Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area

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Marais des Cygnes Waterfowl Report

Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area (7,654 ac) lies in the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River and is unique for its quantity of managed wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest. The array of wetland units are managed for a diversity of habitat types, producing abundant food and cover for migratory waterfowl and other wetland species. In general, wetlands are dewatered in the spring and reflooded in the fall with water pumped from the river.

Bottomland hardwood forests are dominated by oak and hickory and are excellent habitat for wild turkey, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and, during wet seasons, waterfowl that use forested wetlands. In addition to wetlands and bottomland forest, the area features upland forest, upland and wet-meadow prairie, restored native grasslands, and cropland.

Waterfowl and wetland management, and hunting recreation are primary objectives for this area.  Marais des Cygnes is best known for waterfowl hunting, but also provides quality white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and squirrel hunting.  Archery deer hunting is very good and can be very productive.  All hunters, regardless of species pursued, are required to check-in before hunting and check-out after the hunt (regardless of success).  Go to:  iSportsman for registration and check-in.

Although the primary focus of the area is wetland and waterfowl management, angling for catfish in the Marais des Cygnes River and tributary streams can be excellent. In addition, fishing is allowed in marsh units from April 15 through September 15. Fish salvages are allowed by posted notice when marsh units are dewatered for wetland management.

Birding and wildlife watching are popular activities. Birding is particularly spectacular during spring migrations (April through mid-June). Pecan picking and mushroom hunting are also seasonally popular.

Users of the Wildlife Area may also be interested in the adjacent Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Click link to NWR Home Page for more information.

For a full-color map of both the state Wildlife Area and federal National Wildlife Refuge click Map link.

To receive the Marais des Cygnes News click the newsletter link.

Phone:
Address:
16382 Vail Rd
Pleasanton,KS    66075
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 10/04/2017

Area News

Wetland habitat for fall 2017 is rated fair to excellent.  In general, wetland management was hampered by wet conditions and flooding, but overall habitat conditions are considered to be good or better.

Unit A-East:  Japanese millet was planted in early July and developed a good stand.  Fall army worms devastated the millet.  August flooding mostly eliminated army worms and millet made a remarkable recovery.  Unit is rated as very good.

Unit A-North:  Very good habitat dominated by wild millet and moist-soil plants.  Ongoing habitat management on higher elevations.

Unit C-South:  Fair moist-soil plant production. Some cocklebur.  Wheat planted on higher elevations in the southeast part of the unit.

Unit E:  Unit has abundant water.  Habitat is fair.

Unit F-East:  Diverse moist-soil plant production—rated good.  Wheat planted on higher elevations on south and north sides of the unit.

Unit F-South:  Very good habitat dominated by wild millet and moist-soil plants.

Unit F-West:  Very good habitat dominated by wild millet and moist-soil plants.

Unit G:  Repeated flooding precluded moist-soil vegetation establishment.  Unit has been held full since flooding in late August to suppress undesired plants and set the stage for moist-soil production in 2018 and future years.  Good opportunity for “open water” hunting.

Refuge Units:  Unit B-North has very good food—mostly rice cutgrass.  Unit B-South has good production in lower and mid-elevations, but higher elevations are weak.  Japanese millet was planted over much of Unit C-North with good production.

Corn:  Wet spring conditions prevented planting of corn in any of the wetland units.

To return to the waterfowl report click:  waterfowl report.

River boat ramp:  The Marais des Cygnes River boat ramp located just north of E 1700 Rd is closed due to excessive silt accumulation.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
16382 Vail Rd
 
Pleasanton, KS    66075
County/Counties:

 Manager: Karl Karrow:
 Phone: (913) 352-8941
 

6 mi N of Pleasanton on US Hwy 69


Special Regulations

All hunters, regardless of species, are required to check-in before hunting and check-out after the hunt (regardless of success).  Go to:  iSportsman

Trees stands may not be placed more than 14 days prior to the season and must be removed within 14 days of the end of season.  Portable blinds may not be left unattended overnight.  Only two blinds or stands are allowed per hunter.  Blinds and stand must be clearly marked with owners name and address or KDWPT number.

No person shall place, deposit, expose, or scatter bait for hunting.

Closed areas (refuge) are closed to all activities year-round.

Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

Target shooting is prohibited.

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

History

Most of the wildlife area was purchased in 1953-55, with additions through 2008. The area currently encompasses over 7,650 acres.

Marais des Cygnes Facilities
Unit C-South Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 13.576 W94 41.657
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow Water Access for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited.

WA Headquarters
  • Type of Facility: Information Center
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.790 W94 40.788
  • Click for more information

    Information kiosk with brochures, regulations, etc.


Unit G campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 17.116 W94 44.032
  • Click for more information

    Closed Sept. 15 through April 15


Unit A campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.256 W94 42.161

Unit A campsite
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N38 14.844 W94 41.608

Unit G West Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 17.051 W94 44.981
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow water access for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors allowed.

Unit G South Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 16.818 W94 44.027
  • Click for more information
    • Access to waterfowl hunting and fishing. 
    • Outboard motors allowed.

Unit F Boat Ramps
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 13.640 W94 41.970
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow water access to Units F-East and F-South for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited.

Unit A Boat Ramps
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 15.149 W94 42.173
  • Click for more information
    • Shallow Water Access to Units A-East and A-North for waterfowl hunting. 
    • Outboard motors allowed in A-East boat lane. 
    • Outboard motors prohibited in A-North.

Marais des Cygnes Waterfowl Report - 11/17/2017
Waterfowl numbers 20,000 - 25,000 ducks--over half are mallards.
Mallard migration rank

MMR = 4.

0 = No Mallards, 1 = Very Few Mallards, 5 = Moderate Numbers, 10 = Peak

Water levels Water levels good nearly everywhere.
Hunting/ Habitat conditions Wetland vegetation is generally good with the exception of Unit G.  Unit G is being held full and will be lake-like for regular waterfowl season.
Hunting success Opening day:  403 ducks / 142 hunters = 2.8 hunter success.
Comments

All hunters must check-in daily using iSportsman electronic check-in from a PC, smartphone, or by phone before hunting and check out at the end of the hunt regardless of harvest.  We now have a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman and check station requirements. Please remember to fill out the check-out report with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.  Go to:

https://kdwpt.isportsman.net

Outboard motors are restricted on this wildlife area and are allowed in Unit G and in the boat lane only in Unit A-East. Outboards are not allowed in any other wetland units. Electric trolling motors are unrestricted. Boats must be operated at wakeless speed.  Boats must have sufficient PFDs for occupants.

Go to MDCWA and click the "News" icon near the top for more information on general waterfowl habitat.  Waterfowl report is updated only if there are significant changes in waterfowl numbers or hunting conditions.