Neosho Wildlife Area

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Located on the broad, flat flood plain below the junction of Flat Rock Creek and the Neosho River, the wildlife area is a man-made marsh developed by the Department in 1960. The area covers 3,246 acres. The five largest pools on the area represent 1,675 acres of the 1,787 of intensively managed wetlands. There are sixteen independently managed wetlands throughout the area. The area was primarily designed, and is managed to furnish a resting and feeding place for migratory waterfowl.

Three of the sixteen pools are managed in a moist soil environment through a water level manipulation plan. Four green tree marshes ranging in size from five to fifteen acres offer a different type of hunting opportunity for the sportsman using the area. Area personnel plant an average of 400 acres of corn, milo, buckwheat or millet in the hunting pools. The grain is left in the field and inundated in the fall.

The 800-acre refuge pool is closed to all hunting, foot and vehicle traffic during the waterfowl season. The water level of this pool fluctuates naturally throughout the seasons and provides good aquatic habitat for waterfowl. Fishing is allowed from March 31 until August 31. Good fishing can be found at times in the Neosho River, Flat Rock Creek and Brogan Creek, existing in part on the wildlife area.

8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul,KS    66771
Area News - Updated: 09/29/2015

Area News

Neosho Wildlife Area



Kansas outdoorsmen enjoyed their first season of waterfowl hunting at the Neosho Wildlife Area (WA) in 1961. Today the Neosho WA, managed by the KDWPT, anchors the premier SE Kansas waterfowling region which lies along the Neosho River. With the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Neosho WA approaching, it is beginning to show its age. Much of the area’s original infrastructure has exceeded its design life and badly needs replacing. Not only does this aging infrastructure require an increasing amount of annual maintenance and manpower to operate, it is also beginning to fail to provide the vital food resources waterfowl rely on in the region.

As this milestone anniversary approaches, the KDWP and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) have begun planning a major renovation of the area. This work will ensure that the citizens of Kansas are able to continue enjoying this historic place.


The renovation project has two objectives. The first is to improve the amount and quality of habitat available annually for waterfowl and other wildlife species. The second objective is to decrease the annual operation and maintenance costs at the area.


Area staff is still diligently working on this project.  DU submitted the first NAWCA Grant for Neosho WA in February of 2013.  The grant unfortunately was denied and did not receive enough points to be funded.  DU resubmitted the grant in July of 2013, to once again be denied.  The score improved but several other projects also scored well and government funding was on the low side for that grant cycle.  In August of 2013 Neosho WA staff hosted a tour for the Upper Mississippi Joint Lake Board to showcase the area hoping to improve the chances of the grant being funded.  

April 2015 News

After applying for NAWCA twice with no success the Department decided to pursue alternative funding or grants to get the project completed.  In January of 2014 Neosho Area Manager, Monte Manbeck and Region 5 Public Land Supervisor, Jason Deal wrote a Pittman Robertson Grant and submitted to USFWS.  In January of 2015 both grants were accepted and approved.  The total dollar figures for this renovation project will probably exceed the 3 million range.  

Schwab Eaton Engineering is currently working on cost estimates, permitting and design plans for the future Neosho Wildlife Area.  Design of the main area is close to complete and permits have been sent to the appropriate parties to begin that process.  It is anticipated that dirt work will begin in the spring and summer of 2016.

There will be a public meeting in late October or early November to discuss area conditions, fall migration forecast and the renovation project timelines.  The location will be the function Junction which is where we have had our last couple of meetings.  For those of you that have not attended it is just North of the R&F Implement dealership on the 47 - 59 hwy junction.  I look forward to seeing everyone there and having some great discussion about the future of the area and waterfowling in SE Kansas.



The South Unit Pump Project has been a very challenging project to say the least.  After a several years of hard work, research and engineering we are finally nearing the end of the project.  The electrical tower to keep all equipment necessary to operate the pump up and out of the flood plain was set on September 28, 2015.  As of Spetember 29, 2015 we are working on getting rip rap placed on the river bank to stabilize the pump and the earthen material that was utilized to fill in the old pump ramp.  An electrical contractor will be here late this week or the first of next week to set the VFD into the control tower and get all electrical equipment hooked up and ready for pumping.  

Area staff has also begun restoration efforts at the south unit by removing some trees with a newly acquired skid steer that was obtained through the Pittman Robertson Grant.  This will be an ongoing effort on both the main area and the south unit until water is pumped this fall and will begin again next spring after dewatering.                        

If you have any questions about the status of the project or the area please feel free to contact the area office at 620-449-2539.  


Travis Ratliff was hired in May of 2015 as the Assistant Manager for the Neosho Unit (Neosho WA, Hollister WA, Neosho SFLand Bourbon SFL).  Travis is a Chanute native and has grown up hunting the Neosho WA.  He also worked 6 summers as a seasonal employee on the Neosho Unit while attending college at Pittsburg and Emporia State Universities.  If you see him out on the area or in the check station please help me in welcoming him back to the area.    


Hunting Pool Habitat 2015

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350            
2 250   0     0  
4 175   110 30 35 0 0
5 85           0
6 15   0 0 0   0
7 7     0   0 0
8 33   0 0   0 0
South Unit 100            
General Information
8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul, KS    66771

Neosho WA (PDF 223.53 kB)

Manager: Monte Manbeck

Assistant Manager:  Travis Ratliff

Phone: (620)-449-2539

From St. Paul travel east on Highway 47 2 miles to Wallace Rd.; turn south and travel approximately 1.25 miles. Office on west side of road

Special Regulations
  • Pool 8 is restricted to waterfowl hunters accompanied by a youth hunter, 16 years of age or less on weekends and holidays. The adults may hunt with the youth hunter.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.
  • All hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit utilizing the new isportman checkin prior to the hunt and checkout after the hunt is completed.

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


In 1959, the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission purchased the initial 2,975.5 acres. In 1988 an additional 270 acres were purchased through a fifty percent cost share agreement with Ducks Unlimited Inc. The area was first opened to waterfowl hunting in the fall of 1962.

Neosho Facilities
Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 38.475 W95 8 3.920
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    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 28 47.403 W95 7 47.013
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    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 1.196 W95 9 11.662
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    Primitive camping

Pool 8 Youth Hunting Pool
  • Type of Facility:
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 35.356 W95 7 31.186
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    Youth hunting pool (16 or younger) on weekends and holidays.

South Unit Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • Location of Facility: N37 25 15.265 W95 7 28.138
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    Daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Pool 4 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.430 W95 08.894
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 4 for waterfowl hunting.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.140 W95 07.480
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    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 28.797 W95 07.789
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    xmlns:xhtml='' ><paragraph>Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='' >

    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 2 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.567 W95 08.944
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 2 for waterfowl hunting

Pool 1 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 30.036 W95 09.434
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 1 for waterfowl hunting

Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 49.903 W95 8 33.935
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    Checkstation building and daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Neosho Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report - 09/22/2015
Waterfowl numbers 100 Teal observed using area 
Mallard Migration Rank


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

Water level There is very little huntable water for early Teal and we do not anticipate pumping any more water until October.  There is currently some water in the pool 1 ditch and in Pool 2 oxbow area.  Please keep in mind we are a long way from the regular duck season opener and food production is still the main focus at this time.              
Hunting conditions Fair      
Expected hunting success

Approx. 82 teal have been harvested during early Teal.

For the 2014-2015 Regular season 2732 hunters harvested 4422 ducks for a 1.6 BPH average.  Please remember the isportsman electronic check in and out system will be live starting this spring and no paper cards will be available.  Thanks so much for your cooperation and support in transitioning into this new system!!! 


Early Teal Season Spetember 12-27 

If the red check out sign is out at check station all hunters are required to stop.  Thanks

Neosho WA is transitioning to a new daily permit system called isportsman.  Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at Neosho WA.  Hunters will be able to login via PC, smartphone, or call in from cell phone or landline phone each day prior to hunitng to get a daily permit, and report back similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit to register prior to hunting season.


Waterfowl hunting in Pool 8 is restricted to youth hunters and their mentor on weekends and holidays.

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