McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area

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McPherson Valley Wetlands Waterfowl Report

Currently the area holds 51 independently managed wetland pools, two refuges that include approximately 650 total acres and approximately 350 acres of water when full, and provides a total of approximately 1,750 surface acres of water when full for migrating waterfowl. The area is managed intensively for waterfowl, but also provides good opportunity for pheasant, quail, and dove hunting. The spring migration is a spectacular sight for viewing migratory birds in full plumage. Many species common to the central flyway can be found at the wetlands during this time. Most notably, for the first time in 100 years, whooping cranes visited the area in 1995. A haindicapped-accessible photo blind is another feature on the area and provides a unique opportunity for handicap wildlife viewing enthusiasts.

Address:
967 Mohawk Rd.
McPherson,KS    67460
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 02/05/2016

Area News

REFUGE AREAS:

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

Pheasant season ended January 31, 2016.  For the 2015 - 2016 season, 787 hunters reported a harvest of 382 roosters, for an average of 0.48 birds per hunter.

In preparation for the transition from paper hunt permits to i-Sportsman, there has been a reduction in the number of daily hunt permit stations (also known as “Iron Rangers”) on the property.  Historically there have been ten daily hunt permit stations on the property; however, this year there will be five.  The locations of these five permit stations are listed below.

Big Basin Marshes:

#1 – South off Mohawk Road on the driveway going to the Area Headquarters / Office

#2 – Pools 1 and 14 parking lot, at the east end of Limestone Road off 8th Avenue

Chain of Lakes Marshes:

#3 – Just south of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Frontier Road, on the west side of the unit

Little Sinkhole Marshes:

#4 – 10th Avenue, between Arapaho and Buckskin roads, at the sunflower field

#5 – Just north of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Arrowhead Road

 

Please plan ahead and register for i-Sportsman prior to hunting McPherson Valley Wetlands, or plan on obtaining a daily hunt permit at one of the five functional permit stations listed above.   

 

ALSO, BE AWARE THAT HALF OF THE PARKING LOT AT POOLS 8 – 12, IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LITTLE SINKHOLE MARSHES, IS UNDER WATER DUE TO RECENT RAINS.  PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE OR PARK VEHICLES IN THE WATER.  THANKS!

For additional information please contact the McPherson Valley Wetlands office at (620) 241-7669.

Newsletter:

Staff at the McPherson Valley Wetlands will be producing a newsletter that will include season results, upcoming projects, special opportunities, fall flights, and other information that hunters / users may need to know if planning to visit the area. The newsletter will be produced bi-annually, prior to hunting season (mid August to mid September) and following waterfowl season (mid March to mid April). This document will be distributed electronically, and if you are interested in getting on the mailing list Click here.

The newsletter is an attempt to get information to more of our constituents since attendance at our public informational meeting has been very low due to a variety of reasons.

Wildlife Violations:

In the past, area staff has (after the fact) been informed of regulation violations during the hunting season. Even though selective law enforcement by Public Lands and Law Enforcement division employees, is done routinely at the wetlands, we can't be everywhere all the time. If you witness a violation, please call the area office at (620)-241-7669 and leave a description of the violation including the vehicle tag number if possible.

General Information
Address:
967 Mohawk Rd.
 
McPherson, KS    67460
County/Counties:

McPherson Wetlands WA (PDF 409.01 kB)

Manager: Jason K. Black; (620) 241-7669; jason.black@ksoutdoors.com

Due to low attendance at our annual public informational meetings, area staff is in the process of producing a bi-annual newsletter. If you are interested in recieving this newsletter CLICK HERE. The newsletter will include information about forecasted fall flights, upcoming projects, special hunting or other opportunities, harvest totals, and other information hunters / users need to know if planning a trip to the area. The newsletter will be distributed electronically, so you may "catch up" on area news at your leisure.

McPherson Valley Wetlands Brochure/Map

Location: McPherson Valley Wetlands are situated in three main units, the Big Basin Marshes, Chain of Lakes, and Little Sinkhole Marshes. The units start approximately 3.5 miles northwest of McPherson and expand to approximately 1 mile south and 1 mile east of Inman. The McPherson Valley Wetlands Complex lies within a 50-mile radius of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. McPherson Valley Wetlands will offfer a hunting alternative and supplemental habitat when water availability is limited due to drought.


Special Regulations

REFUGE AREAS:

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

All hunters that hunt at the Wetlands must pick up and fill out a free daily hunting permit available at various locations on the property. This permit must be carried with the hunter while hunting and must be completed at the conclusion of their hunt.

MPWL is transitioning to a new daily permit system called i-Sportsman.  Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at MPWL.  Hunters will be able to login from PC, smartphone, or call in from a cell phone or landline phone 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.

ATTENTION ALL HUNTERS:

In preparation for the transition from paper hunt permits to i-Sportsman, there has been a reduction in the number of daily hunt permit stations (also known as “Iron Rangers”) on the property.  Historically there have been ten daily hunt permit stations on the property; however, this year there will be five.  The locations of these five permit stations are listed below.

Big Basin Marshes:

#1 – South off Mohawk Road on the driveway going to the Area Headquarters / Office

#2 – Pools 1 and 14 parking lot, at the east end of Limestone Road off 8th Avenue

Chain of Lakes Marshes:

#3 – Just south of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Frontier Road, on the west side of the unit

Little Sinkhole Marshes:

#4 – 10th Avenue, between Arapaho and Buckskin roads, at the sunflower field

#5 – Just north of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Arrowhead Road

 

Please plan ahead and register for i-Sportsman prior to hunting McPherson Valley Wetlands, or plan on obtaining a daily hunt permit at one of the five functional permit stations listed above.   

 

ALSO, BE AWARE THAT HALF OF THE PARKING LOT AT POOLS 8 – 12, IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LITTLE SINKHOLE MARSHES, IS UNDER WATER DUE TO RECENT RAINS.  PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE OR PARK VEHICLES IN THE WATER.  THANKS!

Hunters must be aware of posted refuges, and stay out of these areas.

All hunters must use non-toxic shot for all species.

The entire McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area is now located in the Low Plains Early Waterfowl Zone. For exact season dates contact the area headquarters or CLICK HERE.

The Wetlands are open to the public year-round, and all areas, with the exception of posted refuges, may be entered on foot. Vehicles are allowed on maintained roads only.

Camping is not available but can be found only a few miles away in McPherson or Hutchinson.

Additionally, all statewide public land regulations, Secretary's orders, and posted notice regulations apply on the Wetlands.

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

History

Before their destruction by ditching, the wetlands of west central McPherson County comprised more than 9,000 surface acres of water in at least 52 separate wetlands, and were equal in importance to Cheyenne Bottoms. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) recognized the need to restore portions of this vital wetland complex and started buying land for development in 1989. To date, the area is 4,455 acres. KDWPT is currently interested in acquiring land from willing sellers when funding exists. Several tracts of land have recently been acquired through a North American Wetland Conservation grant. Development has been completed on these tracts, and will provide additional acreage and opportunity for hunting and wildlife viewing. KDWPT has set a goal to eventually acquire and restore 5,000 acres of this vital wetland complex.

McPherson Valley Wetlands Waterfowl Report - 03/16/2016
Waterfowl numbers The conservation season on light geese remains open; however, only 23 light geese were observed during the area survey on March 16th.  There are good numbers of ducks across the property providing excellent viewing and photography opportunities.
Mallard Migration Rank

Current rank: 6

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

Water levels Due to the abundant fall moisture, water levels are excellent across the area.  As of 11am on 12 February, the marshes were almost completely open water, with only about 5% ice cover.  
Hunting conditions Moist soil vegetation was good to exceptional across the area.  Pondweed, annual smartweed, and barnyard grass production were exceptional this year.
Expected hunting success Fair to good, depending on weather conditions. 
Comments

The Low Plains Early Zone duck season and the dark goose season at McPherson Valley Wetlands are NOW CLOSED FOR THE YEAR.  

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

PLEASE CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT WITH EITHER THE i-SPORTSMAN PROGRAM OR PAPER DAILY PERMITS!  PLEASE DO NOT USE BOTH. 

MPWL is transitioning to a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register prior to hunting at MPWL.  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.

ATTENTION ALL HUNTERS:

In preparation for the transition from paper hunt permits to i-Sportsman, there has been a reduction in the number of daily hunt permit stations (also known as “Iron Rangers”) on the property.  Historically there have been ten daily hunt permit stations on the property; however, this year there will be five.  The locations of these five permit stations are listed below.

Big Basin Marshes:

#1 – South off Mohawk Road on the driveway going to the Area Headquarters / Office

#2 – Pools 1 and 14 parking lot, at the east end of Limestone Road off 8th Avenue

Chain of Lakes Marshes:

#3 – Just south of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Frontier Road, on the west side of the unit

Little Sinkhole Marshes:

#4 – 10th Avenue, between Arapaho and Buckskin roads, at the sunflower field

#5 – Just north of the intersection of 9th Avenue and Arrowhead Road

 

Please plan ahead and register for i-Sportsman prior to hunting McPherson Valley Wetlands, or plan on obtaining a daily hunt permit at one of the five functional permit stations listed above.   

 

ALSO, BE AWARE THAT HALF OF THE PARKING LOT AT POOLS 8 – 12, IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE LITTLE SINKHOLE MARSHES, IS UNDER WATER.  PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE OR PARK VEHICLES IN THE WATER.  THANKS!

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.