Council Grove Wildlife Area

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Council Grove Waterfowl Report

The reservoir has a combination of steep rocky shoreline and shallow mudflats. Two good fishing streams, Munkers Creek on the east and the Neosho River on the west, feed the lake. Two boat ramps and handicap accessible sidewalks provide access to these streams. Fair to excellent populations of crappie, channel catfish, saugeye, white bass, wiper, and largemouth bass are found in the lake. Wildlife area lands primarily consist of woodlands, cropland, and small native grass tracts. Hunting is allowed and hunters may find fair to excellent populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, squirrel, rabbit, dove, and waterfowl. Frequent flooding events however, may limit upland wildlife populations in some years.

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Phone:
Address:
1130 Lake Road,
Council Grove,KS    66846
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 06/05/2018

Area News

Council Grove Lake – 2018 Fishing Outlook

District Fisheries Biologist, John Reinke, has provided the following information to assist anglers when planning upcoming fishing trips.  Information is provided based upon his annual population sampling. 

Crappie - Good. Fish sampling efforts during October 2017 produced the second most crappie since 2002!  Density is 58% higher than the 5-year average, but lower than last year’s. Crappie production was good, which bodes well for the future. 2017 young of the year had fair growth, and should provide a good year class to come. While the numbers of crappie decreased in 2017, the fish that are available will be small, with a few over 10”. 

Saugeye - Good. Saugeye density increased to the most available since 2012. There was a 3-fold increase in the number of saugeye over 15”, so 81% now exceed the 15” minimum length limit. Walleye are also present in similar density and sizes as saugeye. When lumped together, these species will provide good angling opportunities in 2018, and provide for some excellent table fare. 

White Bass – Fair/Good.  The 2017 fall test netting sample resulted in a 100% increase in catch rate for white bass. The existing population, however, is still below the 5-year average. Size of fish did decrease overall, and none were sampled over 12”. The 2017-year class of white bass looks excellent, the most in the last 8 years. Anglers should expect to catch many more white bass in 2018, but overall sizes will be smaller than last year. 

Wiper - Fair. Wiper were first stocked into Council Grove Reservoir in 2008.  Fish exceeded the 18-inch minimum length limit by the fall of 2010.  The last stocking of wiper occurred in 2012. Wiper catch rate obtained during fall test netting was low, well below the 5-year average.  Sampled wipers were big though, up to 24 inches. 100% of the gill net sampled wipers exceeded the 18-inch minimum length limit.  Anglers should expect fair wiper fishing during 2018 with the chance at fish of trophy proportions.

Channel Catfish - Good. Channel catfish density increased to its highest level since 2010.  It is now 52% above the 5-year average for the lake. Roughly 87% of the channel catfish sampled during October 2017 were in the 16 to 28-inch size range.  Anglers should expect good fishing for channel catfish during 2018.  Very Good to Excellent catfish action can develop during times of inflow as the fish concentrate to feed in the creeks and other areas near current. 

For more information about fishery management at Council Grove Reservoir, contact District Fisheries Biologist, John Reinke, at #785-461-5095 or John.Reinke@KS.GOV.  

Want Current Lake Condition Information?  It’s Just a Click Away!

It can be argued that technology is not always a good thing.  But for outdoor recreationists wanting to know current information about Council Grove Lake, technology can be good because the information is available and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by visiting the internet on your computer or smart phone.

For those interested in learning more about current or historic lake levels, precipitation amounts, lake inflow, or lake releases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates a convenient web site providing this information.  Whether you are an angler interested in lake conditions to determine if it might be right for pursuing your favorite species of fish, or are a boater or camper wondering how lake conditions have been impacted by recent drought or rains, the website can be a valuable trip planning tool.  To access this information simply visit:

http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/COUN.lakepage.html

Woodland Habitat Enhancement Work Reaches Milestone 

In early January of this year, area staff completed our 8th year of woodland habitat enhancement projects at Council Grove Wildlife Area.  This years’ work was directed to enhance woodland characteristics within existing stands near Gilmore Creek and the southwest corner of the lake.  Approximately 65 acres were treated this year.  With this latest project complete, staff have evaluated all area woodlands encompassing approximately 1,100 acres, and completed treatments within nearly 750 acres!  This project marked the end of an initial plan to work with forestry professionals from the Kansas Forest Service and National Wild Turkey Federation to conduct annual efforts to encourage desirable tree species such as burr oak (primarily), hickory, and walnut. 

To enhance tree stature and nut production of these species, more common and less desirable tree species such as locust, hackberry, elm, maple, ash, and boxelder were removed from the stand when they were found to be competing for sunlight.  By reducing competition, those trees that remain are more likely to flourish and enhance food and cover characteristics for many woodland wildlife species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrel, and raccoon.  Since 2010, nearly 650 hours of work has been completed to enhance habitat characteristics and the recreation experience of our visitors!  With this initial project complete, similar efforts are now being planned at El Dorado Wildlife Area where significant opportunities for enhancement also exist.  At Council Grove Wildlife Area, staff will continue to work with forestry professionals to evaluate woodland habitats and consider enhancement options.  

Welcome New Natural Resource Officer:

Area staff are pleased to announce that a new Natural Resource Officer (NRO) has begun work in the area.  Officer Jacob Spear has recently accepted natural resource law enforcement responsibilities within Chase and Morris Counties.  Spear replaces long-time area NRO Randy Benteman following his transfer to another county.  Officer Spear looks forward to working with area outdoor enthusiasts to protect and conserve our natural resources and preserve our hunting and angling heritage. Persons with law enforcement related questions or concerns can contact their Kansas NRO by utilizing a county listing of Natural Resource Officers found within each annual hunting or fishing regulation summary.  Spear may be contacted directly by calling #620/340-5968.  Welcome Officer Spear!   

General Information
Phone:
Address:
1130 Lake Road,
 
Council Grove, KS    66846
County/Counties:

Manager: Brent Konen

Phone: 620-767-5900

Council Grove Reservoir is located in east-central Morris County, on the Neosho River, 1.5 miles northwest of Council Grove.


Special Regulations
  • Special length and creel limits may apply for some fish species at Council Grove Reservoir. Please consult the Council Grove Fishing Information Page.
  • Vehicles are restricted to established maintained roads.
  • Off-road vehicle use is prohibited.
  • Camping is not allowed on the wildlife area. Excellent camping facilities can be found at area Corps of Engineer parks. Contact (620) 767-5195 for more information.

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

History

The 3,310 acre reservoir was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1964. In 1965, a license agreement was granted from the Corps of Engineers to establish the wildlife area. The wildlife area consists of 2,638 acres of land and water at the upper ends of the reservoir, and is primarily managed to provide public hunting and fishing opportunities.

Council Grove Facilities
Neosho River Boat Ramp and Handicap Accessible Fishing
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 08.0 W096 33 32.6
  • Click for more information
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    Handicap Accessible Fishing


Gilmore Creek Parking Area and Information Kiosk
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 42 58.9 W096 34 04.1
  • Click for more information
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Kelso Church Parking Area and Information Kiosk
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 55.5 W096 34 15.4
  • Click for more information
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East Angle Road Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 02.1 W096 32 52.0
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West Angle Road Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 25.7 W096 33 20.0
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Slough Creek Parking Area and Information Kiosk
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 54.2 W096 32 55.1
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Short Creek Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 41.6 W096 30 37.8
  • Click for more information
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850 Road Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 44 46.3 W096 29 30.9
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Munkers Creek Boat Ramp & Handicap Accessible Fishing
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 43 54.9 W096 29 47.1
  • Click for more information
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    Handicap Accessible Fishing


North Munkers Creek Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 44 27.5 W096 29 15.6
  • Click for more information
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Munkers Creek Information Kiosk
  • Type of Facility: Information Center
  • Location of Facility: N38 44 21.0 W096 30 03.0
  • Click for more information
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South Munkers Creek Parking Area
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: N38 44 25.6 W096 29 11.9
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Office and Information Kiosk
  • Type of Facility: Office
  • Location of Facility: N38 41 57.6 W096 32 22.8
  • Click for more information
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Council Grove Waterfowl Report - 03/29/2018
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.            
Wildlife Viewing

Scenic Council Grove Lake has a rocky shoreline and an abundance of picnic, camping, boating, and hiking areas. During spring and fall, the reservoir attracts flocks of migrating ducks, geese, cormorants, and gulls. In winter bald eagles are frequently seen perched in the trees surrounding the lake. The Canada geese are quite tame and often allow vehicles to approach. The Canning Creek Cove area has a trail of eastern bluebird nest boxes along the entrance drive. Watch for the bluebirds in the spring.  The shady picnic and campground areas have nesting robins, kingbirds, and orioles. Bat houses have been erected here and at several other places around the lake.

To look for wildlife in a different habitat visit the Council Grove Wildlife Area along Munkers Creek along the northeast arm of the lake just off K-177 highway (red dot on map). Watch for deer and squirrels. The narrow, wooded lane also provides visitors the opportunity to view winter sparrows, towhees, cardinals, and woodpeckers from the comfort of a car.  During spring migration the woods along this creek may be alive with warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and other songbirds.  NOTE: This is a dead-end road.   The low-water crossing at the east end can only be reached by foot.