Neosho Wildlife Area News

Area News

Neosho Wildlife Area

NEOSHO WILDLIFE AREA – “ENSURING THE NEXT 50 YEARS”

KANSAS DEPT. OF WILDLIFE & PARKS AND DUCKS UNLIMITED

Kansas outdoorsmen enjoyed their first season of waterfowl hunting at the Neosho Wildlife Area (WA) in 1961. Today the Neosho WA, managed by the KDWPT, anchors the premier SE Kansas waterfowling region which lies along the Neosho River. With the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Neosho WA approaching, it is beginning to show its age. Much of the area’s original infrastructure has exceeded its design life and badly needs replacing. Not only does this aging infrastructure require an increasing amount of annual maintenance and manpower to operate, it is also beginning to fail to provide the vital food resources waterfowl rely on in the region.

As this milestone anniversary approaches, the KDWP and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) have begun planning a major renovation of the area. This work will ensure that the citizens of Kansas are able to continue enjoying this historic place.

RENOVATION CONCEPT

The renovation project has two objectives. The first is to improve the amount and quality of habitat available annually for waterfowl and other wildlife species. The second objective is to decrease the annual operation and maintenance costs at the area.

PROJECT DETAILS

August 2016 News

The spring and summer of 2016 has been very busy and that will continue into the fall and winter.  In May the NAWCA portion of the project was sent out for bid solicitations by Duck Unlimited.  In July The Foley Company out of Kansas City was awarded the bid to build the pump station and a portion of the 3/4 of a mile pipeline that is needed to deliver the water to the marshes.  In August the KDWPT will bid out the Pittman Robertson portion of the first phase which will be the remainder of the pipeline that will deliver the water to each individual pool.  

Neosho WA staff have been working on habitat, undesirable tree removal and improving drainage along with coordinating local contractor Otoole Construction to build a levee in Pool 4, remove some undesirable trees and levees in Pool 2, remove old water control structures so the old system can be tied into the new system, building a large parking area and placing rip rap along portions of the refuge levees to help eliminate further erosion.

This work has been in need for many years and it is very nice to finally see some results on the ground after working on this for 9 years.  However,   this winter will be a tough one for area duck hunters.  The work that is to take place this fall and winter is very weather dependent so we are going to need the help of mother nature and hope that the river system will stabilize.  Due to the process of the construction and the need to remove old infrastructure area staff will not be able to pump water until the new system is built and the two systems can be built together as one new functioning system.  As of right now there will be no water pumped or captured on the main area for the 2016-2017 waterfowl season.  Area staff will still attempt to put water into pool 5 and will put boards in the satellite pools such as pools 7 and 8.  The South Unit will be pumped as long as compliance of the water right is maintained.  

Please keep in mind that Neosho Wildlife area is 57 years old and has had no improvements of this magnitude.  Thank you in advance for your patients while the improvements are made and the area is updated ensuring another 50 years of quality waterfowling.

PROGRESS As of August 22, 2017
Area staff and contractors are making some serious headway on this renovation project.  The work that has been accomplished by local contractor O'toole Construction includes removal of the divider dike that separated the North and South pool of 4.  A new Levee was constructed and two new water control structures were set.  With all of this work being done, O'toole was able to level the North and West side of Pool 4 which will make it more manageable and also provide better foraging depths for migrating waterfowl.  The western most dike in pool 2 and the two spurs that came off of it were removed along with the old willow growth that kept the ditches from drying out.  Ten water control structures were removed in preparation for the new pipeline to go in.  The Foley Company out of the Kansas City area was awarded the bid on the Pump station and mobilized the week of the 21st of November to begin work at the river.  Matador construction out of Ottawa was awarded the bid for the pipeline portion of the project and is anticipating being on the area to begin work the first week of December.  The water delivery phase of the project was completed in April of 2017.  The pump and pipeline has been tested and everything seems to be working as planned. Hucke Construction out of Oswego, KS completed the dirtwork, rock, fence, gates and parking curbs for a 36 stall boat parking area with an additional 18 stall overflow parking area.  The 2 new boat ramps have been poured and are complete as well.  The levee that will divide pool 2A from 2B is almost completed and the new aluminum Wisconsin Flowgate stop log structure will be installed the week of Sept 4th.  The boating canals for both Pool 2A and 2B still need minor touch up to ensure proper drainage.  Otoole Construction is currently  working on the levee that will divide pool 2B from the refuge.  They are currently about half complete with this levee and with any luck we can hold in this weather pattern so dirt can continue to be moved.  The old levee that divided the south end of Pool 2 from the refuge has been removed and will be reshaped as soon as things dry out or the 2B levee is completed.  The final phase on the main area has been bid out and was awarded to Thomas Construction out of Fort Scott, KS.  This phase will call for 4 water control structures and renovating the current emergency spillway in the refuge.  We are trying to stay optimistic for the upcoming waterfowl season and hope that the improvements are completed so some flooding can occur within pool 2B and the refuge. Areas that will be ready or are near completion for this fall as of right now are Pools 1, 2A, 4A, 4B, and South Unit.  We have our fingers crossed that we will get some dry weather so construction can continue to progress.   All contractors are working long hard hours trying to get theses projects completed.

I am in the process of getting new brochures made and ironing out the new regulations for the area.  A couple of the new regulations will be parking in designated parking areas ONLY and boats must operate at no wake speeds in the boating canals.  Staff will attempt to post pictures showing new levee arrangements, parking areas, camping areas, boat ramps and boating canals.  This is a very exciting time with all of the improvements being made.  I will keep this site updated as work progresses and once again thanks for your patience while this much needed work is being completed!!   

As always, if you have questions please feel free to call the office at 620-449-2539.  We are always happy to take your calls and please keep in mind that this is a field office, so if we do not answer please leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can.  
   

SOUTH UNIT RENOVATION

Work on the South Unit continued in 2017 with more trees being cleared along levees.  Renovation on the pools will be accomplished in the spring and summer of 2018. 

   

Hunting Pool Habitat 2017

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350 35 130 30 90 65  
2A 155 0 40 30 55 30  
2B 190 0 0 0 160 30  
4A 90 0 10 15 65 0  
4B 65 0 65 0 0 0  
5 85 0 20 0 30 20 10
6 15 0 0 0 0 15 0
7 7 0 7 0 0 0 0
8 33 33 0 0 0 0 0
South Unit 100 0 0 0 60 40 0