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.

967 Mohawk Rd.
McPherson,KS    67460
Area News - Updated: 08/21/2015

Area News

2015 Dove Management

UPDATE 8/21/15

McPherson Valley Wetlands will have one, 62-acre sunflower field for dove hunting during the 2015 season.  The field is located one mile north of Arapaho Road on 10th Avenue, southeast of Inman, in the Little Sinkhole Unit.  The May planting of sunflowers was flooded out, but the June planting of sunflowers is looking good; however, the flowers will not be mature for the September 1st dove opener and they will not be mowed or harvested until after the season is open.  As a result, this field should provide better opportunities for dove hunting later in September. This field is open to ALL hunters, and non-toxic shot is required. All hunters are required to either obtain and complete a free daily hunt permit, available on the property, or use the i-Sportsman electronic hunt permit system.  Hunters are encouraged to use i-Sportsman instead of the paper hunt permits as i-Sportsman will be required of all hunters in 2016.  Please see the KDWPT website to complete the registration process for i-Sportsman.

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


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
967 Mohawk Rd.
McPherson, KS    67460

McPherson Wetlands WA (PDF 409.01 kB)

Manager: Jason K. Black; (620) 241-7669;

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

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 register prior to hunting season.

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.


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 - 08/21/2015
Waterfowl numbers Approximately 300 blue-winged teal and 50 mallards observed on the area 19 August 2015.
Mallard Migration Rank

Current rank:1

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

Water level Fair to good.  Recent rains have helped replenish some of the water lost during the hot summer months.
Hunting conditions Moist soil vegetation is good to exceptional across the area.  Smartweed and barnyard grass production has been exceptional this year.  Another good run-off rain would improve conditions.
Expected hunting success Good. 



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 to register prior to hunting season.

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



We are currently producing a McPherson Valley Wetlands electronic newsletter that will be distributed bi-annually. The newsletter will highlight season results, upcoming projects, forecasted fall flights, and other information that hunters / users should be aware of if they plan to visit the area. If you are interested in recieving this newsletter please Click here.



For refuge locations, please see the link McPherson Wetlands brochure and map on the McPherson Wetlands web page for these changes or contact the area office for more information at (620)-241-7669.

All shotgun hunters at McPherson 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 muddy and slick. Please use caution and good judgement before entering these roadways. IF ROADS ARE WET, PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL ON THEM! It is very difficult and very expensive to get wrecker assistance once stuck.