Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area

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Cedar Bluff State Park

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area varies in size with the fluctuating reservoir. The Smoky Hill River which originates in Eastern Colorado intermittently flows into the reservoir. At full pool the Reservoir is 6,800 surface acre and the surrounding Wildlife Area lands encompassing approximately 7,000 acres. The reservoir is currently only 3,500 surface acres and the surrounding Wildlife Area is 10,300 acres. The area lies in the mixed grass prairie and chalk bluff region. Cedar Bluff derives it's name from a 1/2 mile of 100 foot chalk bluffs located on the SW portion of the property that is scenic attraction to visit.

Watchable Wildlife

You can see and photograph a diversity of wildlife species. In winter, bald and golden eagles visit. Deer, turkey, and pheasant roam freely. Waterfowl stop on their migrations, and a small Canada goose flock make the area home. The bluff overlook is a scenic stop to visit.

Hunting

Public hunting areas are limited in Kansas, so demand is high. Management continually seeks to enhance hunting quality.

  • Big Game: In the past archery and firearm hunters have recorded one of the highest public land success rates. Most deer are whitetails with a few mule deer on the area.
  • Turkey Hunting: Turkey populations have improved in the last 10 years due to conservation, habitat improvement and relocation efforts. Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area is located in the Unit 4 turkey managment unit. There are limited draw spring turkey permits and no fall turkey hunting in Unit 4. Youth turkey permits are statewide.
  • Upland Game: Pheasant populations fluctuate with the most hunting pressure during the season opener. Diverse habitats with grass, crops, weeds produce the best results. Quail numbers are good and populations vary with weather and habitat nesting conditions.
  • Migratory Birds: Doves are plentiful until cold weather moves in. Geese and ducks use the area during migration, numbers vary with habitat conditions. Most goose hunting occurs when the geese leave the area to feed.
  • Special Hunts: Special waterfowl hunts and various youth hunts are available by application. Contact the area office for more information.
  • Youth / Mentor Hunting Areas: Youth Mentor hunting areas are provided in strategic locations. The youth / mentor area East of the dam is shotgun / archery and provides good opportunites for geese, deer and pheasant. West of the State Park is open for all youth / mentor hunting and all equipment can be used in all seasons. At least 1 youth 17 and under is required per each adult mentor. Mentors may hunt. Every kid is waiting to be invited outdoors, just ask them!

Refuges

From Sept. 1 thru Jan. 31, 500 acres of land and from Nov. 1 thru Jan. 31, 200 acres water are closed to all access except by special hunt permit only. A 320 acre refuge directly below the dam is in effect year-round.

Fishing

Resurgence of the lake since 1993 has created a fish explosion that will provide unprecedented angling opportunities for the next several years. Black bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish have benefitted the most from the water level rises. Walleye, white bass, and wiper fishing will improve as the forage conditions stabilize in response to water quality improvement.

Length Limits
Walleye - 18 inch minimum
Black bass - 15 inch minimum

Catch and Release: Voluntary catch and release extends fish resources which are becoming more limited. Reduced harvest of small fish allows more fish to reach a larger, more desirable size. Releasing larger fish increases their recreational use and keeps them in the water to help control undesirable fish by predation. A fish released properly is an investment in future fishing opportunities.

Other Opportunities

  • Boating: Currently there are 3 usable boat ramps located on the reservoir. A “no wake” policy is enforced near boat ramps.
  • Camping: Campers are encouraged to use the State Park where modern and primitive camping sites and rental cabins are available the year round. Camping on the Wildlife Area is primitive and limited to six designated areas. These areas have no fees for camping, so all we ask is to leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Cedar Bluff Google Earth Map (kmz file)

Phone:
Address:
32001 HWY 147
Ellis,KS    67637
County/Counties:
Wildlife Area News - Updated: 08/25/2014

Wildlife Area News

  • Youth Hunting Opportunities Increase at Cedar Bluff 

2014 Cedar Bluff Dove Fields

For the 2014 Mourning Dove season there will be two managed dove fields available on the Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area. 

The Page Creek field is a mowed proso millet field that is open to all hunters.  This is a traditional dove field located at the south end of Page Creek on the south side of AA Road.  Dove use is moderate with currently about 100 doves using the field.

The second field in a safflower field that is open to youth mentor hunting.  This is a third year dove field that is located East of Hwy 147 adjacent to the park entrance.  Due to replanting seed production on this field is about 1 week behind schedule and will be manipulated this between Aug 25 and Aug 30.  There is currently very little dove use on this field at this time.

Besides the managed dove fields there is an additional 10,000 acre open to public hunting.  Doves can also be found on the Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area near roosts, mid day loafing areas and water sites.  For more infomation contact Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area Manager Kent Hensley.

 

 

Youth Hunting Opportunities at Cedar Bluff

The Kansas Dept of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism began implementing strategies in September 2011 to increase the amount of youth hunting opportunities on the Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area. Approximately 1000 acres that was previously refuge area are now be managed as a Youth / Mentor hunting area. Opening these areas to hunting provides quality youth and mentor hunting opportunities for whitetail deer, uplands birds and waterfowl. Only walk in access will be allowed and vehicles should utilize approved parking areas.

Youth hunters 17 years of age and younger will be eligible to hunt in these areas but must be accompanied by a licensed mentor 18 years of age of older. The mentor may hunt and only one mentor is allowed per hunting youth. Mentors may take more than one youth.

 All areas will be posted with appropriate signage. Nearly 800 acres in the North Cove 1 / Threshing Machine area will be open to youth / mentor hunting for any species and 200 acres east of the dam will be open to shotgun and archery hunting only. 500 acres of land and 250 acres of water in the southern portion will remain refuge and Closed to All Activities.

For additional information contact Wildlife Area Manager Kent Hensley - (785) 726-3212 or kent.hensley@ksoutdoors.com

General Information

Phone:
Address:
32001 HWY 147
 
Ellis, KS    67637
County/Counties:

Helpful Information

Area Manager: Kent Hensley
Phone: (785) 726-3212 


Special Regulations
  • Special Deer and Waterfowl Hunts are available by drawing through the Headquarters in Pratt.
  • Off Road Driving or ATV use is NOT allowed.
  • Camping is only allowed in designated sites.
  • Land Refuge Areas are Closed Sept. 1 thru Jan. 31.
  • Water Refuge is Closed Nov.1 thru Jan. 31.
  • Other designated Refuge Areas are Closed Year Round.
  • Youth / Mentor Hunting Areas are available.
  • Contact the Cedar Bluff Area Office for more information.

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

History

The Cedar Bluff Property is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for outdoor recreation. The construction of the Cedar Bluff Dam began in 1949 and was completed in 1952 The reservoir initially filled in the same year the dam was completed. The reservoir has been in constant fluctuation since it initially filled and was at an all time low of 998 surface acres in 1992. The reservoir refilled in 1998 and has declined since. The wildlife area is well known for exceptional deer hunting and premier waterfowl hunting. Upland birds fluctuates with weather conditions but pheasant and quail hunting is generally good.

Cedar Bluff Facilities
Scenic Bluff Overlook
  • Type of Cabin: Viewing
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 31.81 W99 48 34.68
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>1/2 mile of 100 ft. chalk bluffs. A scenic place to visit.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    1/2 mile of 100 ft. chalk bluffs. A scenic place to visit.


Parking
  • Type of Cabin: Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 19.62 W99 50 16.51
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Parking located at the entrance to the Switchgrass Area</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Parking located at the entrance to the Switchgrass Area


Mossyhorn Camping Area
  • Type of Cabin: Camping Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 20.95 W99 52 31.73
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites


Riverview Camping Area
  • Type of Cabin: Camping Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 01.63 W99 53 15.21
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites


Cove Three Boat Ramp
  • Type of Cabin: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 35.58 W99 47 56.48
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Usable from elevation 2144 to 2130.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Usable from elevation 2144 to 2130.


Area Office
  • Type of Cabin: Office
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 48 43.00 W99 43 58.50
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>The Area Office is a full service office that provides information permits and licenses. Park, Fisheries and Public Land Divisions staff are included in the Cedar Bluff Area Office.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    The Area Office is a full service office that provides information permits and licenses. Park, Fisheries and Public Land Divisions staff are included in the Cedar Bluff Area Office.


Stilling Basin
  • Type of Cabin: Fishing Pond
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 48.91 W99 43 06.68
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Stilling Basin is located at the South end of the dam on the East Side. Trout are annually stocked Mid October and intermittently through the winter.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Stilling Basin is located at the South end of the dam on the East Side. Trout are annually stocked Mid October and intermittently through the winter.


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Cedar Bluff Waterfowl Report

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area

Current Weather

Waterfowl numbers

Very Few Light Geese.  Survey will be updated if numbers change. 

Mallard Migration Rank: 7  (1=worst 10=best)

Water level Reservoir is 23 ft. low.  Boat Ramps are open.
Hunting conditions Fair. 
Expected hunting success Fair. 
Comments
Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area is in the Low Plains Early Zone

Land Refuge Closed Sept. 1 thru Jan. 31.

Water Refuge Closed Nov.1 Thru Jan. 31.

Land in the North Shore State Park is Closed to Hunting all year.

Youth/Mentor Hunting Areas are available. Check website or contact the Area Office for changes.

Contact Area Manager Kent Hensley at the Cedar Bluff Area Office for additional information 785-726-3212 or Email