McPherson Valley Wetlands Waterfowl Report -
Waterfowl numbers

ATTENTION:  i-Sportsman is back up and running, and all hunters are REQUIRED to use the new system!  Please check in, report your harvest, and check out using the mandatory electronic hunt permit system.  Thanks!

Friday, 15 December 2017:

**  The second split of the LPEZ duck season opens Saturday, 16 December and runs through Sunday, 31 December!

Waterfowl numbers increased considerably over the last week, and the ice cover has reduced to less than 5%.  A survey of the area on Friday resulted in an estimate of 3,900 ducks and 22,000 - 25,000 geese on the property, the majority of which are in the Big Basin refuge.  Goose numbers fluctuate throughout the day as the geese come and go from the refuge to feed.  The majority of the ducks are mallards.  The bulk of the geese are snows, but there are good numbers of Canadas and Whitefronts mixed in with the snows. 

The majority of the wetlands are still dry, and water levels continue to decline across the area.

See "Water Levels" below for more information. 

Remember that all activities in the refuge areas are prohibited.

Mallard Migration Rank

Current rank: 4

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

Water levels

Big Basin:  The only marshes with huntable water are Pools 4, 7, and 8.

Chain of Lakes:  This unit is 95% dry, with only a small slash of water on the far east side.  Be aware of the property boundary and stay off of the private land to the east.

Little Sinkhole Unit:  Although still limited, this unit has the most water by far, with about half of the wetlands holding at least some huntable water.

Hunting conditions The limited availability of water is going to cause crowded conditions, so please be safe and careful, and plan accordingly.  The dry conditions have allowed for extensive wetland management this summer, with efforts focused on the Big Basin.  Many acres of cattail, canary grass, and perennial smartweed have been removed through disking, mowing, and herbicide application, and over 100 acres of millet was planted in the disked areas.  Moist soil vegetation is good to exceptional across the area: annual smartweed, sprangletop, and barnyard grass production has really come on strong in the last month or so...  the waterfowl food is there, the area just needs some rain!!! 
Expected hunting success Poor to fair, but that could improve considerably with a much needed shot of rain.
Comments

ATTENTION:

MPWL has transitioned to a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register with i-Sportsman prior to hunting at MPWL.  Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report harvest similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.

Kansas hunters should be aware that iSportsman Electronic Daily Hunt Permits are required on 24 wildlife areas, including McPherson Valley Wetlands (check the 2017 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or kdwpt.isportsman.net for a list).

iSportsman replaces the old paper permits and allows hunters to conveniently check in and out using a telephone, smartphone or home computer. As with the old paper system, information gathered helps area managers tailor management practices specific to an area and hunter preference. The paper system was inconvenient for hunters and labor intensive for managers. 

**THERE IS A "NO TRASH POLICY" IN EFFECT AT MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS.  PLEASE CARRY OUT WHATEVER YOU CARRY IN, INCLUDING EMPTY HULLS AND OTHER TRASH.  PLEASE TRY TO LEAVE YOUR HUNTING SPOT AS CLEAN OR CLEANER THAN IT WAS WHEN YOU ARRIVED.  THANKS!!!

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

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.