Mined Land Wildlife Area Fishing Information
Nearby towns include Cherokee, Columbus, Oswego, Pittsburg, Scammon and West Mineral
Cherokee, Crawford, Neosho & Labette Counties
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, Mined Land Wildlife Area Office (Public Lands & Fisheries Biologist), 620-231-3173
The Mined Land Wildlife Area is one of the most unique areas to fish in the state. Located in the southeast portion of Kansas, there are more than 1,000 unique previously strip-mined lakes that range in size from 0.5 acre to 50 acres. Depending on the method of how they were mined, strip pits vary in depth from shallow to deep with steep sided banks. The "Trout Pit" on Unit #30 was one of the first strip pits that was mined by Big Brutus. This pit has depths up to 60 ft deep. Another unique quality of the strip pits is the water clarity. Some pits have extremely clear water and clarity reaches up to 10 to even 15 feet. There are boat ramps located on selected strip pits. However, there are a few that are less accessible. Small watercraft and kayak anglers would find that the area is premiere for exploring pits that may not receive as much fishing pressure. Largemouth Bass, crappie, channel catfish, rainbow trout, brown trout, redear sunfish, bluegill, wiper, walleye, spotted bass, spotted gar... These are the main species that can be found inhabiting the strip pits.
Regulations to remember -- A trout permit is required for all anglers over 16 years years of age fishing the "Trout Pit" on Unit #30. Youth 15 and younger can fish for and possess trout, but their daily creel limit is reduced to 2 fish per day.
|Species||Rating||Size||Baits, Method & Location|
|Bluegill / Redear / Warmouth||Good||6-10 inches||Bluegill and Redear Sunfish up to 9 inches are common on the strip pits on the Mined Land Wildlife Area. Focus your efforts around structure, slopes, and shallow water at the ends of the pits. Worms under a slip bobber, or 1/16 jigs will be a good bet to try. Fly fishing opportunities are also present; hook sizes of 10-12 with a floating fly or popper may yield fish up to 8 inches.|
|Channel Catfish||Fair||15-28 inches||Channel catfish have been stocked across the entire wildlife area. Try shad sides, liver, worms or prepared baits. Slip bobbers with worms, stink bait, or live bait fished along the edges will be a good technique to try.|
|Crappie||Fair||8-12 inches||Crappie can be found throughout the different units on the wildlife area. Try minnows, small jigs, or small spinners fished around brush and structure. Boat and kayak anglers may have luck trolling deeper water and cove habitats as well. Units where crappie have been reported to be caught this winter and for anglers to focus on for crappie would be the following units: 7, 8, 22, 41, and 40, to name a few.|
|Largemouth Bass||Good||12-21 inches||Largemouth bass can be found in many of the strip pits. Focus your efforts around aquatic vegetation, slopes, beaver dams or any terrestrial or aquatic structure, and shallow water. Many of the strip pits have quality populations. However, there are many with an abundance of 8-12" fish. Consider keeping your daily creel limit of 5 largemouth bass under the protected slot limit (i.e., 13 - 18 inches) to reduce densities to allow for better growth in the strip pits. Many strip pits have quality largemouth bass populations with 15-19" being common. 1/2 oz weedless jigs, ned rigs, bladed jigs, and drop shots thrown parallel to the shore along the slope will be a good technique to try.|
|Rainbow trout||Good||10-15 inches|| |
The seventh and final rainbow trout stocking of the winter and spring of 2019/2020 in the Trout Pit (Unit #30) occurred on March 4, 2020 with a stocking of 1,980 rainbow trout (1,100 pounds). A total of 2,040 rainbow trout (1,200 pounds) were stocked on October 30, 2019, a total of 1,118 rainbow trout (650 pounds) were stocked on November 13, 2019, a total of 1,360 rainbow trout (850 pounds) occurred on December 4, 2019, a total of 1,280 rainbow trout (800 pounds) were stocked on December 16, 2019, a total of 1,650 rainbow trout (1,100 pounds) on February 5, 2020, and a total of 1,800 rainbow trout (1,200 pounds) were stocked on February 19, 2020. This was a total of 11,228 rainbow trout stocked for the 2019/2020 trout season. Good luck!
Rainbow trout are stocked each spring, fall, and winter in Unit #30 in the "Trout Pit". Most rainbows are 10 inches in length when stocked and average 1/2 lb. each. Five percent of each stocking is comprised of 14-inch or larger fish. Trout can live year-around in this unique strip-mined lake, so fish in the 3-5 pound range are occasionally caught.
Shoreline anglers have reported the west parking lot, boat ramp and dock area, and fish feeders being places where trout have been caught. However, a kayak or a boat will lend other places to try in this unique strip pit. The fish feeder is running. Try power bait, small spinners (i.e., Kastmasters and Panther Martins), flies, small crankbaits, worms, or corn.
Remember anglers -- A trout permit is required to be able to fish on the "Trout Pit" on Unit #30. This is valid for the calendar year. Rainbow trout & Brown Trout are managed under a combined daily creel limit of five fish. Anglers, 15 years and younger, can fish for and possess trout, but their daily creel is 2 per day.
Directions to the Trout Pit (Unit #30) are as follows: 8 miles south of the McCune turn off on Highway 400 on NW 100th St. and a half mile to the west on NW Lawton Rd. OR 5 miles west of West Mineral on NW Scammon Rd., 4 miles south on NW 100th St. and a half mile to the west on NW Lawton Rd.
|Brown trout||Fair||15-20 inches|| |
Brown trout have been stocked in Unit #30 in the Trout Pit to provide an additional species and trophy opportunity for anglers. 2,500 small 8 to 10-inch brown trout were stocked on October 22, 2018. Brown trout tend to be more seclusive than rainbow trout, so early morning and evening hours will be your best bet. Try power bait, small spinners, spoons, flies, small crankbaits, worms, or corn.
NEW FOR 2020 -- As of January 1, 2020, there is no longer a 20" minimum and daily creel of 1 Brown Trout per day. Therefore, anglers may keep brown trout in combination with rainbow trout for a combined daily creel of 5.
|Walleye||Fair||18-21 inches||Walleye have been stocked on the Mined Land Wildlife Area in Units 7, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 31, 33, 34, 39, 40, 41, and 44 to provide an additional species and angling opportunity on the wildlife area. Limited opportunities exist, due to not being stocked since 2016. The units and strip pits that have been stocked with walleye provide adequate habitat with deeper water and cooler water temperatures. Trolling and vertical jigging techniques will be a good technique to try.|
|Wiper (Striped bass x White bass hybrid)||Fair||15-20 inches||Wiper are stocked on the Mined Land Wildlife Area in Unit #21 on an annual basis. Stockings have occurred since 2007. A fish feeder is also present on the Wiper Pit in Unit #21 that provides supplemental food on this specific pit. Techniques to try would be to vertical jig spoons and jigs, trolling with Rapalas and spoons, and casting jigs, spoons, and spinning baits. Other opportunities would be to try a slip bobber with live bait, or chicken liver has been reported to yield a few fish.|
Water temperature: 61 degrees F, October 22, 2020.
Remember to continue to practice social distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing to practice social distancing will ensure we can keep our public fishing access points open for everyone.
Bathymetric maps are now available for the Mined Land Wildlife Area strip pits. This is an ongoing effort by the District Fisheries Biologist, so new pits will be added on a weekly basis. The bathymetric maps that show how deep the strip pits are and water contours can be viewed at the following link: http://ksdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3e0ba6a852d2479aa6e384b4f87a0c2b. The free Explorer GIS app can also be downloaded to use when you're out fishing from your mobile phone, or tablet. This has the ability to use your location to use similar to a depth finder while you're fishing. You can search in your Android, or iPhone, app store for "Explorer GIS", once it is installed you can search for "2020 KDWPT Fishing Access". This will allow for view while you're out fishing. Good luck!
Habitat improvements through the use of hinge-cutting, cedar trees, and "Georgia Cubes" will be placed throughout the unique strip pits on Mined Land Wildlife Area during 2019. Angler input is welcomed. If you have individual strip pits that you'd like to see habitat improvements made, please contact Connor Ossowski, District Fisheries Biologist, at (620) 231-3173. These will be advertised on the KDWPT website at the following link: https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Hunting-Fishing-Atlas/Fishing-Atlas/GPS-KML-Information-Files/Google-KMZ-file-of-Fish-Attractor-GPS. Fish attractors and habitat additions have been placed on the Mined Land Wildlife Area and the GPS coordinates can be found at the link provided in the previous sentence as well.
40 "Georgia Cubes", a synthetic habitat structure, were placed on Mined Land Wildlife Area in May 2019. Below are the GPS coordinates:
Unit #6 "Quail Farm", 2 Cube Clusters: (37.424696, -94.758655), (37.424365, -94.757868)
Unit #7 "Whitmore Pits", 2 Cube Clusters: (37.396253, -94.778864), (37.392872, -94.782366)
Unit #26 Reclamation Project currently closed, to be reopened in Spring 2020, 2 Cube Clusters: (37.332749, -94.800721), (37.332513, -94.800589)
As District Fisheries Biologists, we send out a newsletter to inform anglers of fish sampling result, aquatic outreach events, fish stockings, and habitat improvement projects, for example. We have a spring and fall edition of our newsletters that you can subscribe to. This is sent directly to your email. If you would like to stay up to date on what is happening on Neosho State Fishing Lake (Lake McKinley), Crawford State Fishing Lake (Farlington Lake), Bone Creek Lake, CFAP and FISH properties, and the Mined Land Wildlife Area strip pits, you can subscribe to the Pittsburg District Newsletter at the following link: https://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/News/Newsletter-Request-Forms/Request-a-Newsletter-for-the-Pittsburg-Fishing-District
Aquatic Nuisance Species Alert: Be on the look out for Eurasian Watermilfoil if you're fishing on the Mined Land Wildlife Area. This aquatic nuisance plant is present and abundant on multiple strip pits on the Mined Land Wildlife Area. The plant can reproduce rapidly and develop dense mats that don't allow for other beneficial aquatic plants to grow. Eurasian watermilfoil can also impact the fish community in a lake, so please be sure to inspect and clean your fishing gear. Please remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your kayak, boat, boat trailer, and bait buckets. More information on Eurasian Watermilfoil may be found at the following link: https://ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/Aquatic-Nuisance-Species/Aquatic-Nuisance-Species-List/Eurasian-Watermilfoil
If you would like to provide a fishing report for the Mined Land Wildlife Area, don't hesitate to contact Connor Ossowski, District Fisheries Biologist, at (620) 231-3173.
|Fishing Population||Creel Limit||Min Length Limit|
|Channel Catfish||5||15-inch minimum|
|Largemouth Bass||5||13-18 inch slot|
|Spotted Bass||5||15-inch minimum|
|Rainbow Trout||5 (Unit #30)||None|
|Brown Trout||1||20-inch minimum|
* Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted Bass in Combination
** Striped Bass or Wiper in Combination
*** Walleye, Sauger or Saugeye in Combination