Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News

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 returned this past week.  The forecast is for this hot weather to last into early next week.   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.  We are currently releasing stored water in Pool 1 into Pools 2, 3A, 4A and 4B in preparation for the fall waterfowl seasons.  Spreading this water out over such a large area is accelerating evaporative loss.

The hot weather in August 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 23 inches, Pool 2 is about 14 inches; Pool 3A is estimated at 7 inches, 3B is dry, 4A and 4B are about 10 inches, and Pool 5 is near 7 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.