Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

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Phone:
Address:
204 NE 60 Road
Great Bend,KS    67530
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 08/27/2015

Area News

KDWPT IS IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRONIC PERMIT SYSTEM BEGINNING WITH THE 2014-2015 HUNTING SEASON

HUNTERS NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT IN iSportsman BY GOING TO https://kdwpt.isportsman.net AND FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE DIRECTIONS:

1. Scroll down the left side of the page to the blue "register" button.

2. Provide hunter information.

ONCE REGISTERED, HUNTERS WILL BE ABLE TO CALL OR LOG ONTO THE SYSTEM SEPTEMBER 1 AND GET THEIR PERMIT FOR THE DOVE OPENER. THEY CAN ALSO VISIT THE CHEYENNE BOTTOMS WILDLIFE AREA PAGE ON iSPORTSMAN AT https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/Locations/Cheyenne_Bottoms.aspx

PAPER PERMITS WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE INFORMATION CENTERS, HOWEVER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE THE iSPORTSMAN ELECTRONIC PERMIT SYSTEM AS IT WILL BE REQUIRED IN 2015.

 

Summer heat has subsided this past week.  The forecast for the next week is for a continuation of moderate temperatures with some light rains in the evening hours.   We currently estimate between 10,000 and 20,000 total ducks on the Area, mostly blue-winged teal, mallard and shoveler, but a good variety of species is present.

This heat has taken a toll on the water levels of all the pools this summer.  The hot weather also allowed us to finally get into the perimeter areas of some pools to begin dealing with the cattail.  We mowed, burned and are disking openings in Pools 4A and 4B. We mowed similar openings in Pool 3A.  We also used the backhoe to crush openings from foot crossings out to open water in Pool 2.  We're not sure how the paths made by the backhoe will work, but we think it will make walk in hunting a bit easier.  

The past several weeks we struck a significant blow to the Phragmites problem.  This invasive plant has taken over marshes all across the U.S.  We first noticed it in 1996.  We have been fighting it ever since.  On the 13th and 14th of July we had a helicopter apply herbicides to all the patches of the plant they could find within the pools.  In addition, we have dried out enough now that we can use ground based equipment to spray the plants in the upland areas.  This is the second time in 6 years we have used a helicopter.  That tool is helping us to at least hold our own against this invasive plant.  In addition, we are using ground based sprayer rigs to attack the plant in areas we can drive to.  We have been in all the pools with ATV's and tractors and will continue that work for the rest of the summer, weather permitting

 Avocets, yellowlegs, and black necked stilts are in. Cattle, snowy and great egrets are present.  American bittern, black-crowned night heron and a bunch of black terns are all available for viewing.  We are beginning to see a few early migrating shorebirds on the Area as well.  The western grebes have been seen fairly often this past week.  A

The Ark River, Dry and Wet Walnuts quit running. All three of these streams are will likely remain dry unless we gat another good rain out west.  We're placed what supplemental water we did receive into Pool 1 to be used to re-flood some of the perimeter pools later this month.

Goose numbers are estimated to be less than 50. The majority are Canada geese. 

Current water levels in the Pools are: 1A, 1B and 1C are near 40 inches, Pool 2 is about 12 inches; Pool 3A is estimated at 4 inches, 3B is dry, 4A is about 3 inches, 4B is close to 1 inch, and Pool 5 is near 10 inches.  We began releasing water from Pool 1 and placing it into the perimeter pools in preparation for the fall hunting seasons this week.  Pool 3B will remain dry so we can begin work on the cattail in that pool.

Pool 3A will be managed as a primitive pool for the upcoming waterfowl season.  This will mean no motorized watercraft are permitted.

A viewing trailer has been placed on the Wildlife Area and is available for use.  It is currently placed in the southeast portion of the wildlife area overlooking the east end of Pool 5 near the observation tower.  Opportunity for viewing waterfowl as well as some wading birds and a few peeps is there.  To  sign in to use the trailer and obtain keys stop by the Kansas Wetland Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Chairs, basic bird ID guides and binoculars are available.  All is free of charge.
 

Viewing Trailer

Visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms. They have educational exhibits directed at describing the role wetlands play in the natural world with a focus on Cheyenne Bottoms. Find out the wide variety of wetlands found in Kansas, you may be surprised at the diversity in this grassland state. Their location is in the southeast portion of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area along Kansas Highway 156. Their hours are Monday through Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 1 to 5. The phone number is 620-566-1456.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
204 NE 60 Road
 
Great Bend, KS    67530
County/Counties:

Here are some helpful documents and articles for your trip Cheyenne Bottoms.

THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF KANSAS WILDLIFE, PARKS AND TOURISM, CHEYENNE BOTTOMS WILDLIFE AREA

24 hr current conditions Phone: 620-793-7730

Sunset

Area Office Phone: 620-793-3066

Area Wildlife Manager: Karl Grover

Isportsman Registration

View the live web cam of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area.

From Great Bend, KS:

  1. 5 miles North on US Highway 281.
  2. 2 miles East

From Hoisington, KS:

  1. 5 miles South on US Highway 281.
  2. 2 miles East

From Highway K-4:

  1. You can access Cheyenne Bottoms by turning South at Redwing and following the gravel road.

From Highway K-156

  1. You can also access Cheyenne Bottoms from K-156

Special Regulations
  • Vehicles are permitted only on established roads and parking areas. Driving off roads or on roads closed by sign or barrier is prohibited.
  • Camping is permitted only in the primitive campground located 1/2 mile west of the area office.
  • The use of watercraft is restricted to minimize disturbance to the wildlife and to ensure a more aesthetically pleasing experience for all visitors. Watercraft are not permitted in the refuge areas. During the waterfowl season, in-water propeller-driven boats and hand powered boats can be utilized in Pools 2, 3 and 4. Airboats are not allowed at any time. Outside the waterfowl season, only hand-powered boats are allowed. From April 15 to August 15, hand powered watercraft are not permitted between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. Life jacket laws will be enforced.
Pool 2

Pool 2

  • Littering is prohibited. Take all trash with you.
  • Boats, decoys, ammunition, binoculars and other supplies are not available at the area office.
  • The Mitigation Marsh, located in the southeast portion of the Wildlife Area, is managed as a youth hunting area. It is open to hunters less than 16 years old hunters accompanied by no more than two adults.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. The possession of lead shot in the field is prohibited.
  • No shooting is allowed on or from the dikes.
  • No holes or pits may be dug for any purpose. Portable blinds and temporary blinds made of native vegetation may be used but must be removed within 10 days after the close of the hunting season or after the last day of use.

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

History

The 19,857-acre Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is part of a 41,000-acre natural land sink just northeast of Great Bend.

During the 1940's and1950s, the State of Kansas acquired the land, and dikes were constructed to impound water in five pools. Canals and dams were built to divert water from the nearby Arkansas River and Wet Walnut Creek to supplement water provided by two intermittent streams, Blood and Deception creeks.

During the 1990s, extensive renovation sub-divided some of the pools. In addition, pump stations were built to allow for increased management flexibility and water level manipulation. This renovation effort also provided increased water conservation to better meet wildlife needs during dry periods. Manipulation of water levels in the pools is a major tool in managing the marsh for water birds. Each year, one or more of the pools is drained as deemed necessary. Often these areas are seeded to millet and/or wheat and undesirable vegetation is controlled by burning, mowing and disking while the pools are dry. The photo below shows the current plant that is posing a threat to Cheyenne Bottoms. Phragmites is a wetland plant that, if left unchecked, can take over a marsh. It has even out competed cattail at Cheyenne Bottoms.

Cheyenne Bottoms Facilities
Pool 2 parking lot (Witt Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 04.7 98 42 04.0
  • Click for more information
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Pool 2 parking lot and boat ramp (Brinkman Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 28 58.0 98 40 58.0
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Boat ramp, parking area for Pools 4A and 4B on main dike
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 49.5 98 37 39.5
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Observation Tower Information Sign
  • Type of Facility: Wildlife Observation
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 56.3 98 38 15.1
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Center parking lot on Goose Hunting Zones (Silo Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Office
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 05.0 98 39 52.0
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Parking lot east end of Goose Hunting Zones (Green Lake Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 05.0 98 38 45.5
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Parking lot for Mitigation Marsh near future Ed center
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 27.4 98 37 50.3
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Parking lot for north east corner of Mitigation marsh
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 45.7 98 37 06.2
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Parking lot for Pool 4B (Ridge Road Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 00.3 98 37 05.3
  • Click for more information
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Parking lot and boat ramps to Pools 4A and 4B (White Rock Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 17.9 98 36 33.1
  • Click for more information
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Pool 4A parking lot and boat ramp for Pool 4A (Deadman Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 50.1 98 35 49.4
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Pool 4A Parking lot and boat ramp to Pool 4A (Schrepel Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 28 47.3 98 35 42.2
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Parking lot, boat ramp on east side Pool 3B (Pike Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 29 51.0 98 36 04.3
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Boat ramp, parking area for Pool 4A
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 29 17.2 98 36 41.8
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Boat ramp, parking area to Pool 3B
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 28 42.2 98 38 11.0
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Vault toilet, parking area, boat ramp to Pool 3A (North Hub)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 28 43.1 98 38 17.3
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Parking lot and boat ramp on west side of Pool 3 (Redwing Lot)
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 30 02.0 98 39 06.2
  • Click for more information
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Parking lot and boat ramp to Pool 2 on main dike
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 28 14.3 98 40 25.5
  • Click for more information
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Parking lot and boat ramp to Pool 2 on main dike
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 34.3 98 4042.1
  • Click for more information
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Pool 2 parking lot (Coursing Club)
  • Type of Facility: Parking Lot
  • Location of Facility: 38 27 48.6 98 42 45.1
  • Click for more information
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Area office, vault toilet, parking lot, information sign
  • Type of Facility: Office
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: 38 26 57.5 98 44 13.9
  • Click for more information
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Cheyenne Bottoms Waterfowl Report - 08/27/2015
Waterfowl numbers 10,000 to 20,000 ducks on the Area.  Mostly blue-winged teal, shoveler and mallard.
Water level Pools 1A, 1B and 1C each are at 40 inches. Pool 2 is near 12 inches, Pools 3A is about 4 inches, 3B is dry, 4A is about 3 inches and 4B is near 1 inch and Pool 5 is about 10 inches. We are currently releasing stored water from Pool 1 into Pools 2, 3A, 4A and 4B. in preparation for the fall hunting seasons.
Hunting conditions Cattail have expanded in area.  Wet weather in spring and early summer prevented many management activities.  We have been able to mow openings in Pools 3A, 4A and 4B.  Pool 3B will likely remain dry through the winter to allow for cattail control work this winter and next spring.  Pool 3A will be managed as a primitive hunting pool and closed to motorized watercraft.
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Hunters are encouraged to use the electronic Daily Hunt Permit system being introduced this year.  This will eventually replace the paper permits.

 KDWPT IS IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRONIC PERMIT SYSTEM FOR THE 2014-2015 HUNTING SEASONS

HUNTERS NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT IN iSportsman BY GOING TO https://kdwpt.isportsman.net AND FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE DIRECTIONS:

1. Scroll down the left side of the page to the blue "register" button.

2. Provide hunter information.

ONCE REGISTERED, HUNTERS WILL BE ABLE TO CALL OR LOG ONTO THE SYSTEM SEPTEMBER 1 AND GET THEIR PERMIT FOR THE DOVE OPENER. THEY CAN ALSO VISIT THE CHEYENNE BOTTOMS WILDLIFE AREA PAGE ON iSPORTSMAN AT https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/Locations/Cheyenne_Bottoms.aspx

PAPER PERMITS WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE INFORMATION CENTERS, HOWEVER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE THE iSPORTSMAN ELECTRONIC CHECK-IN SYSTEM AS IT WILL BE USED EXCLUSEIVELY IN FOLLOWING YEARS.

Hunting

Hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms

Hunting pressure on the Bottoms can be heavy during waterfowl season, particularly on weekends. Hunters planning trips to the Bottoms should consider weekday hunts.

Prior to hunting any species on Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, all hunters are required to obtain and complete a Daily Hunt Permit. These permits can be found at all entrances to the wildlife area, at all parking lots and most boat ramps. Silver colored, iron dispensers are located at these points. Each permit is a two piece card. Before hunting, complete the top portion of the card and separate it from the lower portion and place it in the permit box. Carry the lower portion of the permit with you while hunting. Upon completion of your hunt, fill out the lower portion and place it in a permit box. Each hunter must complete one for each day hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms.

Pools 1, 5 and a portion of Pool 2 are refuge areas and closed to all activities. Exceptions to this occur for some special hunts. Check with wildlife area personnel for more information.

In addition to waterfowl, other game may be legally taken at Cheyenne Bottoms. Pheasant hunting is usually good. Snipe and rail hunting is good along the shallow marsh margins. Quail and deer are also present in fair numbers.

A handicapped accessible hunting/photo blind is available by reservation. Call the office for additional information and reservations.

In the event of whooping crane activity, the pool the birds are in is closed to all hunting and the goose hunting zones are closed to crane and light goose hunting.

Upland Bird Forecast

Cheyenne Bottoms Birds (PDF 250.07 kB)
Bird Watching

Bird Watching

canada goose

Single Canada Goose

Because Cheyenne Bottoms is such a diverse, large and unique marsh, birdwatching is one of the more popular activities on the area. The spring and fall migration periods offer the best opportunity to view large numbers of different species in this one location. In spring, waterfowl and sandhill cranes can begin arriving as early as February. Wading birds, such as herons and egrets, begin arriving in March and April. Most shorebirds arrive in late April and early May. By late May, the birds that are still present on the area will tend to remain and nest.

The southward migration in fall can be a rewarding and challenging time for the birdwatcher. Most of the birds moving through the area during this time of year have replaced their breeding plumage with a set of feathers that lack much of the color they had just a few months earlier. This can make identification difficult, especially when looking at shorebirds. The fall shorebird migration can begin as early as July and extend well into September and October. Because of this, the bird numbers are not as impressive as the spring movement since the birds do not achieve as great a number at any one time. The peak period for duck viewing in the fall occurs early to mid-October. Most wading birds remain on the area until the marsh freezes. This is especially true for the great blue heron. Whooping cranes are most apt to stop at Cheyenne Bottoms in late October into early November. Bald eagles winter on the area and are present from as early as November to as late as March. A checklist of birds found on the area and the seasons they are present is available at the area office and the information signs at the main entrances. You may also download this list from this web page.

If you go to Interesting Facts, here on the Cheyenne Bottoms web page, you will find the nedian dates of first observation of many different species of birds. These observations are a compilation of data collected at Cheyenne Bottoms over the past 30 years.

For a current idea of birds present on the Area, go to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News.

Cheyenne Bottoms Birds (PDF 250.07 kB)
Cheyenne Bottoms Mammals (PDF 194.16 kB)
Other Acitivities

Other Activities

Fishing at Cheyenne Bottoms is limited, for the most part, to carp and bullheads. Occasional catches of channel cat, crappie and bass are made after several continuous years of having water on the area.

Trapping is permitted on the wildlife area. A special permit is required. It is available at the area office free of charge. However, trapping is not permitted at any time in the refuge area nor during the waterfowl season.

Cheyenne Bottoms Mammals (PDF 194.16 kB)
Quarterly Newsletter

Click this link to view the current Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area Newsletter. Click this link to sign up to receive the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area Newsletter via email.

Interesting Facts

MIGRATION PHENOLOGY

Median first observation date of birds with at least 5 observations at Cheyenne Bottoms during 1976-2003

SPECIES FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV
Mallard 4- Feb
Common merganser 4- Feb
Hooded merganser 6- Feb
Belted kingfisher 7- Feb
Northern pintail 8- Feb
Common goldeneye 9- Feb
Greater white-fronted goose 10- Feb
Green-winged teal 15- Feb
Tundra swan 16- Feb
Sandhill crane 17- Feb
American wigeon 19- Feb
Redhead 20- Feb
Gadwall 21- Feb
American coot 22- Feb
Northern shoveler 23- Feb
Bufflehead 23- Feb
Snow goose 24- Feb
Lesser scaup 27- Feb
Canvasback 28- Feb
Ring-necked duck 28- Feb
Killdeer 28- Feb
Ruddy duck 3- Mar
Great blue heron 8- Mar
Cinnamon teal 8- Mar
Blue-winged teal 9- Mar
Pied-billed grebe 10- Mar
American white pelican 16- Mar
Wood duck 16- Mar
Greater yellowlegs 19- Mar
Baird's sandpiper 19- Mar
Long-billed dowitcher 20- Mar
Double-crested cormorant 21- Mar
Eastern phoebe 23- Mar
Lesser yellowlegs 25- Mar
Mourning dove 25- Mar
Common snipe 26- Mar
American avocet 1- Apr
Semipalmated sandpiper 4- Apr
Least sandpiper 4- Apr
Western sandpiper 6- Apr
Rough-winged swallow 6- Apr
Pectoral sandpiper 7- Apr
Eared grebe 7- Apr
American bittern 8- Apr
Turkey vulture 8- Apr
Black-crowned night-heron 9- Apr
Swainson's hawk 9- Apr
Yellow-headed blackbird 9- Apr
Great egret 10- Apr
Snowy egret 10- Apr
Snowy plover 10- Apr
Franklin's gull 11- Apr
Wilson's phalarope 12- Apr
Hudsonian godwit 12- Apr
Cattle egret 12- Apr
Black-necked stilt 12- Apr
Burrowing owl 12- Apr
Tree swallow 12- Apr
Long-billed curlew 13- Apr
White-faced ibis 13- Apr
Barn swallow 13- Apr
Marbled godwit 14- Apr
Forster's tern 14- Apr
Stilt sandpiper 15- Apr
Semipalmated plover 16- Apr
American golden-plover 16- Apr
Horned grebe 16- Apr
Little blue heron 16- Apr
Dunlin 17- Apr
Western grebe 17- Apr
Short-billed dowitcher 18- Apr
Osprey 18- Apr
Black-billed magpie 19- Apr
House wren 19- Apr
Willet 20- Apr
Whimbrel 21- Apr
Brown thrasher 21- Apr
Peregrine falcon 23- Apr
Common moorhen 23- Apr
Virginia rail 24- Apr
Sora 24- Apr
Cliff swallow 24- Apr
Piping plover 25- Apr
Spotted sandpiper 26- Apr
Upland sandpiper 26- Apr
Black-bellied plover 27- Apr
Western kingbird 27- Apr
Common yellowthroat 27- Apr
Eastern kingbird 28- Apr
Sanderling 29- Apr
Baltimore oriole 30- Apr
White-rumped sandpiper 1- May
Solitary sandpiper 1- May
Red knot 2- May
Buff-breasted sandpiper 3- May
Chimney swift 3- May
Green heron 4- May
Least bittern 6- May
Red-headed woodpecker 7- May
Gray catbird 7- May
Dickcissel 8- May
Ruddy turnstone 9- May
Red-necked phalarope 9- May
Mississippi kite 9- May
Black tern 12- May
Common nighthawk 12- May
Lesser yellowlegs 2- Jul
Semipalmated sandpiper 8- Jul
Marbled godwit 8- Jul
Western sandpiper 9- Jul
Greater yellowlegs 10- Jul
Long-billed dowitcher 10- Jul
Least sandpiper 10- Jul
Long-billed curlew 12- Jul
Stilt sandpiper 12- Jul
White-rumped sandpiper 12- Jul
Whimbrel 13- Jul
Willet 17- Jul
Baird's sandpiper 18- Jul
Short-billed dowitcher 21- Jul
Pectoral sandpiper 23- Jul
Solitary sandpiper 23- Jul
Semipalmated plover 27- Jul
Ruddy turnstone 27- Jul
Piping plover 31- Jul
Hudsonian godwit 1- Aug
Red knot 7- Aug
Sanderling 8- Aug
Black-bellied plover 18- Aug
Buff-breasted sandpiper 22- Aug
Common snipe 6- Sep
Dunlin 8- Sep
American golden-plover 14- Sep
Greater white-fronted goose 24- Sep
Sandhill crane 1- Oct
Whooping crane 22- Oct
Bald eagle 19- Nov