Rocky Ford State Fishing Lake

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Rocky Ford Fishing Area is located 4 miles Northeast of Manhattan. The Trail Head may be accessed from the trail head either at Rocky Ford Campground at Tuttle Creek State Park or at Rocky Ford Fishing Area. The area offers some ideal fishing conditions. Fish which can be found in the area are Channel Catfish, White bass, Walleye, Saugeye, and crappie depending on the outflow from the Tuttle Creek Dam. The riffles below Rocky Ford Fishing Area Dam offer kayak and canoe enthusiasts a place to try their skills during certain water releases

County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 10/06/2011

Area News

Don’t put those fishing poles away just yet! Releases are back down and fishing has picked up at Rocky Ford! Several people are catching good numbers of catfish as well as bass species. Look for fishing to continue to be good for a few more weeks. With the cooler weather now is the time to get out and enjoy some time along the water!

Plans have been finalized for the new tainter gate on the east side of the dam. The bid process is now underway and construction of the new gate should start this winter.

Remember; be sure of fish identification before you put fish on the stringer. Wipers continue to be caught and confused for white bass. The following sign is posted on the property to help refresh your identification skills. Fishing regulation booklets are also available at the information center on the east side of the property.

Wiper ID

Get out to one of your local Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism fishing areas today and enjoy the cooler days of the Fall!

General Information
County/Counties:

Rocky Ford Fishing Area (PDF 548.06 kB)

Manager: Nathan Henry
Phone: (785) 539-9999


Special Regulations
  • The Blue River is not listed as a navigable stream. Therefore, you must obtain permission from each adjacent landowner before you kayak, canoe or boat the river. No camping.
  • No swimming and No hunting.

Here is a complete list of Public Land Regulations or you can download the regulation summary.

History

Rocky Ford Fishing Area was donated to the Kansas Forestry Fish & Game Commission by Kansas Power and Light in 1967. Native Americans used this site as a river crossing, The flat rock bottom made the crossing safe under normal conditions. The ford was used by pioneers for many years. A timber and rock dam provided hydro-mechanical power for a flour and saw mill that served the community for many years. The mill was converted to a concrete power dam, built by the Rocky Ford Milling and Power Company in the early 1900's. The hollow dam was also used by employees to get to and from work, from company owned housing on the west side of the Big Blue River to the power plant on the east bank. In 1988, a retaining walkway was constructed below the dam, improving angler access and fishery habitat. In 2005 and additional 55 acres of land and water were purchased through a National Recreation and Trails Grant. This added nearly one mile of river access on the east side of the Big Blue River from Tuttle Creek State Park Rocky Ford Campground to the original Rocky Ford Fishing Area and south to the bridge at Dyer Rd.

Rocky Ford Facilities
Parking
  • Type of Facility: Parking
  • Location of Facility: 39.23922 -96.58595
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Fishing Wall
  • Type of Facility: Fishing wall
  • Location of Facility: 39.23922 -96.58595
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    Retaining wall below dam


KIOSK
  • Type of Facility: Information Center
  • Location of Facility: 39.23922 -96.58595
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    Information board displaying current regulation for the area


Vault Toliet
  • Type of Facility: Vault Toliet
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: 39.23922 -96.58595
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Rocky Ford Trails
Rocky Ford Trail
  • Trail Season: Year Long
  • Length of Trail: 1.5 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Mt. Biking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • This trail is ADA accessible
  • Location of Start: 39.24393 -96.58709
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    Non Motorized Vehicle Trail that follows the Big Blue River from Tuttle Creek State Park Rocky Ford Campsite to bridge on Dyers Rd