Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News

Area News

KDWPT IS IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRONIC PERMIT SYSTEM FOR THE 2014-2015 HUNTING SEASONS

HUNTERS NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT IN iSportsman BY GOING TO https://kdwpt.isportsman.net AND FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE DIRECTIONS:

1. Scroll down the left side of the page to the blue "register" button.

2. Provide hunter information.

ONCE REGISTERED, HUNTERS WILL BE ABLE TO CALL OR LOG ONTO THE SYSTEM SEPTEMBER 1 AND GET THEIR PERMIT FOR THE DOVE OPENER. THEY CAN ALSO VISIT THE CHEYENNE BOTTOMS WILDLIFE AREA PAGE ON iSPORTSMAN AT https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/Locations/Cheyenne_Bottoms.aspx

PAPER PERMITS WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE INFORMATION CENTERS, HOWEVER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE THE iSPORTSMAN ELECTRONIC PERMIT SYSTEM AS IT WILL BE REQUIRED IN 2015.

 

Summer heat remains in the forecast.  The forecast for the next week is for a continuation of hot temperatures with some light rains in the evening hours.   We currently estimate between 10,000 and 30,000 total ducks on the Area, mostly mallard, blue-winged teal and shoveler, but a good variety of species is present.

This heat is taking a toll on the water levels of all the pools.  We have finally been able to get into the perimeter areas of some pools to begin dealing with the cattail.  We're mowing openings in Pool 4B and using the backhoe to crush openings from foot crossings out to open water.  We're not sure how the paths made by the backhoe will work, but we think it will make walk in hunting a bit easier.  We're planning on using this technique in all the pools.  The mowing is the first step in trying to carve out openings in solid stands of cattail which have developed.  The next step will be raking, disking a fireguard and burning the cut material.  Then we will either apply herbicides or disk the cattail, depending upon how the plants respond.

The past several weeks we struck a significant blow to the Phragmites problem.  This invasive plant has taken over marshes all across the U.S.  We first noticed it in 1996.  We have been fighting it ever since.  On the 13th and 14th of July we had a helicopter apply herbicides to all the patches of the plant they could find within the pools.  In addition, we have dried out enough now that we can use ground based equipment to spray the plants in the upland areas.  This is the second time in 6 years we have used a helicopter.  That tool is helping us to at least hold our own against this invasive plant.  In addition, we are using ground based sprayer rigs to attack the plant in areas we can drive to.  We have been in all the pools with ATV's and tractors and will continue that work for the rest of the summer, weather permitting

 Avocets, yellowlegs, and black necked stilts are in. Cattle, snowy and great egrets are present.  American bittern, black-crowned night heron and a bunch of black terns are all available for viewing.  We are beginning to see a few early migrating shorebirds on the Area as well.

The Ark River, Dry and Wet Walnuts ran briefly this week with runoff from the July 17 storms..  The Ark has since quit running again at our diversion structure, but Dry and Wet Walnut Creeks continue to give us a little supplemental water.

Goose numbers are estimated to be less than 50. The majority are Canada geese. 

Current water levels in the Pools are: 1A, 1B and 1C are near 48 inches, Pool 2 is about 16 inches; Pool 3A, 3B and 4A have only trapped water, Pool 4B is about 5 inches and Pool 5 is near 18 inches.

A viewing trailer has been placed on the Wildlife Area and is available for use.  It is currently placed in the southeast portion of the wildlife area overlooking the east end of Pool 5 near the observation tower.  Opportunity for viewing waterfowl as well as some wading birds and a few peeps is there.  To  sign in to use the trailer and obtain keys stop by the Kansas Wetland Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Chairs, basic bird ID guides and binoculars are available.  All is free of charge.
 

Viewing Trailer

Visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms. They have educational exhibits directed at describing the role wetlands play in the natural world with a focus on Cheyenne Bottoms. Find out the wide variety of wetlands found in Kansas, you may be surprised at the diversity in this grassland state. Their location is in the southeast portion of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area along Kansas Highway 156. Their hours are Monday through Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 1 to 5. The phone number is 620-566-1456.