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, February 10, 2017:

The Low Plains Early Zone duck season ended on January 1st.  Preliminary results indicate that harvest was very similar to last season, with 1,655 hunters reporting a harvest of 2,379 ducks, for an average of 1.44 ducks per hunter.

Canada, white-front, and snow goose seasons close this Sunday, February 12th.

Other than a little skim ice the last couple of mornings, the marshes are now thawed and the spring goose migration is under way.  Geese have been moving through the area for the last week in good numbers.

During a survey of the property on Thursday, February 9th, approximately 30,000 geese were observed.  The majority of the geese are snows, but there are solid numbers of Canadas and specklebellies present also.  Goose numbers fluctuate constantly as the geese trade back and forth between the wildlife area and private ground. Warmer weather and south winds forecasted for this weekend may bring more geese in from the south as they make the journey back north.

Remember that the north refuge in the Big Basin became off limits on October 1st, and all activities in both the south and the north refuge areas are prohibited.

Mallard Migration Rank

Current rank: 2

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

Water levels The area has received abundant rains this summer, with several significant flood events.  There are a few marshes on the west side of the Big Basin that are not completely full, as attempts were made to de-water these pools to control vegetation. The remaining pools in the Big Basin are at, or near, capacity.  The Chain of Lakes marshes have lost a lot of water over the last few weeks, with only small pools remaining in some of the marshes.  The Little Sinkhole marshes are in good shape, with the majority at, or near, capacity. 
Hunting conditions Although the flooding caused it to mature late in the season, moist soil vegetation is good to exceptional across the area.  Pondweed, annual smartweed, sprangletop, and barnyard grass production has really come on strong in the last month or so.  Due to the extremely wet conditions, vegetation manipulation was impossible in most of the marshes, but efforts to open up holes in the emergent vegetation will continue as season progresses.
Expected hunting success Fair to good, depending on weather conditions.
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 the2016 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or kdwpt.isportsman.net for a list). The electronic permit system has been in place for two years, and after a few issues in the last two weeks is now fully functional, fast, and efficient. 

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.