Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife 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.
Hot summer weather is here. Duck numbers are estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000, mostly blue-winged teal, shoveler and mallard. Avocets are making good use of the shallow water in the south corner of Pool 4A. A number of egrets and herons are there as well. The fall shorebird movement south has begun. We are seeing a variety of peeps using the mud flats in Pools 4A and 4B close to the main dike road. Good viewing opportunities can be found in several different locations along the pools edge.
The rains we received in April through this week have brought us good amounts of supplemental water through the inlet system. This diverted water was placed into Pool 1 for storage. Pools 1A, 1B and 1C are full now. Pool 2 continues to receive water from Blood and Deception Creeks. The rains that provided us much needed water is also preventing us from doing any cattail of Phragmites control. We are continuing our efforts at pumping Pools 3 and 4 into Pool 1 in an effort to at least allow us to work in the perimeter portions of the pool, but we have met with limited success due to the rains. The forecast for the next week is for temperatures in the 100's and drier. We have finally been able to get out into portions of Pools 3 and 4. We have begun cattail spraying, mowing hunting holes in bulrush stands and millet planting. We are cautious working in the marsh that was recently wet, because if a machine gets stuck in the marsh, not only is that operator no longer doing habitat work, but at least one other is prevented from doing their work pulling them out.
Some people are wondering why we are no longer diverting water from the Arkansas River or Wet Walnut Creeks. As can be seen by the water level measurements, Pools 1A, 1B and 1C have been at or over capacity for some time. In addition, the recent rains of last week produced runoff that is still flowing into Pool 2, which is over full, and Pool 5. We are still hoping to try and do at least some cattail control work in Pools 3 and 4. This is the second wet spring/summer in a row that has prevented us from doing much vegetation control. Placing water in Pools 3 and 4 now will end any hope of mowing access trails or hunting holes in those pools. Not only would that action end cattail work this year, it would go a long ways to ensure we are unable to do it in 2017, given how long it takes for us to dry out a pool. Our plans are to try and keep Pool 3B dry through the winter. That is the pool we mowed last winter but were unable to burn or disk due to the wet, windy spring. If possible, we hope to try and re-open the 250 acres of cattail we mowed and burned last summer in the perimeter area of Pool 4. We would also like to mow trails and openings in Pools 3A and 4B before placing water in them for the fall. All of this depends on the weather. If we are unable to do any vegetation work this summer, we want it to be because the weather prevented it, not because of something we did.
Current water levels in the Pools are: 1A is about 67 ", 1B and 1C are about 47.5 inches, Pool 2 is about 20 inches; Pool 3A is estimated at 2.5 inches, 3B is dry except for trapped water, 4A and 4B are each about 1 inche and Pool 5 is around 16.5".
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.
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. They are closed Mondays from November 1 through March 31. The phone number is 620-566-1456.