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: 11/28/2016

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.


August 2016 News

The spring and summer of 2016 has been very busy and that will continue into the fall and winter.  In May the NAWCA portion of the project was sent out for bid solicitations by Duck Unlimited.  In July The Foley Company out of Kansas City was awarded the bid to build the pump station and a portion of the 3/4 of a mile pipeline that is needed to deliver the water to the marshes.  In August the KDWPT will bid out the Pittman Robertson portion of the first phase which will be the remainder of the pipeline that will deliver the water to each individual pool.  

Neosho WA staff have been working on habitat, undesirable tree removal and improving drainage along with coordinating local contractor Otoole Construction to build a levee in Pool 4, remove some undesirable trees and levees in Pool 2, remove old water control structures so the old system can be tied into the new system, building a large parking area and placing rip rap along portions of the refuge levees to help eliminate further erosion.

This work has been in need for many years and it is very nice to finally see some results on the ground after working on this for 9 years.  However,   this winter will be a tough one for area duck hunters.  The work that is to take place this fall and winter is very weather dependent so we are going to need the help of mother nature and hope that the river system will stabilize.  Due to the process of the construction and the need to remove old infrastructure area staff will not be able to pump water until the new system is built and the two systems can be built together as one new functioning system.  As of right now there will be no water pumped or captured on the main area for the 2016-2017 waterfowl season.  Area staff will still attempt to put water into pool 5 and will put boards in the satellite pools such as pools 7 and 8.  The South Unit will be pumped as long as compliance of the water right is maintained.  

Please keep in mind that Neosho Wildlife area is 57 years old and has had no improvements of this magnitude.  Thank you in advance for your patients while the improvements are made and the area is updated ensuring another 50 years of quality waterfowling.

PROGRESS As of Nov 28th, 2016

Area staff and contractors are making some serious headway on this renovation project.  The work that has been by local contractor O'toole Construction includes removal of the divider dike that separated the North and South pool of 4.  A new Levee was constructed and two new water control structures will be in place after the week of the 28th of November.  The western most dike in pool 2 and the two spurs that came off of it were removed along with the old willow growth that kept the ditches from drying out.  Ten water control structures were removed in preparation for the new pipeline to go in.  The dirtwork for a 39 stall boat parking area has been completed with the ramps to be completed this spring.  With all of this work being done O'toole was able to level the North and West side of Pool 4 which will make it more manageable and also provide better foraging depths for migrating waterfowl.  

The Foley Company out of the Kansas City area was awarded the bid on the Pump station and mobilized the week of the 21st of November to begin work at the river.  Matador construction out of Ottawa was awarded the bid for the pipeline portion of the project and is anticipating being on the area to begin work the first week of December.  

This is a very exciting time with all of the improvements being made.  I will keep this site updated as work progresses and once again thanks for your patients while this much needed work is being completed!!        


The South Unit Pump Project has been completed.

Area staff has also began 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 2016

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350   230 70 10 40  
2 250   60 100 80 10  
4 175   50   125 0 0
5 85   85       0
6 15   0 0 0 15 0
7 7 7   0   0 0
8 33   33 0   0 0
South Unit 100   35 10 15 40  
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 - 01/31/2017
Waterfowl numbers All hunters are required to utilize isportsman.  25,000 ducks.  Mostly Mallards with some divers mixed in.  500 White Fronts and 1800 Canada's utilizing Refuge.  We also have a large number of Swans in the area so please make sure to identify your target.
Mallard Migration Rank


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

Water level

Poor.  There will be a little water available in Pool 2 (15 Acres) for regular waterfowl season. South Unit is full and is open to all day hunting.  Middle pool 5 is full. Upper 5 was drained again and will try to fix problem with water control structure.  Lower 5 is full.  Pool 8 is 3/4 full, please remember this is a Youth Mentor Marsh, which means that it is open for youth and mentor on weekends and holidays, during the week anyone is welcome to hunt.  For more information on the water level conditions for upcoming season please see the area news by clicking link below and clicking on the "NEWS" icon.    

Hunting conditions Poor.  Due to lack of water, there will be no boat ramps available to launch a boat this year.  If you can load and unload your boat by hand you are welcome to use it, however boats that will need to back a trailer into the water to launch WILL NOT be allowed or tolerated.     
Expected hunting success

Fair.  Please remember it is mandatory to utilize the isportsman check in-out online permit system when hunting the area.

Preliminary Season Totals....1391 hunters, harvested 1773 ducks for a 1.3 BPH average.  With the conditions That hunters had to deal with this was not a bad season and exceeded my expectations.  Thanks again for your patients during this period while renovation work is being completed.

SE Zone Regular Duck Season November 12 - January 1 and January 7 - 29 

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

Neosho WA is utilizing 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.

For additional area news please visit the area website at: