Neosho Wildlife Area News
Neosho Wildlife Area
NEOSHO WILDLIFE AREA – “ENSURING THE NEXT 50 YEARS”
KANSAS DEPT. OF WILDLIFE & PARKS AND DUCKS UNLIMITED
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.
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 August 22, 2017
Area staff and contractors are making some serious headway on this renovation project. The work that has been accomplished 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 were set. 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 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 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. The water delivery phase of the project was completed in April of 2017. The pump and pipeline has been tested and everything seems to be working as planned. Hucke Construction out of Oswego, KS completed the dirtwork, rock, fence, gates and parking curbs for a 36 stall boat parking area with an additional 18 stall overflow parking area. The 2 new boat ramps have been poured and are complete as well.
New brochure maps are in and will be available at the checkstation and Parking area KIOSKs so please feel free to grab one and make yourself familiar with these.
A couple of the new regulations will be parking in designated parking areas ONLY and boats must operate at no wake speeds in the boating canals. Also Pools 4A and 4B are open to NON-MOTORIZED boats only (Note: An electric trolling motor is a motor and will not be allowed). Staff has posted pictures showing new levee arrangements, parking areas, camping areas, boat ramps and boating canals. This is a very exciting time with all of the improvements being made. This site will be updated as work progresses and season nears and once again thanks for your patience while this much needed work is being completed!! The fall migration is well underway and we are very anxious to begin pumping and filling pools as soon as we can!!!
Spring and Summer 2018
Work to be completed in spring and summer of 2018 includes drainage work in pool 1, minor drainage work in pool 2A, placing of rip-rap along the face of the refuge levee, and renovation of all levees at the south unit. Renovation of the south unit levees will allow for more uniform flooding of the pools and potentially more hunt-able and manageable acres.
South Unit Renovation
Work on the South Unit continued in 2017 with more trees being cleared along levees.
Hunting Pool Habitat 2017
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As always, if you have questions please feel free to call the office at 620-449-2539. We are always happy to take your calls and please keep in mind that this is a field office, so if we do not answer please leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can.