The lake’s event fund and donations will cover the $4,000 cost.

The street cruise and concert are new. Popular demand led Hett to resurrect the annual fireworks show, which will be put on by Rainbow Fireworks of Inman.

“A lot of people have said they were sad to see it go,” he said.

The show was set for July 3 because organizers didn’t want to compete with July 4 events in Peabody.

Bluegrass at the Lake concert was, normally a June event, was set for Aug. 6 and 7. It was tough to book acts because of COVID-19 until late summer.

“People weren’t sure what was going to happen and they couldn’t commit to anything,” he said. “So we decided to push it back and give us more time to get these bands scheduled.”

Last modified June 9, 2021

 

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