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Archive for Friday, January 25, 2008

Fifth-graders dive into politics for a state fish

January 25, 2008

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Students look to hook state fish

There's something fishy going on at the Kansas Statehouse, and it all revolves around the bluegill. Enlarge video

— The bluegill bill is off to a swimming start.

Tonganoxie Middle School fifth-graders testified Thursday at the Statehouse in Topeka, seeking legislators' support for a proposed law to make the bluegill the state fish.

Tonganoxie students' cause started during Kansas Day activities in January 2006 when a younger student asked Karen Stockman's third-grade class what type of fish was the official state fish. When the third-graders discovered that Kansas lacked a designated fish, the students started casting about for a law. Kansas is one of a handful of states without a state fish.

Five of the students - now in the fifth grade - testified on Thursday. While in Topeka, the students were surprised someone else spoke in favor of the bill. Berend Koops, of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, told the committee his agency supported the bill.

"On a side note, the bluegill is the first one I caught," he said.

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