South Central

This is a collection of all the South Central Waterfowl Reports

BYRON WALKER - Last Updated: 2/12/2018

Waterfowl numbers

Hunters! Bids closed for the NAWCA wetland project as of 10/17/2017.  We started moving dirt the week of November 13.  As a result, many of the marshes west of Kingman State Lake and also the bison marsh will not be flooded in 2017 as the dikes will be newly constructed and won't have vegetation established.  Please bear with us on this project and the ultimate results will provide improved waterfowl attraction in the future!  Also, a new kayak/canoe launch has been installed on the dam just west of the refuge line to aid launching boats across the rip rap.   

Currently, approximately 300 ducks and 300-500 geese are using Kingman State Lake and the river.  Have had days last week where several thousand snow geese moved onto the lake, but left a couple of days later. Caution: 4 Trumpeter Swans have been seen at the lake and are protected.   

Water level Kingman State Fishing Lake is 3/4 full with levels 1 foot low and boat access limited in the western 1/3 of the lake.  All marshes are dry. Much of the lake is frozen over today, but warmer weather mid-week should open that up.  
Hunting conditions   WARNING-New rip rap has been added to the Kingman State Lake dam and until the metal has been removed, it poses a hazard to hunters, fishermen, and their dogs. 
Expected hunting success Limited.
Comments We have installed a canoe/kayak launch just west of the refuge line on the dam.  Please let us know if there are ways to improve this new facility.  We did place a gravel path along side the launch to give users a safer walking surface than the current rip rap.   



CHENEY - Last Updated: 2/23/2018

Waterfowl numbers  Canada goose 35, Mallard 53, Goldeneye 1303, Snow goose 6, Common merganser 29, Wigeon 92, Gadwall 261, Pintail 23, hooded merganser 43, buffle head 7
Water level  Below Conservation Pool
Hunting conditions poor on the reservoir
Expected hunting success poor
Comments  Lake is 2% ice covered 



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 3/29/2018

Waterfowl numbers No snow geese.  Approximately 225 ducks (mixed species), 10 Canada geese, and 45 coots on 3/29/18.                                           
Water levels 2.02' feet below conservation elevation (1,274') on 3/29/18.
Hunting conditions In 2017, the lake flooded in late March and generally remained flooded into early July.  Flooding peaked in mid-April (6.4') and the lake remained full through August.  Food producing vegetation could not become established on lake fringes because of the floods and full lake levels.  As such, few food resources will be available for waterfowl along the lake edge this season.  
Expected hunting success Poor.    
Comments Duck and Dark Goose seasons are CLOSED.  Light goose spring conservation order is open through April 30.            



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 2/23/2018

Waterfowl Numbers No Light Geese Observed.  Approximately 600 Canada geese, 400 ducks (primarily Mallard), and 800 mergansers observed on 2/23.  
Water level Approximately 3.8' below conservation elevation (1339') on 2/23.  
Hunting conditions The lake flooded in late March and generally remained flooded into late June.  Flooding peaked in late-May (5.2') and the lake remained full through August.  Food producing vegetation could not become established on lake fringes because of the floods and full lake levels.  As such, few food resources will be available for waterfowl this season.  Warm and dry conditions throughout September and water releases to facilitate maintenance work to the dam have reduced lake levels.  In many locations water is a significant distance from shoreline cover.  With current conditions, hunters may find it difficult to conceal themselves for a hunt. 
Expected hunting success Poor- The Lake is 5% covered in ice.
Comments

NOTE: El Dorado Lake is located within the Low Plains Southeast Zone.

Light Geese, Conservation Order Season  Feb 19- April 30, 2018



KAW WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 1/26/2018

Waterfowl numbers There are approximately 35 ducks using the river at this time.  Most of the waterfowl are not using the river as much do to all the other of bodies of  water open.
Mallard Migration Rank=10 The rank is subjective and is from (0= No Mallards, 1=Very few Mallards, 5=Moderate numbers, 10= Peak numbers).
Water level Fair
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 9-24, 2017

Area open:East of Hwy. U. S. 283

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit:18

Stamps Required:Kansas HIP Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

Season: November 11, 2017 - December 31, 2017 AND January 6-28, 2018

Area open:Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit:Three times the daily limit



MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS - Last Updated: 2/16/2018

Waterfowl numbers

ATTENTION:  i-Sportsman is back up and running, and all hunters are REQUIRED to use the new system!  Please check in, report your harvest, and check out using the mandatory electronic hunt permit system.  Thanks!

Friday, 16 February 2018:

The recent stretch of warm weather has melted the majority of the ice, and a few more geese returned to the area during the last week.   Approximately 2,550 geese were observed on the area during a survey the morning of February 16th, but the number of geese present varies greatly from day to day.  There is a fairly even mixture of snows, Canadas, and specklebellies present at this time.  Most of the geese are in the Big Basin refuge.

General goose seasons close Sunday, February 18th.  The snow goose conservation season opens Monday, February 19th.

See "Water Levels" below for more information. 

Remember that all activities in the refuge areas are prohibited.

Mallard Migration Rank

Current rank: 2

This rank is subjective and ranges from 0 (no mallards) to 10 (peak numbers).

Water levels

Big Basin:  The only marshes with huntable water are Pools 7 and 8, and those are getting very shallow.

Chain of Lakes:  This unit is 99% dry, with only a small slash of water on the far east side.  Be aware of the property boundary and stay off of the private land to the east.

Little Sinkhole Unit:  Although still limited, this unit has the most water, with a few of the wetlands holding at least some huntable water.

Hunting conditions The limited availability of water is going to cause crowded conditions, so please be safe and careful, and plan accordingly.  The dry conditions have allowed for extensive wetland management this summer, with efforts focused on the Big Basin.  Many acres of cattail, canary grass, and perennial smartweed have been removed through disking, mowing, and herbicide application, and over 100 acres of millet was planted in the disked areas.  Moist soil vegetation is good to exceptional across the area: annual smartweed, sprangletop, and barnyard grass production has really come on strong in the last month or so...  the waterfowl food is there, the area just needs some rain!!! 
Expected hunting success Poor to fair, but that could improve considerably with a much needed shot of rain.
Comments

ATTENTION:

MPWL has transitioned to a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register with i-Sportsman prior to hunting at MPWL.  Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report harvest similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.

Kansas hunters should be aware that iSportsman Electronic Daily Hunt Permits are required on 24 wildlife areas, including McPherson Valley Wetlands (check the 2017 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or kdwpt.isportsman.net for a list).

iSportsman replaces the old paper permits and allows hunters to conveniently check in and out using a telephone, smartphone or home computer. As with the old paper system, information gathered helps area managers tailor management practices specific to an area and hunter preference. The paper system was inconvenient for hunters and labor intensive for managers. 

**THERE IS A "NO TRASH POLICY" IN EFFECT AT MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS.  PLEASE CARRY OUT WHATEVER YOU CARRY IN, INCLUDING EMPTY HULLS AND OTHER TRASH.  PLEASE TRY TO LEAVE YOUR HUNTING SPOT AS CLEAN OR CLEANER THAN IT WAS WHEN YOU ARRIVED.  THANKS!!!

REFUGE AREAS:   THE SOUTH REFUGE AREA IN THE BIG BASIN IS OFF-LIMITS TO ALL ACTIVITIES, AND THIS INCLUDES DUCK HUNTING.  THERE IS NO HUNTING OR PUBLIC ACCESS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THE REFUGE!!

The Little Sinkhole/Farland Lake marsh unit is included in the EARLY low-plains duck zone (as is the rest of MPWL).

All shotgun hunters at McPherson Wetlands are required to use non-toxic shot for all hunting. This includes upland birds.



SLATE CREEK WETLAND - Last Updated: 1/26/2018

Waterfowl
numbers
There are approximately 15 ducks present at this time. Mostly mallards are present.  All of the pools have open water
Mallard
 Migration
 Rank

 Current rank:10

 This rank is subjective and ranges from 0 (no mallards) to 10 (peak numbers)

Water
 level
All pools have some water in them, but all are frozen shut.
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

SCWL is using a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register prior to hunting at SCWL.  Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report back harvest similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: Sept. 9-24, 2017
  • Area open:East of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit:6
  • Possession limit:18
  • Stamps Required:Kansas HIP Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

  • Season: Oct. 28, 2017-Dec. 31, 2017 AND Jan. 20-28, 2018
  • Area open:Late Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit:6
  • Possession limit:Three times the daily limit

Also, all shotgun hunters at Slate Creek Wetlands are required to use non-toxic shot for all hunting. This includes upland birds.

 Keep in mind, during and after rain events, area roads become very greasy. Please use caution and good judgment before entering these roadways.

Please report all wildlife and public lands violations that you witness by calling the area headquarters at (620)-876-5730. Please leave a detailed message with violation specifics.



MARION - Last Updated: 3/2/2018

Waterfowl Numbers Total goose numbers are approximately 1800, with approximately 1000 snow geese. Ducks numbers are approximately 1000 consisting mostly of  mallard, goldeneye, pintail, green-winged teal, Northern shoveler, gadwall, and common merganser.
Mallard Migration Rating Current Rating=3 The rank is subjective and is from (0= No Mallards, 1=Very few Mallards, 5=Moderate numbers, 10= Peak numbers).
Water level Lake level is currently 1348.60 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions Fair. Lake levels had been near conservation pool for most of 2017, and dropped to approximately a foot low late this summer. Areas around the reservoir have fair amounts of food, but there has been very little moist soil production on the shoreline or mudflats. 0% Ice coverage.
Expected hunting success Fair.
Comments Remember the Reservoir now has ZEBRA MUSSELS. Make sure to Clean, Drain and Dry your equipment. Clean all visible vegetation and mud from decoys, bags, waders, etc. Drain water from decoy bags and boats. Allow equipment to Dry for a five day period before using it at another area, OR wash with high-pressure hot water. Many of the roads around the reservoir can get very greasy after rain, or melting snow, please use good judgement about which roads you try to travel on.