Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area

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photo aerial view of the Marais des Cygnes
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Marais des Cygnes Waterfowl Report

Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area (7,654 ac) lies in the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River and is unique for its quantity of managed wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest. The array of wetland units are managed for a diversity of habitat types, producing abundant food and cover for migratory waterfowl and other wetland species. In general, wetlands are dewatered in the spring and reflooded in the fall with water pumped from the river.

Bottomland hardwood forests are dominated by oak and hickory and are excellent habitat for wild turkey, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and, during wet seasons, waterfowl that use forested wetlands. In addition to wetlands and bottomland forest, the area features upland forest, upland and wet-meadow prairie, restored native grasslands, and cropland.

Waterfowl and wetland management, and hunting recreation are primary objectives for this area.  Marais des Cygnes is best known for waterfowl hunting, but also provides quality white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and squirrel hunting.  Archery deer hunting is very good and can be very productive.  All hunters, regardless of species pursued, are required to check-in before hunting and check-out after the hunt (regardless of success).  Go to:  iSportsman for registration and check-in.

Although the primary focus of the area is wetland and waterfowl management, angling for catfish in the Marais des Cygnes River and tributary streams can be excellent. In addition, fishing is allowed in marsh units from April 15 through September 15. Fish salvages are allowed by posted notice when marsh units are dewatered for wetland management.

Birding and wildlife watching are popular activities. Birding is particularly spectacular during spring migrations (April through mid-June). Pecan picking and mushroom hunting are also seasonally popular.

Users of the Wildlife Area may also be interested in the adjacent Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Click link to NWR Home Page for more information.

For a full-color map of both the state Wildlife Area and federal National Wildlife Refuge click Map link.

To receive the Marais des Cygnes News click the newsletter link.

Phone:
Address:
16382 Vail Rd
Pleasanton,KS    66075
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 11/04/2015

Area News

Wetland habitat for fall 2015 is rated fair to excellent.

Unit A-East:  Japanese millet was aerially seeded with excellent results.  In addition to Japanese millet, there was good production of wild millet in this unit.

Unit A-North:  Buckwheat was planted and produced abundant seed.  While buckwheat can produce excellent waterfowl food, hunting can be a challenge due to lack of concealing cover.

C and F Units:  These units were managed for moist-soil plant production and results have been generally good with diverse plant composition and good food production.

Unit E:  This unit cannot be supplied with pumped water.  This unit will have little water unless we get significant runoff rains.

Unit F-West:  Trees (pin oaks and pecans) have been planted on about 9 acres on the west side of this unit.  These trees will provide flooded timber hunting when mature.  The area between rows of trees will continue to be managed for moist-soil plant production as trees mature.

Unit G:  Wild millet is the dominant vegetation in Unit G.  Insect infestation has dramatically impacted production in this unit--millet is producing fair quantities of seed, but is very short and hunters will find it difficult to hide.  Cocklebur dominates higher elevations.

Refuge Units:  Unit C-North had fair to good food production.  Food production was only fair in the Unit B refuge units.

Cocklebur:  Late season drought dramatically increased the abundance and vigor of cocklebur at Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area—most notably in Units A-East, C-North, and G. Food production was often complete before cocklebur developed so in some instances habitat is still good for waterfowl, but hunters will find the burrs to be an annoyance.

Corn: wet spring conditions and flooding prevented planting of corn in wetland units.  Flooded corn will be unavailable in fall, 2015.

To return to the waterfowl report click:  waterfowl report.

River boat ramp:  The Marais des Cygnes River boat ramp located just north of E 1700 Rd is closed due to excessive silt accumulation.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
16382 Vail Rd
 
Pleasanton, KS    66075
County/Counties:

 Manager: Karl Karrow:
 Phone: (913) 352-8941
 

6 mi N of Pleasanton on US Hwy 69


Special Regulations

All hunters, regardless of species, are required to check-in before hunting and check-out after the hunt (regardless of success).  Go to:  iSportsman

Trees stands may not be placed more than 14 days prior to the season and must be removed within 14 days of the end of season.  Portable blinds may not be left unattended overnight.  Only two blinds or stands are allowed per hunter.  Blinds and stand must be clearly marked with owners name and address or KDWPT number.

No person shall place, deposit, expose, or scatter bait for hunting.

Closed areas (refuge) are closed to all activities year-round.

Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

Target shooting is prohibited.

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

History

Most of the wildlife area was purchased in 1953-55, with additions through 2008. The area currently encompasses over 7,650 acres.

Marais des Cygnes Facilities
Unit C-South Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 13.576 W94 41.657
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow Water Access for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited.

WA Headquarters
  • Type of Facility: Information Center
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.790 W94 40.788
  • Click for more information

    Information kiosk with brochures, regulations, etc.


Unit G campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 17.116 W94 44.032
  • Click for more information

    Closed Sept. 15 through April 15


Unit A campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.256 W94 42.161

Unit A campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 14.844 W94 41.608

Unit G West Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 17.051 W94 44.981
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow water access for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors allowed.

Unit G South Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 16.818 W94 44.027
  • Click for more information
    • Access to waterfowl hunting and fishing. 
    • Outboard motors allowed.

Unit F Boat Ramps
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 13.640 W94 41.970
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow water access to Units F-East and F-South for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited.

Unit A Boat Ramps
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.149 W94 42.173
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow Water Access to Units A-East and A-North for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors allowed in A-East boat lane. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited in A-North.

Marais des Cygnes Waterfowl Report - 01/28/2016
Waterfowl numbers Few ducks, but numbers changing with ice conditions.  A couple thousand geese.
Mallard migration rank

MMR = 2.

0 = No Mallards, 1 = Very Few Mallards, 5 = Moderate Numbers, 10 = Peak

Water levels Hunting units have good to excellent water.
Hunting/ Habitat conditions Good.  For more habitat info go to MDCWA and click on the "News" icon. Marshes are still >98% frozen this morning.  Ice at the Unit F boat ramp is still 1" thick and fairly solid at 8:00 a.m.  Ice is generally getting thinner and weaker each day.  With predicted temperatures and sunny days, we should see some open water this afternoon and considerable open water (possibly ice-free) by the weekend.
Hunting success Mon - Mon (Jan. 18-25):  13 ducks / 31 hunters = 0.4 success.  Season:  4,498 ducks / 3,323 hunters = 1.4 success.  Season goose: 56.
Comments

All hunters must check in daily using iSportsman electronic check-in from a PC, smartphone, or by phone before hunting and check out at the end of the hunt regardless of harvest.  Please remember to fill out the check-out report with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.  Go to:

https://kdwpt.isportsman.net

Outboard motors are restricted on this wildlife area and are allowed in Unit G and in the boat lane only in Unit A-East. Outboards are not allowed in any other wetland units. Electric trolling motors are unrestricted. Boats must be operated at wakeless speed.  Boats must have sufficient PFDs for occupants.

Go to MDCWA and click the "News" icon near the top for more information on waterfowl habitat.  Waterfowl report is updated only if there are significant changes in waterfowl numbers or hunting conditions.