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.
NEW FOR 2022 -- A trout permit is required for all anglers fishing the "Trout Pit" on Unit #30 during the trout season November 1 through April 15. A trout permit is no longer required to fish the "Trout Pit" on Unit #30 from April 16 through October 31. You may still trout fish from April 16 through October 31 at the "Trout Pit" without a trout permit, but the limit of 5 trout a day and 15 in possession is still active.
|Species||Rating||Size||Baits, Method & Location|
|Panfish||Good||Up to 9"||Bluegill, Warmouth 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. Casting parallel to shore or the ends of the pits are good locations along vegetation. 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||Good||Up to 32"||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||Good||8-12"||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, 11, 33, 41, 44, 45 to name a few.|
|Largemouth Bass||Good||8-22"||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"|| |
The first rainbow trout stocking of the winter and spring of 2023/2024 will commence in DECEMBER of 2023. Updated information will be posted as the date becomes nearer. Thank you!
2022/2023 Trout Season / Unit #30 "Trout Pit" Rainbow Trout Stockings
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.
Remember anglers -- A trout permit is required to be able to fish on the "Trout Pit" on Unit #30 during the trout season (November 1-April 15). Rainbow trout & Brown Trout are managed under a combined daily creel limit of five fish.
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.
|Walleye||Fair||18-21"||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"||Wiper are stocked on the Mined Land Wildlife Area in Unit #21. Stockings have occurred since 2007. 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.|
The pits are currently low, due to lack of rainfall, and most are 3 feet low. The Scammon Units are low up to 6 ft. Habitat efforts will take place to take advantage of low water levels, until rainfall begins. Low water levels can be a benefit to the fish populations by concentrating smaller bluegill and crappie to predatory fish, such as largemouth bass, channel catfish, wipers, and walleye. |
Please use caution during the spring and summer of 2023 of certain boat ramps, due to low water levels. Units 11, 15, 17, 32, 33, and 34 ramps have low water levels and please use caution to not back in too far past the edge of the boat ramp.
Water Temperature: 75° F, September 25, 2023
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. 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.
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.
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, Brown Trout||5 combined||None|
* Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted Bass in Combination
** Striped Bass or Wiper in Combination
*** Walleye, Sauger or Saugeye in Combination