Ducks

Duck

Most of the 27 species of ducks which frequent Kansas are produced in states and the Canadian provinces to the north. Although 14 species of ducks are known to have nested in Kansas, the major portion of the resident breeding population, estimated at about 20,000 pairs, is composed of wood ducks, blue-winged teal and mallards.

From 1984 through 2003 the total number of ducks reported during the 14 surveys conducted annually (two per month, September through March) on major waterfowl areas in Kansas varied from a high of 3,959,000 in 1998 to a low of 1,194,000 in 1991, and averaged approximately 2,081,000 annually. Generally speaking, duck numbers and harvest declined from levels experienced during the 1970’s, when an all time high of 10,015,000 ducks were reported during waterfowl surveys in 1972, and the average number observed each year (1970-79) was 5,820,000. This decline in Kansas duck numbers is largely due to loss of breeding habitat in Canada and states north of Kansas, aging of our reservoirs, and changing agricultural practices in our state.

Central Flyway

The five most common ducks observed during the 14 annual surveys in Kansas include the mallard, northern pintail, green-winged teal, gadwall and blue-winged teal. Kansas is about half way down the Central Flyway’s eastern tier of states, an area crossed by some of the major migration routes of ducks. Of the five most common ducks, blue-winged teal are the first to arrive, peaking in September and early October. The next major influx of migrants occurs in late October and early November. Northern pintail begin a major buildup in late October, with green-winged teal and gadwall arriving and peaking during the first half of November. Mallards are the last of the top five to arrive, peaking in late December. The mallard is king in our state, with numbers observed commonly reaching 300,000 during the second half of December.

Although the migration chronology of Kansas ducks varies considerably from year to year, depending on weather, there is usually a gradual increase in duck numbers beginning in late August and peaking during December or early January. While data summarized on a statewide basis may show a gradual buildup of ducks, the numbers observed on a particular wetland may have migration characteristics quite different from the “state average”. A common misconception is that there is a gradual movement of ducks, north to south, during the fall and early winter periods. However, a shallow marsh near the Oklahoma border may have peak numbers in late October while a reservoir near the Nebraska border may not see maximum numbers until late December. Within Kansas, the type of habitat has a greater influence on the timing and species composition of the duck migration than does the location.

Over the long term, the fall and winter populations of ducks in Kansas should roughly correlate with the breeding population index for these species. However, numbers observed are influenced by habitat conditions in our state. Even in years of high flyway populations, poor habitat conditions in Kansas will lower fall populations and harvest in Kansas. Conversely, in years of low flyway populations, good habitat conditions in Kansas will raise Kansas fall populations and harvest.

mallard pair

Mallards - photo Mike Blair

During the past six years (1999-2004), Kansas duck hunters averaged approximately 119,000 duck hunting days, and harvested about 228,000 ducks annually. The highest Kansas duck harvest reported occurred in 1971, when an estimated 430,000 ducks were taken. In recent years, mallards have comprised about 50 percent of the total harvest, followed by gadwall at about 14 percent, and green-winged teal at 12 percent.

The future of ducks, unlike geese, is troubling. The long term degradation and loss of wetlands and native prairie on their breeding grounds is a serious problem that is difficult to address. The combination of the agricultural Conservation Reserve Program and record breaking rainfall allowed breeding numbers to rebound during the 1990’s to levels similar to those observed during 1970’s. However, discontinuance of the Conservation Reserve Program, or a return to normal rainfall levels on the breeding grounds, will have severe negative impacts on duck production and fall flights. Federal and state agencies, along with a number of private organizations are working to maintain quality breeding habitat, but the task is difficult and far from being accomplished.

CURRENT WATERFOWL NUMBERS ON WILDLIFE AREAS

For weekly updates on waterfowl numbers on Wildlife Areas during the fall and winter period go to the regional waterfowl reports.

REGULATIONS

Waterfowl Hunting regulations are set annually. Click here to view the latest Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary.

Youth Waterfowl Seasons: In each of the duck zones, two days are set aside for youth waterfowl hunting (ducks and dark geese). Hunters 15 and younger may hunt under the supervision of an adult 18 or older. The adult may NOT hunt.

Youth Season Daily Bag Limit: 6 6 ducks, with species and sex restrictions as follows: 5 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, and 1 scaup. The daily bag may comprise six of any other duck, such as six teal, six gadwall, or six wigeon.

Youth Season Possession Limit: Three times the daily bag limit.

Legal Methods of Taking Waterfowl

Bow and arrow, falconry, or shotgun no larger than 10-guage. Shotguns shall not be able to hold more than three shells.

Illegal Methods of Taking Waterfowl

No person shall take migratory game birds:

1) With a shotgun capable of holding more than three (3) shells, in the magazine and chamber combined.

2) With a trap, snare, fishhook, net, rifle, pistol, shotgun slug, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, poison, drug, or explosive.

3) With the use or aid of electronically amplified or recorded bird calls, or imitations of bird calls or sounds.

4) From a sink box (a low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter means of concealment beneath the surface of the water).

5) From or by means of any motor boat or sail boat unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sail furled, and its progress from there has ceased.

6) By the use or aid of live decoys. All tame, captive ducks and geese must be removed 10 days before hunting.

7) By driving, rallying, or chasing birds with any motorized conveyance or any sail boat to put them in range of the hunters.

Wanton Waste

By regulation, hunters must attempt to find any game crippled or killed. Retrieved animals must be kept until: 1) cleaned, 2) eaten, 3) taken home, 4) taken to a taxidermist or processor, or 5) given to another person.

Possession of Live Birds

Wounded waterfowl reduced to possession shall be immediately killed and included in the daily bag.

Transporting Harvested Waterfowl

One fully-feathered wing and /or head must remain attached to waterfowl when transported.

Shipment

No person shall ship migratory game birds unless the package is marked on the outside with: 1) the name and address of the person sending the birds, 2) the name and address of the person to whom the birds are being sent, and 3) the number of birds, by species, contained in the package.

Giving or Receiving Waterfowl

No person may receive, possess, or give to another, any freshly killed migratory game birds as a gift, except at the personal abodes of the donor or donee, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter who took the birds, stating the hunter’s address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were taken.

Tagging Requirements

No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than at his personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were killed. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor are not considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

Electronic or Mechanically Operated Decoys

The use of electronic or mechanically operated decoys that do not produce bird sounds is legal.

Waterfowl Baiting Regulations

Baiting regulations differ between doves and waterfowl, and are among the most troublesome for hunters to understand. For detailed information on waterfowl baiting go to http://www.le.fws.gov/HuntFish/waterfowl_baiting.htm

Some general baiting rules that waterfowl hunters should remember:

- They may not place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter salt, grain or other feed that could lure waterfowl to, on or over the area where they are hunting.

- They may not hunt a baited area until 10 days after all bait or feed has been completely removed.

Hunters are responsible for ensuring that the area they plan on hunting has not been baited before they start hunting.

- Hunters may hunt all migratory game birds over natural vegetation that has been mowed or manipulated in other ways, or where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as a result of a normal agricultural planting or normal soil stabilization practice.

- Hunters may use natural vegetation to conceal or construct a blind.

- Hunters may hunt waterfowl over standing crops, standing flooded crops and flooded harvested cropland.

DUCK IDENTIFICATION

Duck regulations include species and sex specific restrictions. The ability of hunters to identify and select desired targets before shooting is important in managing the harvest and allowing maximum hunting opportunity without jeopardizing the future of our waterfowl resource. For help with duck identification go to  -- http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/tools/waterfwl/waterfwl.htm

POPULATION AND HARVEST DATA

A number of population and harvest surveys are conducted annually that are utilized in the development of waterfowl management programs and regulations. To view data for Kansas and the Central Flyway, go to http://www.flyways.us/

REPORTING BANDS

Information obtained from band recoveries reported by hunters and other individuals is, along with harvest and population data, critical to the management of our waterfowl resources. Information derived from banding includes the distribution of the harvest from a particular banding area, the timing of the harvest and most importantly, the harvest rate. This information is utilized annually in the development of harvest frameworks and final regulations. To report a band call 1/800/327/2263 or go to http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/homepage/call800.htm

THE FLYWAY PROCESS OF DEVELOPING REGULATIONS

Flyways

Since most ducks are migratory birds crossing state and national boundaries, regulations and management practices that affect their population numbers must extend beyond our state and include other agencies. Establishing waterfowl regulations is an annual process that can be roughly divided into two areas. The first involves the activities of the states and provinces, working through their respective Flyway Councils in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to develop season frameworks. “Frameworks” set the limit on maximum season length and bag limit, shooting hours, and the earliest opening and latest closing dates of the season for a particular species. This process of developing frameworks begins in December and doesn’t end until August.

Once the frameworks are established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has the ultimate authority for the welfare of our migratory bird resources, the states begin the second part of the annual regulatory process. This second phase involves developing and adopting season dates, bag limits and shooting hours specific to their jurisdiction. A state can always be more restrictive than allowed by the frameworks, but it cannot be more liberal. The primary consideration when developing frameworks is the long-term welfare of the species or resource. Although this consideration is still present when states develop their specific hunting regulations, greater emphasis is placed on providing the greatest amount of hunter opportunity and satisfaction within the limits of the frameworks.

The basis for a rangewide approach to duck management was provided by Fredrick Lincoln, who initiated the first large-scale banding in the United States in 1922. As Lincoln received bands from his ducks, he became convinced that waterfowl management would have to be tailored to the different migration routes. In 1935, he suggested that four flyways be established across the United States and that management regulations be tuned to the situations that prevailed in those flyways. Adoption of his proposal was slow, and it was not until 1948 that the Flyway system was implemented.

Kansas is located within the Central Flyway, which is composed of ten states including Montana and North Dakota to the north, extending south through Texas and New Mexico. Only that area of the West Tier states east of the Continental Divide is currently included within the Central Flyway boundaries. Although the basic responsibility for the management of waterfowl rests with the Federal Government, the states must be involved. In order to transcend state borders, the ten Central Flyway states have joined administratively and formed the Central Flyway Council. The directors of the state fish and game agencies of the flyway states, or their designated representatives, constitute the official voting members of the Council. Delegates from the Canadian provinces participate in Council activities, but do not vote on regulatory recommendations. The Council provides an excellent forum for communication and understanding the problems throughout the flyway and attacking these problems in a cooperative, scientific way. Much of the information needed for the management of ducks is continuously being obtained through banding, survey, and research efforts, planned and conducted by the Flyway Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Range Map
Ducks
Season Information
Current Seasons
Ducks - High Plains Unit (First Segment) - High Plains Unit - First Segment

Dates: 10/08/2022 - 01/01/2023

  • Area open: High Plains Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 - Any combination of six ducks and/or mergansers which may include no more than five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail.
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit

Ducks - Low Plains Late Zone (First Segment) - Low Plains Late Zone - First Segment

Dates: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023

  • Area open: Low Plains Late Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6
    Six ducks, which may include no more than five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail. The daily bag may comprise six of any other duck, such as six teal, six gadwall, or six wigeon.
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit

Ducks - Low Plains Southeast Zone (First Segment) - Low Plains Southeast Zone - First Segment

Dates: 11/05/2022 - 01/01/2023

  • Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6
    Six ducks, which may include no more than five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail. The daily bag may comprise six of any other duck, such as six teal, six gadwall, or six wigeon.
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit


All Migratory Bird Seasons

MIGRATORY DOVE (Mourning, white-winged)

  • Season: 09/01/2022 - 11/29/2022
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 15 (The daily bag limit applies to mourning and white-winged doves, single species or in combination.
  • Possession limit: 45
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit

EXOTIC DOVE (Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves only)

  • Season: 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2022
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: No limit
  • Possession limit: No limit
  • There is no limit on Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves, but any taken in addition to a limit of mourning and white-winged doves during the migratory dove season must have a fully-feathered wing attached during transport.

RAIL (Sora and Virginia)

  • Season: 09/01/2022 - 11/09/2022 (PROPOSED)
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 25
  • Possession limit: 75
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit

SNIPE

  • Season: 09/01/2022 - 12/16/2022 (PROPOSED)
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 8
  • Possession limit: 24
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Stamp

WOODCOCK

  • Season: 10/15/2022 - 11/28/2022 (PROPOSED)
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit

TEAL, HIGH PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/17/2022 - 09/25/2022
  • Area open: West of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit: 6 teal (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)  
  • Possession limit: 18 teal in possession (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/10/2022 - 09/25/2022
  • Area open: East of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit: 6 teal (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)  
  • Possession limit: 18 teal in possession (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, HIGH PLAINS UNIT

  • Season: 10/08/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/20/2023 - 01/29/2023
  • Area open: High Plains Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE

  • Season: 10/08/2022 - 12/04/2022 and 12/17/2022 - 01/01/2023
  • Area open: Early Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 01/29/2023
  • Area open: Late Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Season: 11/05/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/14/2023 - 01/29/2023
  • Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCK LIMITS

6 ducks, any combination of six ducks and/or mergansers which may include no more than five mallards (only two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail.

MERGANSERS

  • Season: Same as duck seasons
  • Area Open: Statewide
  • Daily Bag Limit: 5, including no more than 2 hooded mergansers
  • Possession Limit: 15
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

COOTS

  • Season: Same as duck seasons
  • Area Open: Statewide
  • Daily Bag Limit: 15
  • Possession Limit: 45
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

YOUTH, VETERAN AND ACTIVE MILITARY WATERFOWL SEASONS

(Youth 17 and younger)

  • High Plains Unit: 10/01/2022 - 10/02/2022
  • Low Plains Early Zone: 10/01/2022 - 10/02/2022
  • Low Plains Late Zone: 10/22/2022 - 10/23/2022
  • Southeast Zone: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (including Brant)
  • Possession limit: 18
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 50
  • Possession limit: No limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

  • Season: 02/13/2023 - 04/30/2023
  • Area Open: Statewide
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp
  • Equipment Restrictions: During the Conservation Order, unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

SANDHILL CRANE, CENTRAL ZONE

  • Season: 11/09/2022 - 01/05/2023
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit

SANDHILL CRANE, WEST ZONE

  • Season: 10/15/2022 - 12/11/2022 
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit
License Information

All waterfowl hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Waterfowl Stamp), and all hunters who are required to obtain a hunting license must also have a Kansas State Waterfowl Stamp and a Kansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp before hunting ducks, geese, or mergansers. (Those not required to have a Kansas hunting license include people hunting their own land, and residents 15 and younger)

Annual Hunting License - All resident hunters age 16 through 74 must have a resident hunting license unless exempt by Kansas Law.  Nonresident hunters, regardless of age, must have a nonresident hunting license.  Annual hunting licenses can be purchased online by clicking here or through all licensed agents, or Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism offices.

Waterfowl Stamps and Licence - All Waterfowl stamps and licenses can be bought at any licensed Agent , Pratt Operations Office , or online, EXCEPT for the Federal Waterfowl Stamp which is bought at a US Post Office, KDWPT Regional and Park Offices, and select license agents.  All Waterfowl stamps are good through season.

  • Kansas HIP Stamp: $2.50
  • State Waterfowl Stamp: $10
  • Federal Waterfowl Stamp: $26.50 - Purchased at any KDWPT office or at any US Post Office.
Buy your Stamps Online

State stamps are available at any licensed agent, online , Pratt Operations Office or Regional office. Federal stamps are available at a US Post Office, Pratt Operations Office or Regional office . Federal stamps must be signed across the face of the stamp.

Waterfowl stamps are not required to hunt Coot, Dove, Rail, Snipe, Woodcock, or Sandhill Crane. HIP is required.

If hunting Sandhill Crane, in addition to a hunting license ( if required), a federal sandhill crane hunting permit issued through and validated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is required to hunt cranes. Crane permits obtained in other states are not valid in Kansas. The validated permit ($7.50 validation fee) is available at any licensed agent , online , Pratt Operations Office , or Regional office .

All sandhill crane hunters must take an online crane identification test each year before hunting sandhill cranes. 

"Online Test for Sandhill Crane Hunters." Click this link to take an online test that provides information about identifying whooping cranes, sandhill cranes, and look-alike species, as well as the hunter’s ability to choose safe shots. The test is both entertaining and informative and only takes a few minutes.

Regulations
115-25-19 (PDF - 149.48 kB)

Doves - Management Unit, Hunting Season, Shooting Hours, and Bag and Possession Limits

115-09-08 (PDF - 9.53 kB)

Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program - Requirements, Exemptions.

115-18-08 (PDF - 9.48 kB)

Retrieval and possession of game animals and migratory game birds - Requirements

Harvest Information Program (HIP)

To purchase your HIP Stamp online, CLICK HERE.

Migratory Game Bird Hunters – Why is it important to be “HIP”?

If you hunt doves, ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, coots, snipe, rail, or woodcock, you are required to participate in Harvest Information Program (HIP). 

What is HIP?

Harvest Information Program (HIP) is a method by which state wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) use to provide reliable estimates of the number of migratory game bird hunters, hunter activity and migratory game bird harvest. These estimates provide information needed to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits, and population management. HIP has been a federal requirement of those hunting migratory game birds since 1998.

Who needs to be HIP?

HIP, incorrectly, has become associated more closely with waterfowl hunters. HIP applies to all those who hunt any species of migratory game birds. This would include not only ducks and geese but also doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, moorhens, band-tailed pigeons, swans, brant, coots and gallinules, for which there is a set hunting season.  If you are required to buy a Kansas hunting license and plan to hunt any migratory game birds in Kansas, you are required to acquire a Kansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit. Even if you hold a lifetime license, you still are required to acquire a HIP permit. Exemptions from HIP include those not required to have a Kansas hunting license such as people hunting their own land and residents 15 and younger and 75 and older. It is the hunter responsibility to fulfill their HIP requirement. Proof of HIP must be carried with the hunter in the field, and, like a hunting or fishing license, must be presented to a wildlife officer upon their request. Hunting migratory birds without HIP certification is like hunting without a license—you could be ticketed or fined. You must be HIP certified for each state for which you hunt migratory game birds. The HIP certification process varies from state to state. Please confer with your local wildlife agency regarding HIP in their state.

How does HIP work?

When you purchase your Kansas HIP permit, you first are identifying yourself as migratory game bird hunter. Secondly, the licensing vendor will ask you a series of short questions relating to your hunting experience during last year's season. These questions place you in a sampling stratum from which the USFWS selects small sample to complete a more detailed survey about this year’s upcoming hunting season. These short questions that you are asked about last year’s hunting experience when you become HIP-certified are not part of the survey, and are not used to compile harvest estimates, but are simply used to identify what types of birds you usually hunt.  This allows the USFWS to target its surveys to the appropriate hunters.  For example, most surveys about dove harvest are sent to hunters who usually hunt doves, while most waterfowl harvest surveys are sent to hunters who usually hunt ducks and/or geese. If you only hunt ducks and geese – no snipe or rails, no moorhens or gallinules – why is it that I have to answer questions about those species? The USFWS needs to be able to contact people who hunt various birds. This narrows the field and allows the USFWS to ask more detailed questions about what was harvested.

If your name is one of the few selected for the national harvest survey, you will receive a personal letter and a hunting record form and will be asked to voluntarily keep a record of the number of migratory birds you harvest during the season. You will be given an addressed, postage-paid envelope to return your hunting form at the end of the season. This survey provides the information used to develop nationwide harvest estimates for all migratory birds. A few select participants are asked to send in wings of migratory game birds they harvest to help determine species, age, sex, and other important harvest data. All HIP responses are kept strictly confidential and are not used for any other purpose.  As soon as the survey is completed, the USFWS destroys all hunter names and address records.

As HIP information is gathered at the time a hunting license is purchased whether at a store or online. At the license counter, the license agent should ask the HIP questions as part of the licensing process; if they do not inquire, you should remind them of HIP’s requirement. Kansas charges a small fee to cover administrative costs. KDWPT or USFWS receives no income from this program. HIP is strictly to gather information and is not a means of raising money for conservation programs.

What do hunters gain from HIP?

An understandable question is ‘What does HIP mean to me, as an individual asked to participate in this annual series of inquiries?’ The vast majority of hunters who participate are doing so because they know it’s important and understand why it’s important as hunters. Hunters are not just people answering a survey but are partners in data collection that directly affects hunting opportunities. As the threats and concerns for migratory bird populations continue to mount, it is essential to gather the best information possible about the factors affecting these populations. It is in the hunter's best interest to have wildlife management decisions based on scientific evidence, not on opinions, philosophies, or politics. It only takes a few moments to give wildlife managers the information they need to ensure that our migratory bird resources--and hunting tradition--will be around for future generations to enjoy.

To Purchase Your Kansas HIP Permit Online: https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com

 

For More Information

USFWS HIP: https://www.fws.gov/birds/surveys-and-data/harvest-surveys/harvest-information-program.php

USFWS Harvest and Hunter Survey Annual Reports: https://www.fws.gov/birds/surveys-and-data/reports-and-publications/hunting-activity-and-harvest.php

Explore Harvest Data visualization for your region: https://fws.gov/harvestsurvey/harvest-vis

Central Flyway Council: https://centralflyway.org/management/harvest-surveys/

List of Ducks Recorded in Kansas

27 Species of Ducks Recorded in Kansas

Wood duck Aix sponsa
Green-Winged Teal Anas crecca
American Black Duck Anas rubripes
Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Gadwall Anas strepera
Eurasian Wigeon Anas Penelope
American Wigeon Anas Americana
Canvasback Aythya valisineria
Redhead Aythya Americana
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Greater Scaup Aythya marila
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
Common Eider Somateria mollissima
King Eider Somateria spectabilis
Oldsquaw Clangula hyemalis
Black Scoter Melanitta nigra
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Barrow’s Goldeneye Bucephala islandica
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Waterfowl Reports

Use the map below to pick a region you would like to look at Waterfowl Reports.

CEDAR BLUFF - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl Numbers

Bunch of Ducks and Geese left the area on 11/29/22. Est. 5,000 total ducks.  500 Canada and a few White Front and Snow Geese

 *****REVIEW Kansas Boating Regulations if you are using a boat to hunt. *****

NO ACCESS IN THE CLOSED PORTION OF THE LAND REFUGE SEPT. 1 - JAN. 31

NO ACCESS IN THE CLOSED PORTION OF THE WATER REFUGE NOV. 1 - JAN. 31

Cedar Bluff Waterfowl Refuge
Water level Reservoir Elevation - 2127.6 (16.4 ft low)
Hunting conditions Lower lake levels will make shoreline access easier.
Expected hunting success Fair.  
Comments

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area and Reservoir are in the Low Plains Late Duck Zone 

Low Plains Late Duck Zone Season Dates

Teal - Sept 10-25 

Duck - Oct. 29-Jan. 1 and Jan. 21-29

Dark and Light Geese - Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 2-Feb 12

White-fronted Geese - Oct 29-Jan. 1 and Jan.21-Feb 12

Contact Cedar Bluff Area Office 785-726-3212 for more information.

Water Refuge is in effect November 1- January 31

Land Refuge is in effect September 1 - January 31

North Shore State Park is Closed to Hunting.

Youth / Mentor hunting is also available

Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Milfoil, and Phragmites are present in Cedar Bluff Reservoir.  Please clean and dry all equipment, decoys and boats before hunting other bodies of water.

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area

Current Weather



GLEN ELDER - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers
ALL HUNTERS at Glen Elder WA are required to check-in AND check-out daily. Go to https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin or utilize the GoOutdoorsKS app and check-in using your licensing login credentials.

It is YOUR responsibility to know a property's regulations, refuge(s) and duck zone boundaries, etc. BEFORE you hunt. 

Click here for a detailed map of the refuges, youth area, and State Park boundaries.

Significant decreased in waterfowl over the past week. Approximately 10,000 puddle ducks, mostly mallards.  3,000 divers, mostly goldeneyes, redheads and scaup. Est. 3000 dark geese and 100,000 snow geese.  

There are extensive bare mudflats around the entire lake. Please be cautious of silt in the north and south fork rivers. Wading in some spots may be difficult for people and dogs that will sink in the mud. 

There has been a significant outbreak of disease among the snow geese at GELR. You may find dead or sick birds along the shorelines or in the surrounding area during hunting or scouting. KDWP is monitoring this to the best of our ability and sent birds to SCWDS for testing very early in the outbreak.  Currently it is thought to be very low risk of infection in humans. However, if you have a domestic poultry flock extreme caution needs to be taken to avoid transferring disease and infecting your flock. 

 

Glen Elder map

Water level Lake is currently 5.4 feet low and is expected to be dropped to 5.6 feet below conservation. The Bureau of Reclamation is dropping water level for dam and spillway repair projects.  Lots of bare mudflats around the entire lake.     
Hunting conditions Extremely Poor.  Vegetation near water is almost non-existent.
Expected hunting success Possibly good if hunters can find a way to conceal themselves. 
Comments

Granite Creek boat ramp is closed November 1 through January 31, 2021.

The following boat ramps are now UNUSABLE due to low water levels:  Granite Creek, North Fork River, Carr Creek, Schoen's Cove and Walnut Creek. 

Low Plains Early Duck Zone season is 10/8/22 - 12/4/22 and 12/17/22 - 1/1/23

Low Plains Late Duck Zone season is 10/29/22 - 1/1/23 and 1/21/22 - 1/29/22

Dark geese season will be 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 and 11/2/22 - 2/12/23

Whitefront season will be 10/29/22 - 1/1/22 and 1/21/23 - 2/12/23

Light geese season will 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 and 11/2/22 - 2/12/23

Cawker City and Granite Creek Refuge closure dates are November 1st - January 31st.

The Youth/ Mentor hunting area is located in the Granite Creek Refuge and is in effect from October 1 - January 31. Waterfowl hunting from the shoreline area is allowed in the Youth-Mentor Area as long as EACH adult is hunting with a youth 17 years or younger. Boats of any sort are prohibited in the Granite Creek Refuge.

Zebra Mussels have been confirmed in Waconda Lake. Be sure to dry boats and equipment before moving to other waters.



JAMESTOWN WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Very few waterfowl observed on the area. The area was 100% ice covered yesterday morning, is open today, however the forecasted low temperatures will make the marshes freeze over again.

REMEMBER: Hunters are REQUIRED to check-in / check-out here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin  using your licensing login credentials. 

Water levels

0% ice covered as of today. The entire Wildlife Area is only holding less than 50% of normal, huntable water due to the dry conditions. Managers have stopped moving water out of Gamekeeper Marsh into Gun Club Marsh.  Due to low flows in the Republican river, managers will not be able to do any pumping on Buffalo Creek Marshes or divert water into Marsh Creek Marsh (due to restrictions in water rights) until we receive some rain, or the flows in the Republican increase.

Puddler Marsh: Dry Gamekeeper Marsh: 20% full; Gun Club West Marsh: Approximately 85% full with the average water depth of 16 inches; Gun Club East: Same as Gun Club West, average water depth of 16 inches; Greenwing Marsh; 90% full with varying water depths within the marsh; Marsh Creek Marsh: 5% full and will remain at that level until conditions in the Republican River improve.  The creek channel itself is around two feet deep.  The Marsh Creek off-storage pools that are usually pumped or filled will remain dry unless we get some significant rain; Buffalo Creek Marshes: Currently dry as managers will be unable to pump until conditions in the Republican River improve; Pintail Marsh: Dry and will need significant rains to fill.  

All marshes have excellent moist soil habitat and cover. Managers have been mowing shooting lanes/holes and spraying cattails.

Hunting conditions

Poor; Ice conditions and pressure have moved birds out of the area. Pressure will again be an issue as the ice melts and the migration progresses. REMEMBER, THE LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE WILL CLOSE AT SUNSET ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 AND OPEN AGAIN ON SATRUDAY, DECEMBER 17 AT SHOOTING LIGHT (30 minutes prior to sunrise)

Remember: NO ATV's are allowed on department lands and roads. THIS INCLUDES ARGO'S AND E-BIKES

There is a no trash policy: If you take it in with you, please bring it out.  This includes spent shotgun shells. THIS REGULATION WILL BE ENFORCED.

ALL vehicles must remain on designated roads and parking areas. 

REFUGE IS CLOSED
Expected hunting success POOR. Open water due to ice is limiting bird and hunter use. Hunters still need to scout and be aware that the areas to hunt are limited and are encouraged to be courteous to other hunters.
Comments

THERE HAS BEEN REPORTS IN THE AREA OF BIRDS SUFFERING FROM HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA, ALSO KNOWN AS BIRD FLU OR AVIAN FLU. Sick birds will display behavior that doesn't  seem natural, such as not being afraid of humans, spinning or waking in circles or other erratic movements. Hunters need to make sure to keep shot or dead waterfowl away from domestic birds. Hunters are encouraged to report sick wild birds or unusual wild bird deaths. 

Hunters will be strongly encouraged to scout prior to hunting the area.  Crowding is expected to be an issue.  Please be courteous and respectful of other hunters and pick up all trash, including spent shotgun hulls.  Littering citations will be issued as needed.

There is a new electronic check in system starting this season.  iSportsman accounts are now obsolete and hunter cannot access the program.  The new system can be found on the GoOutdoorsKS app. or by following the link below and using your licensing login credentials.

 
 

www.ksoutdoors.com/checkin

 
 

Waterfowl Seasons

LOW PLAINS DUCK: 10/8/22 - 12/4/22 & 12/17/22 - 01/01/23

CANADA GEESE: 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 & 11/2/22 - 02/12/23

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE: 10/29/22 - 01/01/23 & 01/21/23 - 02/12/23

LIGHT GEESE: 10/29/22 - 10/30/22 & 11/02/22 - 02/12/23

LIGHT GEESE CONSERVATION ORDER: 02/13/23 - 04/30/23

Hunters are REQUIRED to check in AND OUT using the electronic permitting system.

Hunters need to check-in / check-out by going to https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. 


Hunters need to make sure they have all the appropriate licenses and stamps for hunting waterfowl.  The following are required:

Kansas hunting license

State waterfowl stamp

Federal waterfowl stamp

Kansas Harvest Information Program Stamp (HIP)

RINGNECK MARSH IS DESIGNATED FOR YOUTH AND MENTORS ONLY. EACH HUNTER 16 YEARS AND OLDER MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE YOUTH UNDER 16 YEARS OLD.

Marsh Creek Marsh and the West Gamekeeper Marsh is for non-gasoline powered boats or paddle-in / Walk-in only, this includes electric motor boats and boats with no motors. Gasoline engines are prohibited.

Buffalo Creek & Pintail Marshes are for non-motorized boats and walk-in hunting only.

HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :

  • MAINTAIN SAFE DISTANCES BETWEEN HUNTING PARTIES
  • BE COURTEOUS OF OTHER HUNTERS
  • KNOW THEIR TARGET AND WHAT LIES BEYOND IT
  • FOLLOWING SAFE AND ETHICAL PRACTICES WILL ENSURE THAT EVERYONE HUNTING PUBLIC LANDS ENJOYS A HIGH QUALITY EXPERIENCE.

THE REFUGE WILL BE CLOSED SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022 - JANUARY 31, 2023 on the north half of Gamekeeper Marsh. REFUGE WILL CLOSE ON OCT. 1, 2022 AND REMAIN CLOSED THRU - JANUARY 31, 2023. The refuge boundary has shifted northwest to Highway 148. 

Please introduce youth and novice hunters to the outdoors. Pass it on!



LOVEWELL RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 11/30/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Very cold weather the past week has reduced waterfowl numbers form the past weeks. Still a good mix of species of ducks but mostly greenwing teal and mallards, some gadwall and wigeon and divers. Fair number of dark geese some light geese also.
Mallard Migration Ranking  
Water level Lovewell Reservoir is at 1577.33 or 5.27 feet below Conservation Pool, (58.1% full) and still slowly rising. The BOR and Kansas Bostwick Irrigation are bringing in 103.0 cfs of water into Guide Rock Diversion from the Republican River that is being used to refill the reservoir and 0.2 cfs is being released. Irrigation season ended 9/16.
Hunting condition

45%ICE but mostly open water. icing along most shorelines and the upper(west end) of the reservoir is all iced covered. Mudflats are ringing the entire reservoir and the water is a away from the shoreline. No shoreline and concealing vegetation.

OPEN - Low Plains Late Zone Duck, Sandhill Crane and All Geese opened 10/29

One boat ramp open on the entie reservoir. The only low water rampusable is Cedar Point in Lovewell State Park. All other boat ramps on the Wildlife Area at Oak Hill, Pawnee Point and White Rock Creek are out of the water, iced in and are not useable at this time.

ALL BOATS ARE REQUIRED TO USE NAVIGATION LIGHTS WHILE OPERATING BETWEEN THE HOURS OF SUNSET AND SUNRISE. NON-MOTORIZED BOAT NEED SOME FLASHLIGHT OR LANTERN. 

Expected hunting success FAIR TO GOOD.
Comments
PARK PERMIT REQUIRED TO ENTER THE STATE PARK. NO HUNTING IS ALLOWED FROM THE SHORELINE OF THE STATE PARK. 

REFUGE REGULATIONS: The land refuge closed to hunting and other activities year-round. Water refuge in effect November 1 through April 15 on the NORTHEAST half of the reservoir and Wildlife Area from 1/8th mile west of the south end of the dam and following a buoy line northwest to the western boundary of the Cabin Area of the State Park. This area open to fishing south and east of the buoy line from the north end of the dam to the Lovewell State Park Twin Coves trailer area. Inlet canal closed to fishing September 15 through April 15.

BOAT RAMPS: SEE HUNTING CONDITION FOR BOAT RAMP STATUS. The State Park boat ramps require a Kansas State Park Permit. The Wildlife Area Boat Ramps are Pawnee Point, Oak Hill and White Rock Creek do not require a permit.

CAMPING CABINS are available in Lovewell State Park. Make reservations HERE

HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :

  • MAINTAIN SAFE DISTANCES BETWEEN HUNTING PARTIES
  • BE COURTEOUS OF OTHER HUNTERS
  • KNOW THEIR TARGET AND WHAT LIES BEYOND IT
  • HUNTERS USING BOATS MUST EXERCISE EXTRA CARE WHEN BOATING IN COLD WATER AND NEED TO BE FAMILIAR WITH KANSAS BOATING REGULATIONS
  • OBTAIN PERMISSION BEFORE HUNTING PRIVATE LAND. IF WRITTEN PERMISSION IS REQUIRED ALL HUNTERS IN THE PARTY MUST POSSESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

FOLLOWING SAFE AND ETHICAL PRACTICES WILL ENSURE THAT EVERYONE HUNTING PUBLIC LANDS ENJOYS A HIGH-QUALITY EXPERIENCE.

Hunters can check-in / check-out here,  https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com using your licensing login credentials. Contact the office for other arrangements.  We thank you for your patience. Please introduce youth and novice hunters to the outdoors. Pass it on!



NORTON - Last Updated: 11/29/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers  There are a moderate number or ducks using the Norton Wildlife Area currently. Above avg temps and strong south winds have kept most birds from showing up. Minimal geese have showed up. The early edge of the snow goose migration has showed up.
Water level The water level is considerably lower than the last several years. The reservoir is currently 38% full.
Hunting conditions Pressure from hunting is expected to be high. Expect to run into other waterfowl hunters. Water loss from irrigation has created mud flats and some muddy shorelines. Most of the shoreline looks like a moon and hunters will have a tough time finding enough vegetation to hide in. The water lost to irrigation has created areas with steep shorelines that may drop off into water deeper than waders very rapidly and also created deep mud that may pose a risk to people trying to cross it.
Expected hunting success Hunting success is expected to be minimal to moderate for ducks and geese. 
Comments
Norton Reservoir is in the HIGH PLAINS DUCK ZONE

Blinds may be used and must be constructed of natural herbaceous materials or woody debris that are present on the site.  Blinds constructed of non-natural materials must be removed from the property each day.  Please do not bring materials from off-site. 

DUCK SEASON DATES FOR 2022 - 2023

Teal Season: September 17-25, 2022

Youth Duck Season: October 1-2, 2022

Regular Duck Season:  October 8, 2022 - January 1, 2023, AND January 20-29, 2023

Canada Goose Season: October 29-30, 2022, and November 2, 2022 - February 12, 2023

Speck Goose Season: October 29, 2022 - January 1, 2023 and January 21, 2023 - February 12, 2023

REMINDERS -

The refuge is NO ACCESS. Geese that have been shot at and land in the refuge CAN NOT be retrieved. Please use common sense and choose shots that will not allow shot geese to land in the refuge.

Leaving dead birds laying in the field/parking lots is prohibited. Goose meat taste delicious - there are multiple recipes online that can teach you how to cook it. Leaving dead birds on the wildlife area because you do not know how to cook them is not allowed.

Pick up all your trash. Leaving candy wrappers, pop bottles, and EMPTY SHELLS is considered littering, and you will be ticketed.

     



SMOKY HILL/KANOPOLIS - Last Updated: 10/27/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers 300 ducks; 80 Canada geese
Water level 1463.4 ft and declining. Summer conservation level is 1467 ft. Winter conservation level is 1463; 
   
Hunting conditions  Poor with limited cover on shorelines and low lake levels; backwaters on refuge dry due to drought
   
Comments

Refuge is CLOSED to all access from September 1st through January 31st.

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/10/2022 - 09/25/2022
  • Area open: East of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit: 6 teal (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)  
  • Possession limit: 18 teal in possession (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

Click HERE for duck season, regulation, and research information.

Additional information about hunting at Kanopolis Reservoir can be found HERE



TALMO - Last Updated: 11/22/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

No ducks on the area

ALL WETLANDS ON THE AREA ARE DRY

REMINDER: ALL HUNTERS NEED TO CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT. Click here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing 
login credentials.                                         

Water level All pools are dry.
Hunting conditions Moist Soil Conditions are excellent, however all pools are dry. Bird use dependent upon water levels. Managers have been disking cattails in all of the moist soil units.  
Expected hunting success Will depend upon rainfall.
Comments

 Remember:

- TALMO IS IN THE LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE 

TALMO IS IN THE CLOSED SANDHILL CRANE ZONE

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season

 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 01/29/2023

 

- Hunters can Check-in / Check-out here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials.

- No ATV's are allowed on Department land and maintained roads.

-ALL shotgun hunters must use NON-TOXIC shot

-No motorized boats allowed. Hunters wanting to utilize boats must carry/paddle them in.

-The area has a no trash policy.  If you take it in, please bring it back out with you.  This includes spent shotgun shells.

-ALL vehicles MUST remain on the roads and designated parking areas only.



WEBSTER - Last Updated: 12/1/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Waterfowl numbers are reduced from the last couple weeks. Puddle ducks and divers are both present, with a mix of mostly mallards, wigeon, gadwall, and goldeneyes. Some snow geese are present with a relatively small number of dark geese too. There is some ice in the shallows on the west end. 
Water level 1882.76'; 9.69' below conservation pool; water levels slowly declining.
Hunting conditions There is zero inflow to the reservoir. Irrigation season resulted in drastically lower lake levels. Portions of the west end of the reservoir are dry while the lake has receded in many areas. Water levels are still dropping weekly so most of the reservoir is surrounded by bare shoreline.
Expected hunting success Average.
Comments

Refuge and non-motorized boat area dates: Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. Morel boat ramp is currently dry. The Old Marina, Goose Flats, and Rockpoint boat ramps within the State Park are accessible. Hunters need a park pass to access boat ramps in the state park.

There is a non-motorized boat area at Webster that is walk-in only that is intended for shore hunters. The area starts at the southeast corner of the reservoir and goes west to Morel boat ramp. This regulation is in effect from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. 

Hunting in or from the shoreline inside the State Park or along the face of the dam is prohibited. Please see the attached PDF and Google Earth file to see updated refuge boundaries and dates. Closed areas will be marked with buoys.

REMINDER: Camping is not permitted on the wildlife area, including in parking lots, except for in designated campgrounds. Ground fires are also not permitted except in provided fire rings within campgrounds.

Blue/Green Algae

There are currently no blue-green algae advisories for the lake.

Webster Reservoir currently does not have zebra mussels. Please be sure equipment is cleaned and dry before coming to Webster from other places.

Teal Season

September 10-25, 2022

Duck Season on Webster Reservoir     

October 29, 2022 - January 1, 2023 and January 21-29, 2023

Youth Weekend, Duck and Goose

October 22-23, 2022

Goose Season on Webster Reservoir

CANADA GEESE  October 29 - October 30, 2022 and November 2, 2022 - February 12, 2023

WHITE-FRONTED   October 29, 2022 - January 1, 2023 and January 21 - February 12, 2023

LIGHT GEESE  October 29 - October 30, 2022 and November 2, 2022 - February 12 2023

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER

February 13 - April 30, 2023

 

 Webster Wildlife Area and Refuge Map

 Click here for PDF

Click here for Google Earth KMZ



WILSON - Last Updated: 12/1/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Survey ran on 12/1; ~ Duck numbers have been very low this week. Very small groups were observed. less than 500 ducks were seen.  

 

   
Water level 1514.34 ft and declining; (Conservation pool is 1516.0 ft)
Hunting conditions Cedar Creek boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water level. Elm Creek boat ramp is accessible. Cover will be hard to find due to lower water levels. 
Expected hunting success poor; very little birds observed.  
Comments

Waterfowl Seasons: 

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 01/29/2023
  • Area open: Late Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCK LIMITS

6 ducks, with species and sex restrictions as follows: 5 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, and 1 scaup.

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (including Brant)
  • Possession limit: 18
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 50
  • Possession limit: No limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

SANDHILL CRANES

  • Season: 11/09/2022 - 01/05/2023
  • Location: Central Zone
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Refuges are closed Sept 1-Jan 31 to all access except by special permit.

Zebra mussels are in Wilson Lake, so be sure to drain/dry/clean boats and equipment before moving to other areas.

Click HERE for Duck Season, Regulation, and Research information.

Click HERE for hunting regulations in Lucas Park, Minooka Park, and Sylvan Park.



This is a collection of all the Northeast Waterfowl Reports

BENEDICTINE WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Mallard Migration Rank:  2 (Estimate of potential mallard numbers. 1=lowest, 10=highest) Duck Numbers slowly increasing.
Water level

A map of our wetlands is now available under the Wetland Map tab to the right.

The wetlands have great habitat, such as, Giant Foxtail, Annual Smartweed, and Barnyard Grass. 

ALL HUNTABLE WETLANDS ARE BEING PUMPED AND HAVE WATER. 

Refuge(NOT open to hunting)

October 1 through March 31 the area can only be accessed with a special permit obtained through a drawing. Look for "Special Hunts" on our home page under "HUNTING".

Hunting conditions  Native vegetation such as annual smart weeds, barnyard grass, foxtail, and sunflowers are the most common vegetation.   
Expected hunting success With the warmer weather moving in, we are not seeing as much waterfowl activity. Only 2-3 hundred ducks on the refuge and not a lot of use on the huntable wetlands. The cooler weather this weekend may bring some waterfowl into the area. Per usual, the refuge is closed to hunting. 
Comments The wetlands were sheepsfoot to help them hold water, so there is no vegetation standing in the pools.  REFUGE IS CLOSED TO HUNTING. 



CLINTON - Last Updated: 11/30/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Updated 11-30-22

Waterfowl survey conducted on 11-30-22.

Waterfowl survey results:

Mallard- 900

Northern Shoveler- 14

Gadwall- 20

Wigeon- 12

Pintail- 46

Canada geese- 850

Bufflehead- 50

Scaup- 40

Ring-necked duck- 110

Goldeneye- 54

Hooded Merganser- 62

Common Merganser- 218

Total waterfowl counted- 2,376

Coots- 10

Waterfowl numbers have increased since the last survey. 

Lake level

Less than 5% of lake had ice on 11-30

Lake level is 874.6 on 11-30-22

(conservation pool is 875.50)

 

Hunting conditions

Coblentz - KDWP staff has pumped water into 3 Coblentz pools: the Southwest pool is full; the middle pool is full, and the North Pool is . The Southeast pool has only rainfall. Pumping will be limited to 99 acre feet of water unless lake and river levels rise significantly from rainfall. Of the 99 acre feet of water available to pump, KDWP has pumped 96 and has 3 acre feet left for use. 

East Coblentz- Mostly Dry- rain filled only

Shadden-   Mostly dry- rainfall only

Elk Creek- No pumping, mostly dry with runoff in low spots

Lake- Lake level is just below normal pool. The mud flats on the lake may provide the best areas to hunt due to marshes being mostly dry.

THE REFUGE AND REFUGE MARSH POOL ARE CLOSED TO HUNTING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Clinton contains miles of creeks, rivers and oxbows on the wildlife area; each of which has unique conditions and frequently hold waterfowl when weather and/or hunting pressure pushes them from marsh pools.
Expected hunting success Poor to Fair
Comments

IMPORTANT! Clinton Wildlife Area is utilizing an electronic check-in system required of all hunters. To check-in / check-out, please go to https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials.   

Please remember that trapping is also allowed on the Wildlife Area.

Elk Creek (Wakarusa River) and Coon Creek (Lake) boat ramps are open. 

Rock Creek Boat ramp is closed; a gravel launch area for canoes and kayaks is available when lake is near normal pool.



HILLSDALE - Last Updated: 11/22/2022 Print

Waterfowl Numbers

The Hillsdale Wildlife Area has experienced a relatively dry year in regards to water levels in 2022.  The reservoir currently sits 1/2 foot below conservation pool.  We have had some successful moist soil vegetation growth in all wetland pools this year.  Japanese millet, proso millet, and golden millet were all planted in all of the wetland pools and are doing well.  Strips of milo were also planted in Brown's wetland especially in the upper reaches as well as Antioch Marsh.  On top of the agriculture, there has been plenty of production from moist soil vegetation throughout all of the pools.  Pumping efforts were successful in covering most of each marsh pool with huntable water.  Currently, water rights have stopped any additional pumping efforts.  A few rains in the last week have also helped add to the huntable water surface.                      

Waterfowl counts given on this report are based on what was observed on the day the report is updated. Waterfowl numbers vary greatly from day to day and weather conditions and hunting pressure will affect the numbers of waterfowl on the area.

Last week was cold with highs in the 30's and lows in the Teens-20's.  The cool nights has covered a portion of the marshes and a small portion of the edges of the lake with ice.  Warm weather this week is currently melting most of the ice cover.  Waterfowl numbers have been relatively consistent over the last few weeks, but we are starting to see more variety.  There are still some teal in the area with fairly large groups of green-wings spending time on the marsh pools.  Small groups of mallards, pintails, black ducks, gadwall, and wigeons were all counted around the area this week.  Some small groups of divers and Mergansers are also starting to arrive.  Groups of 20-50 goldeneyes, bufflehead, and hooded mergansers have been counted all around the main body of the lake.  A few wood ducks have also been seen in the area this week.                                          

Water Level

Antioch Wetland - Full

Browns Wetland, Upper pool - Full

Browns Wetland, Lower pool - Full

Youth-Mentor Wetland - 3/4

Wade Branch Wetlands - North 1/4, South Empty

Hillsdale Lake - See Army Corps Daily Report

ICE CONDITION - 5% ice cover on lake.  15% ice cover on wetlands

Comments 

Reminder - check-in / check-out is required for all hunting on Hillsdale Wildlife Area. This can be done here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. The information and harvest data collected, along with comments received are very useful in establishing future management goals for the Hillsdale State Wildlife Area.

https://www.ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Migratory-Birds/Ducks for more information on seasons and limits.



JEFFREY ENERGY CENTER - Last Updated: 11/29/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Ducks:  AREA CLOSED TO WATERFOWL HUNTING DUE TO ALGAL BLOOM

Geese: AREA CLOSED TO WATERFOWL HUNTING DUE TO ALGAL BLOOM

Water level Normal
Hunting conditions Poor-fair
Expected hunting success Poor-fair
Comments

Make-up Lake is closed to waterfowl hunting during waterfowl season. Boats are not allowed on Auxillary lake during waterfowl season.

Individuals wishing to hunt Unit #2 of the wildlife area must enter through the main gate and sign in at the guard house. Be sure to have a photo I.D. with you when checking in.

Hunters are required to drive maintained roads only. A map will be provided to all hunters showing open roads as well as parking areas. Vehicles are allowed to park in parking areas only.



MILFORD WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 11/17/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Waterfowl counts given on this report are based on what was observed on the day the report is updated. Waterfowl numbers vary greatly from day to day and weather conditions and hunting pressure will affect the numbers of waterfowl on the area.

The waterfowl survey this week resulted in 31 Mallards, 6 Redheads, 2 Goldeneye, 25 unidentified ducks and 40 large Canada geese.  Throughout the week, around 250 mallards, 150 Canada geese and a mix bag of ducks have been observed around the wildlife area.

Lake level Current Lake Level is 1143.83 and Conservation Pool is 1143.58 The dam is releasing 150 CFS. The inflow into the lake is 120 CFS.
Hunting conditions

Vegetation growth and seed production has been above average this year. The majority of the pumps are running where there is enough water.

Lower Smith/Gatesville boat ramps are open. Mall Creek boat launch is open but water levels are extremely low 

Wetlands that have water are Sugarbowl, Lower Smith, Upper Smith, Beichter and the Youth/Mentor area.    

No activites/hunting allowed in the Steve Lloyd Wetland/Refuge.

Motorized boats are only allowed in the Mall Creek wetland, electric motors are considered "motorized". All other public hunting wetlands are open to NON motorized boats and walk in hunting.

Expected hunting success Fair
Comments

** All three zones of Milford Lake are in a Blue-Green Algae WARNING (A harmful algal bloom is possible and may be present) status. This could affect humans and pets hunting water sourced from the reservoir, such as Sugar Bowl, and the Hazard Area on the North end of the lake.** 

Do NOT drive on dikes. Vehicles disrupt and discourage waterfowl from using the wetland areas. We have had several dikes being damaged due to unauthorized vehicles driving on them. Scouting is best done on foot to evaluate bird numbers and habitat conditions.

Please report any vehicles on dikes and anyone seen disturbing our pumps. Without the pumps in optimal condition we are unable to pump the wetlands to their greatest potential.

Do NOT block gates, and pay attention to No Parking signs in the wetland parking lots.

Hunter's need to be aware of their targets before shooting.

The area is a no trash policy, so if you take it in, please bring it back out with you.  This includes spent shotgun shells

Fires are not permitted anywhere on the wildlife area. Violators will be ticketed

Remember - Hunters can check-in / check-out here, https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/. All hunters (youth included) must first register online. The information collected and comments received are very useful in establishing future management goals for the area.

https://www.ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Migratory-Birds/Ducks for more information on seasons and limits.



PERRY WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 11/22/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers
A waterfowl survey was conducted on 11/22/22 and around 1,500 ducks were observed. The area is picking up a larger percentage of Mallards. Recent colder temperatures have caused some of the wetlands to ice up, however warmer weather this week should open them back up. 

ATTENTION WATERFOWL HUNTERS - LEGAL SHOOTING LIGHT IS FROM 3O MINUTES BEFORE SUNRISE TO SUNSET. 

 
 
*DON'T FORGET TO CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT HERE, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. 
Mallard Migration Rank = 5 (0 = no mallards 10 = peak migration)
Lake level 0.3 Feet Below Conservation Pool
Habitat conditions
Mild flooding in the spring, followed by a dry summer has allowed for a good amount of wetland pool work to be completed and habitat conditions are overall good around the area. 
Expected hunting success Fair
Comments
Habitat Condition Rating (HCR): 1-10; 1-Poor habitat, 5-quality habitat, 10-Exceptional habitat

Reminder: Gas powered boats are only allowed on the River, Lake, Sunset Ridge, Kyle East and West and Rucker wetland pools.  Electric powered boats are allowed in all marsh pools.

Kyle: Launching of boats in both units is possible. Large portions of the East and upper West units held some shallow water and led to large amounts of unwanted vegetation such as American Lotus and River Bullrush. Pumping is complete and unit is lower than normal, but water right has been completely used so no more pumping will occur this year. HCR-3

West River: Pumping is complete, unit is not as full as most years but we have used our entire water right. Still good water in both the upper and lower units. Summer Draw downs were successful in both the upper and lower units which allowed for some disking, mowing, and millet planting. We will update water levels as this changes. HCR-8

Upper Ferguson: This wetland grew mostly native smartweed and has little water currently. The water control structure is currently removed from the wetland and our contractor expects to get the new one installed in the next couple weeks or so. As soon as this work is complete, we will put boards in and begin collecting runoff. The refuge is closed Oct 1st thru Jan 15th to ALL Activity HCR-6.

Lassister: The majority of both units of this wetland were planted to corn. We are awaiting harvest of the corn before we can start collecting water in this pool.  HCR-7

Northwest: Full pool. Summer drawdowns were successful leading to a good stand of desirable moist soil vegetation such as millet, smartweed, etc.   HCR-8

Headquarters: This wetland was drawn down early and corn was planted in some of it. Once the tenant harvests their 75%, then we will began to try to collect water, no water at this point. HCR-6

Mitigation:  Water was held in this unit, however it has evaporated so the unit is dry as of now. We have boards in and are attempting to collect runoff. HCR-7

Hayward: Pool is currently dry but grew good stands of desirable native moist soil vegetation with some supplemental millet seeding as well .  HCR-7

Reichart: Full Pool. Most of unit was planted to corn and are awaiting harvest.   HCR-8. 

Zebra Mussels have been confirmed in the lake. Be sure to dry boats and equipment before moving to other waters.

Please remember to fill out the permit 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.

   



TUTTLE CREEK WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 11/23/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

100 ducks   40 Canada Geese

Mallard Migration Rank (0-10) =1

Water level The lake is currently at 1072 and Dropping
Hunting conditions poor
Expected hunting success poor
Comments Please check in using https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin prior to hunting Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area. The area had several pools of water all summer long that are dry now. The Swede Creek boat ramp is out of the water currently with the river being so low, which is also keeping us from pumping the Olsburg marsh. At the time of this writing there has been about 300 acre feet pumped at the Black Vermillion marsh.  There is a mowed walking trail from Plum Hollow Rd. South to the pool at the north end of Rolander road, which we are now calling Shannon Creek as it really isn't at the end of Rolander Road anymore. The Olsburg, Swede Creek, and Irving marshes are all dry. Fancy Creek Marsh is dry as well.



This is a collection of all the Southwest Waterfowl Report

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS - Last Updated: 10/24/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Absolutely no water, therefore no waterfowl 

Do not expect the report to be updated until conditions change.  If the report has not been updated in a few days, please assume that conditions and bird numbers are the same as the last update.

Water level 1A-dry, 1B-dry, 1C-dry, 2-dry, 3A-dry, 3B-dry, 4A-dry,  4B-dry, 5-dry.  There is no water on the area, including ZERO in the storage pools.  No way to replenish water levels due to dry weather.  No water available for diversion from the Wet Walnut Creek or Arkansas River as both are completely dry.  With hot dry weather, the minimal amount of rain in the last year has soaked up and there was no runoff.  It is going to take a very significant rain event/events in order for even a minimal amount of water on the area.  Cheyenne Bottoms has no ground water pumps to fill pools.  All construction on the inlet canal is complete.
Hunting conditions Pool 2-  Cattails are being disked throughout the pool. Last year there was 428 acres of cattails sprayed in Pool 2, another 342 acres were sprayed on August 22, 2022.    Pool 3B- All cattails have been disked multiple times.  All blind islands have been rebuilt.  25 acres of millet and 25 acres of milo planted, but neither will produce due to the drought.  A total of 180 acres of wheat was planted in the pool in October 2022. Pools 3A, 4A, 4B, 5- Past cattail control efforts have paid off with quality habitat and an abundance of natural waterfowl forage available in all of these pools.  Blind islands are being rebuilt in Pool 4A.
Expected hunting success Very bad 
Comments

ISPORTSMAN IS NO LONGER IN USE.  HUNTERS CAN CHECK IN VIA THE GOOUTDOORSKS APP OR THE WEBSITE https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx

ALL BOATS MUST BE OPERATED AT NO WAKE SPEEDS.  REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OR SCENERIO, ALL BOATS MUST BE OPERATED AT NO WAKE SPEEDS 100% OF THE TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS.

POOL 4A IS CLOSED AT 1 P.M. DAILY TO MOTORIZED BOATS.  ANY BOAT WITH A MOTOR ON IT MUST BE OUT OF THE WATER AT 1 P.M.  NO MOTORING OUT PRIOR TO 1 P.M. THEN ROWING OR DRAGGING BOAT BACK IN AFTER 1 P.M.

3A IS CLOSED TO MOTORIZED BOATS

MOTORIZED BOATS ALLOWED ONLY DURING OPEN WATERFOWL SEASON.  THIS MEANS NO SCOUTING FROM A MOTOR BOAT PRIOR TO SEASON. 

ALL WATERCRAFT ARE PROHIBITED FROM APRIL 15-AUGUST 15 TO PROTECT NESTING BIRDS ON THE WILDLIFE AREA.

DURING THE YOUTH/VETERANS/MILITARY WEEKEND, POOL 4B IS DESIGNATED AS A YOUTH ONLY POOL.

LEGAL SHOOTING HOURS ARE 30 MINUTES BEFORE SUNRISE TO SUNSET.

UNLAWFUL TO SHOOT FROM ROADS OR DIKES ON THE WILDLIFE AREA.

DO NOT PARK BLOCKING ROADS, GATES, BOAT RAMPS, FOOT CROSSINGS, ETC.

DO NOT LAUNCH TRAILERED BOATS FROM DIKES OR FOOT CROSSINGS.  ANY BOATS ON A TRAILER MUST USE DESIGNATED BOAT RAMPS.

NO TRASH POLICY ON THE WILDLIFE AREA.

CAMP IN DESIGNATED CAMPGROUND ONLY

Use footcrossings in Pools 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B as the ditches have been cleaned out and are very deep.

1 DRAWN SPECIAL HUNT FOR 1 PARTY OF 3 YOUTH WILL BE HELD EACH SATURDAY MORNING OF REGULAR DUCK SEASON IN POOL 5.  CHECK OUT KSOUTDOORS.COM TO APPLY AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPECIAL HUNTS PROGRAM.

For waterfowl season dates, Cheyenne Bottoms is in the Low Plains Early Zone.



ISABEL - Last Updated: 12/1/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers No waterfowl observed-11/30
Water level The main lake is full with additional water to the north of the upper end.  The pool south of the main lake has some water. The remaining pools are dry.
Hunting conditions 30% ice cover on the main lake as of 11/22.
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Teal Season (Low Plains Zone):  September 10-September 25, 2022

Youth, Veteran, Active Military Waterfowl (Low Plains Late Zone):  October 22-23, 2022

Ducks (Low Plains Late Zone):  October 29, 2022 - January 1, 2023 (first segment) and January 21 - January 29, 2023 (second segment)

Daily check-in and harvest reporting is required

Check-in/Check-out on The Web

  1. Visit https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin
  2. Click the “Check-in/Check-out” link in the top menu

Check-in/Check-out on The App

  1. Download “Go Outdoors KS” from the Apple or Google Play store
  2. Click “Check-in/Check-out”
  3. Select a location
  4. Login with KDWP credentials
  5. Complete and submit “Check-in" form 

Only non-toxic shot is allowed on Isabel Wetland Wildlife Area for all species.



TEXAS LAKE - Last Updated: 12/1/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers No waterfowl observed 11/30 - 12/1
Water levels Currently, there is water in pools 1, 2, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.  There is also water north of pool 6. 
Hunting conditions TEXAS LAKE IS CLOSED TO DUCK HUNTING 12/5 THROUGH 12/16 (LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE)
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Teal Season (Low Plains Zone):  9/10/22 - 9/25/22

Youth, Veteran, Active Military Waterfowl (Low Plains Early Zone):  10/1/22 - 10/2/22

Regular Ducks (Low Plains Early Zone):  10/8/22 - 12/4/22 and 12/17/22 -1/1/23

Daily check-in and harvest reporting is required

Check-in/Check-out on The Web

  1. Visit https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin
  2. Click the “Check-in/Check-out” link in the top menu

Check-in/Check-out on The App

  1. Download “Go Outdoors KS” from the Apple or Google Play store
  2. Click “Check-in/Check-out”
  3. Select a location
  4. Login with KDWP credentials
  5. Complete and submit “Check-in" form

Only non-toxic shot is allowed for all shotgun hunting at Texas Lake Wildlife Area.



This is a collection of all the South Central Waterfowl Reports

CHENEY - Last Updated: 11/10/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Approximately 150 puddle ducks mainly Mallards and Gadwall, 3,200 divers mainly Golden Eye and Scaup with a mix of Bufflehead, Redhead and Canvasbacks. Very few geese were seen during the survey. 
Water level 3.1 feet below Conservation Pool on reservoir.
Hunting conditions

 Poor

We finally received some rain, but it had very little effect on the reservoir and area streams and rivers. The Ninnescah River has minimal flow and all area creeks and ponds that usually hold water are dry.  There is not enough water to launch boats from Wentzle Cove, Fish Cove or Deweese Camp Area boat ramps. The only useable ramps are located in Cheney State Park and the Red Bluff boat ramp. 

Expected hunting success  Poor 
Comments

NEW FOR 2022-2023 SEASON MERGANSERS ARE INCLUDED IN THE DAILY BAG LIMIT FOR DUCKS.

Cheney Wildlife Area is located in the Low Plains Late Zone

Low Plains Teal Season: Sept. 10-25, 2022

Low Plains Late Zone Youth/Veteran/Military Season is Oct. 22-23, 2022. 

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season is Oct 29, 2021-Jan 1st, 2023, and Jan 21-29, 2023.

Dark Goose Season Oct. 29-30, Nov. 2, 2022 - Feb. 12, 2023

White Fronted Geese: Oct. 29, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023 and Jan. 21 - Feb. 12, 2023

Daily bag limit: 6

Six ducks is the daily bag limit, with species and sex restrictions as follows: 5 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, and 1 scaup. The daily bag may comprise six of any other duck, such as six teal, six gadwall, six merganser or six wigeon.

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit.

The refuge at Cheney Wildlife Area, located on the south side of Pretty Prairie Rd between Obee Rd and Kent Rd, extends out from the shoreline 100 yards into the water. What this means is that water along the shoreline of the refuge is included in the restricted access area and is off limits to hunting. Accessing the refuge by boat or hunting near the refuge shoreline is not permitted.

Remember Cheney Reservoir has ZEBRA MUSSELS. Make sure to Clean, Drain and Dry your equipment. Clean all visible vegetation and mud from decoys, bags, waders, etc. Drain water from decoy bags and boats. Allow equipment to Dry for a five day period before using it at another area, OR wash with high-pressure hot water.

Many of the roads around the reservoir can get very greasy after rain, or melting snow, please use good judgement about which roads you try to travel on. Area roads have been upgraded with gravel. Please keep vehicles on maintained road and parking areas. Off road vehicle use is strictly prohibited.

Please report all wildlife and public lands violations that you witness by calling the area headquarters at (620) 459-6922. Please leave a detailed message with violation specifics. In the event of an emergency, please call 911. 



BYRON WALKER - Last Updated: 11/17/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Some ducks are moving in.  They are not staying long as the food value is minimal in the lake.  At times we may have 200-400.  Other times we are back to a dozen or two.  11/17/22 at 3:00 p.m. it is about 20.  
Water level Kingman State Fishing Lake is down almost 2 feet.  Significant mud flats are exposed on the north and west sides of the lake.  No marshes hold water and and main water source for the marshes is dry.  I do not expect any of these conditions to improve without significant rainfall or a killing frost.  We've had a killing frost and water is starting to reach the main diversion box above the marshes, but that needs to come up another 6 inches to start filling the marshes.  With the current conditions and the marsh floors not being saturated, that will take several weeks if it gets done at all in this drought.   
Hunting conditions

Horrible!                    

 

Expected hunting success    Extremely limited.   
Comments  



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 12/1/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Approximately 300 ducks (mostly mergansers and divers with some mallards) and 0 Canada geese were observed on 12/1/22.               
Water levels 1.6 feet below conservation elevation (1,274') on 12/1/22.    
Hunting conditions Ice is forming in shallows and wind protected areas on some days.  Full lake levels persisted through the summer and prevented the establishment of food producing plants along lake edges.  As such, food resources are diminished within lake environments.  Lake levels have been declining this fall, pulling water away from cover edges within some portions of the lake. 
Expected hunting success Poor.             
Comments Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season is open October 29 - January 1, AND January 21 - 29.                             



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl Numbers Approximately 400 ducks were observed on 12/02/22.  Mixed species of ducks sitting in deep water and a few mallards sitting near the shoreline.  Approximately 1500 Canada geese observed below the dam and on nearby private ponds.
Water level At 1336.57' approximately 2.43' below conservation elevation (1339'). 12/02/22
Hunting conditions Poor-  Through late July the lake was at or slightly above conservation pool.  Food producing plants in the reservoir were limited due to the higher water.  Now with drought conditions the lake level is dropping fast.  
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

NOTE: El Dorado Lake is located within the Low Plains Southeast Zone.

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Season: 11/05/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/14/2023 - 01/29/2023

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

  • Season: 02/13/2023 - 04/30/2023
  • Area Open: Statewide



KAW WILDLIFE AREA. - Last Updated: 11/18/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers There are not too many waterfowl using the river at this time.  Water is very low.
Water level Low
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 10-25, 2022

Area open: East of Hwy. U. S. 283

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit:18

Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

Season: November 5, 2022 - January 1, 2023 AND January 14-29, 2023

Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit



MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

ATTENTION: All hunters MUST check-in / check-out when hunting.  Visit https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials to check in and out. 

Friday, 2 December 2022:

Waterfowl numbers remain low at this time. 

Remember that all activities in the south and north refuges in the Big Basin are prohibited.  

Current Information  Be aware of new regulations in effect for the 2022 season:  The Big Basin is designated as youth only during the youth and military weekend, the use of motorized boats is prohibited, and centerfire rifles and handguns are prohibited. 
Water levels

The wetlands are in serious need of abundant rainfall.  Water levels have been in steady decline since mid-June.  Scouting will be critical in determining which wetlands have water. 

Groundwater pumping operations have stopped, and we will save what little water we have left to pump until early to mid-December. 

Big Basin: Very limited water in the wetlands that are open to public hunting, and limited water in the refuge.

Chain of Lakes:  This unit is 99% dry.  Be aware that the vast majority of Steel's Pond on the east boundary is privately owned. 

Little Sinkhole Marshes:  Water levels at the LSM have declined significantly over the last few weeks.  Many of the wetlands are now dry.

Hunting conditions Once again this year, we treated approximately 400 acres of cattails, Lotus, and other undesirable vegetation this growing season.  As the treated vegetation dies off and the desirable moist soil vegetation completes seed production, we will continue to roller chop / manipulate vegetation to create hunting spots as the season moves forward.  Waterfowl food production (native moist soil vegetation) has been exceptionally good across the area this year.  Approximately 100 acres of millet was planted in various wetlands.  The food is here, so if we get some good rains conditions will improve.
Expected hunting success Fair at best until conditions change.  Limited water will have a negative impact on waterfowl numbers and hunter success.
Comments

ATTENTION:

**THERE IS A "NO TRASH POLICY" IN EFFECT AT MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS.  PLEASE CARRY OUT WHATEVER YOU CARRY IN, INCLUDING EMPTY HULLS AND OTHER TRASH.  PLEASE TRY TO LEAVE YOUR HUNTING SPOT AS CLEAN OR CLEANER THAN IT WAS WHEN YOU ARRIVED.  THANKS!!!

REFUGE AREAS:   THE SOUTH REFUGE AREA IN THE BIG BASIN IS OFF-LIMITS TO ALL ACTIVITIES, AND THIS INCLUDES DUCK HUNTING.  THERE IS NO HUNTING OR PUBLIC ACCESS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THE REFUGE!!

The Little Sinkhole/Farland Lake marsh unit is included in the EARLY low-plains duck zone (as is the rest of MPWL).

All shotgun hunters at McPherson Wetlands are required to use non-toxic shot for all hunting. This includes upland birds.

Throughout all units, please be mindful of farmers and big equipment operators needing to access and maintain roads.



SLATE CREEK WETLAND - Last Updated: 11/18/2022 Print

Waterfowl
numbers
There are no waterfowl present on the area at this time. Pool 1 has a little bit of water, but the rest of the pools are dry.
Water
 level
Empty 
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

Slate Creek Wetland Public Announcement

Due to some erosion problems and renovations work at the wetland, we will not be able to hold water for the 2022-23 waterfowl season.  There will be some water in the pools, it will be just in the low-lying areas.  But all of this will depend on rain fall.  The low water levels will allow us time to get some valuable renovation done and fixing the erosion problems on the area.  This will help us resolve current erosion issues and make the whole wetland system work more efficiency.  We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Hunters can check-in / check-out here, using your licensing login credentials.  https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: Sept. 10-25, 2022
  • Area open: East of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit:6
  • Possession limit:18
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

  • Season: Oct. 29, 2022-Janaury 1, 2023 AND Jan. 21-29, 2023
  • Area open: Late Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit:6
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit

Also, all shotgun hunters at Slate Creek Wetlands are required to use non-toxic shot for all hunting. This includes upland birds.

 Keep in mind, during and after rain events, area roads become very greasy. Please use caution and good judgment before entering these roadways.

https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/



MARION - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl Numbers

Very few ducks were observed 12-2 after two days of strong south wind across the area.

Waterfowl numbers have started to increase for the season but birds still seem to be moving on quickly. Geese are in the area but have been using city sewer ponds.

Numbers and conditions can change daily.

Ice 1%
Water level Lake level is at 1348.62 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Fair.

There was very little natural food production along the shoreline this year in the way of moist soil vegetation like barnyard grass and yellow nut sedge. Crops on the area have been negatively affected by the drought. Water levels are dropping leaving behind exposed mud between the water and shoreline.

Expected hunting success Poor.
Comments

The boat ramp at Broken Bridge on the North Cottonwood river has a drop off at the end due to erosion. There are two post marking the end of the concrete on either side of the ramp. Planned maintenance on the boat ramp will carried out soon. Use caution!!!

The refuge at Marion Wildlife area, located on the south west part of the reservoir along French creek, extends out from the shoreline 100 yards into the water. What this means is that approximately 110 acres of water along the shoreline of the refuge are included in the restricted access area, and are off limits to hunting. Accessing the refuge by boat or hunting near the refuge shoreline is not permitted.

Remember Marion Reservoir has ZEBRA MUSSELS. Make sure to Clean, Drain and Dry your equipment. Clean all visible vegetation and mud from decoys, bags, waders, etc. Drain water from decoy bags and boats. Allow equipment to Dry for a five day period before using it at another area, OR wash with high-pressure hot water.

Many of the roads around the reservoir can get very greasy after rain, or melting snow, please use good judgement about which roads you try to travel on.



This a collection of all the Southeast Waterfowl Reports.

ELK CITY RESERVOIR/WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers Duck numbers appear to have increased in the general area but duck numbers on the reservoir remain sporadic. There have been a few days where a good number of ducks are using the lake and a few days later, there are not many around. Snow goose numbers have increased. The waterfowl numbers are expected to fluctuate with migration, hunting pressure, and changing habitat conditions.
Water level There is a tiny bit of sheet water in a couple marshes, but ducks have not been seen using those marshes yet. The rest of the marshes are still dry. We do not have the capability to pump any of the marshes on the wildlife area. Heavy rains will be required to get runoff to fill the marshes. The lake is over 2 ft. low. For current Reservoir levels visit http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/ELKC.lakepage.html
Hunting conditions The water situation in the wetlands is poor. Heavy rain is still needed to improve hunting conditions. Habitat conditions vary across the area. Plant and seed production was poor in the majority of the marshes this year due to lack of rain. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET HIGH CENTERED IF USING A BOAT. SOME OF THE SHORELINE IS VERY SHALLOW A LONG WAYS OUT FROM THE BANK AND THE MUD IS VERY DEEP IN SOME AREAS. 
Expected hunting success Poor. Opportunities are limited with the current conditions.  TEAL SEASON IS SEPT. 10-25 REGULAR DUCK SEASON IS NOV. 5-JAN. 1 AND JAN. 14-29
Comments Individuals utilizing the wildlife area need to be aware of the refuge boundaries. Boats cannot drive through the refuge area on the water. Maps can be obtained at the Fisheries & Wildlife office (below the dam), at the State Park (on the lake side), and online at https://ksoutdoors.com/content/download/20944/140278/file/ELK%20CITY%20RES%20&%20WA.pdf



FALL RIVER RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 11/14/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

11/14/22

There are a few small groups of birds on the lake at any given time. Mostly divers. Area pasture ponds have been holding some small groups of birds but not many. We have been seeing some descent groups of geese on wheat fields in the area but almost exclusively on private land.  

Water level Lake level is 1.6 feet below normal pool.  All area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions Conditions are going to be challenging on the lake.  A boat will most likely be needed.  If attempting to hunt from the bank, you will have to contend with a large area of mud flat between the waters edge and any cover.
Expected hunting success Low to Moderate
Comments Waterfowl reports will be updated on a bi-weekly basis during the fall and winter waterfowl seasons.  Updates will be made when significant changes in waterfowl numbers are observed. For information pertaining to the Fall River Wildlife Area call 620-583-6783.



JOHN REDMOND - Last Updated: 11/15/2022 Print

 2023 Regulations and Seasons

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/10/2022 - 09/25/2022
  • Area open: East of Hwy. U. S. 283
  • Daily bag limit: 6 teal (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)  
  • Possession limit: 18 teal in possession (any combination of teal: blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon teal)
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

YOUTH, VETERAN AND ACTIVE MILITARY WATERFOWL SEASONS (Youth 17 and younger) Stamps/Permits Required: Resident youth hunters under 16 years of age do not need any stamps or permits. Nonresident youth need a nonresident hunting license, a Kansas HIP Permit and State Waterfowl Permit

  • Southeast Zone: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Season: 11/05/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/14/2023 - 01/29/2023
  • Area open: Southeast Zone 
  • Daily bag limit: 6 
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

DUCK LIMITS- 6 ducks, with species and sex restrictions as follows: 5 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, and 1 scaup.

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (including Brant)
  • Possession limit: 18
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 01/01/2023 and 01/21/2023 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/29/2022 - 10/30/2022 and 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 50
  • Possession limit: No limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

  • Season: 02/13/2023 - 04/30/2023
  • Area Open: Statewide
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp
  • Equipment Restrictions: During the Conservation Order, unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

John Redmond and Otter Creek Wildlife Area Fall 2022 Conditions-I expect average above habitat conditions this year for waterfowl on John Redmond Reservoir, if we can catch some rain, and the lake level comes back up.  If it continues to be dry, conditions are going to be pretty poor.  Otter Creek Marshes, located below John Redmond Dam- Only the upper marsh will have water this year, if it rains.  It is currently dry.      The Sedimentation Basins located on west side, below dam, are not open for hunting, and are privately owned and operated.

Waterfowl numbers 3,500 Light Geese, 150 Dark Geese, 1250 mixed big ducks.  
Water level Current Level: 1041.05 Conservation Pool Level: 1041
Hunting 
Expected hunting success   Poor
Comments For information on Flint Hills National Wildlife Area and the marshes on the upper end of the lake please contact FHNWR @ 620-392-5553.



MARAIS DES CYGNES - Last Updated: 12/2/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

ATTENTION HUNTERS: There is a new check-in system 

All hunters must check-in daily To check-in / check-out. Hunters, go to this site: https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin Use your licensing login credentials to access the check-in / check-out functions. 

Good number of ducks using the refuge units, mostly mallards.   Lower numbers than a week ago though. A few Canada geese and a decent number of white-fronted geese are around.    

Water levels

Pumps have been running off and on since June.  Good water can be found in: A-North, A-East, C-South, F-East, F-South, and F-West. Low to mid elevations of : G.  Larger boats will have difficulty launching in A-East and G.  Unit E has almost no water in it and will require a large rain event for that to change. Other smaller wetlands will be pumped later this fall if at all.    

Good water in both refuge units by the office.  

Over 2,500 ac/ft of water has been pumped this year.      

This year we are going to try something new:  Water level gauges are set in almost every unit.  Staff use these gauges to help manage water levels through both pumping and drawdowns.  We will try to provide the level of water as it reads on the gauge.  Hunters should keep in mind this value should be used as an index.  If the gauge reads 15", it doesn't mean there's 15" of water across the whole unit the gauge reading should be used as a reference. Over time it should help provide a better answer to one of the most common questions we get. "How much water is in  _____ unit?"   Stay tuned,  more to come on this later. 

  • A-North at ramp: 13.5"
  • A-East at ramp: 6.5"
  • C-South at outlet: 26.5"
  • F-East at outlet: 35.5"
  • F-South at outlet: 25"
  • F-West at outlet: 19.5" 
  • Unit G: 16.5"

 

Hunting/ Habitat conditions

Early flooding and late severe droughts made for an adverse growing season. In spite of these factors, wetland food production across the area was only slightly below average.      

Japanese Millet was planted in a few small areas.  Buckwheat was planted in the highest elevations of A-North. 

Summer vegetation was good or better in: A-East, F-East, and C-South

Summer vegetation was fair to good in: F-South

Summer vegetation was poor to fair: A-North, F-West, Unit-G

There is no flooded corn or milo this year.  

Unit G: Tired of cocklebur in Unit G? So are we. We are undertaking a large scale stump and woody vegetation removal project in the southwest corner of the unit.  Old tree stumps are the primary reason ground equipment hasn't been able to get in the unit to spray and control undesirable vegetation.  One good thing about it being so dry is that it allows us to work in places, we wouldn't normally get a chance to. This effort will have Unit G looking more open then in previous years, but the long term benefits far exceed the short term impacts.  In addition to the stump removal, we are also working to restore the old creek channel that meanders through the southern end of the unit. This not only will help with dewatering, but also may help provide better access from boats using the south ramp.  After completion, the channel will be marked for easier use by hunters.  Pumping is anticipated to begin in early November depending on water availability.   

If you like the habitat or water levels in wetlands, be sure to thank the following staff: Seasonal technicians: Kirk, Ron, and Alex. Habitat Specialist: Matt. or Assistant Manager: Joe.

If there's something you don't like on the area, be sure to tell the Area Manager, Jacob.

Hope everyone has a great season.  Enjoy your time in the field!

   

Season Dates

LOW PLAINS TEAL: Sept. 10-25, 2022

SOUTHEAST ZONE YOUTH/VETERAN: Oct. 29-30 2022 

SOUTHESAT LATE ZONE DUCK SEASON OPENS Nov. 5,2021 - Jan. 1, 2023 and Jan 14 - Jan. 29, 2023

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE OPENS Oct. 29,2022 - Jan 1, 2023 and Jan. 21 - Feb. 12, 2023

DARK GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 29 - 30, 2022 and Nov. 2 - Feb. 12, 2023 

Light GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 29 - 30, 2022 and Nov. 2 - Feb. 12, 2023

Conservation Light Goose season is from February 14  - April , 2022

Comments

Gas motors are restricted to Unit G and the boat lane in Unit A-East. Outboards cannot be used in any other wetland units. Electric trolling motors are unrestricted.

Waterfowl report is updated only if there are significant changes in waterfowl numbers or hunting conditions.

Atv's of any kind are not allowed on the area (side by sides, utv's, amphibious vehicles, "argos", this also means no electric bicycles)

Campgrounds on the area are primitive. (No electric, No water) Take your trash with you!

Please remember to fill out the daily permit with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, each individual hunter needs to check in/out and report his/her harvest totals. i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.



MELVERN LAKE/WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 10/25/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Waterfowl counts given on this report are based on what was observed on the day the report is updated. Waterfowl numbers vary greatly from day to day and weather conditions and hunting pressure will affect the number of waterfowl on the area.   

6 Mallards

17 Wigeon

55 Gadwall

48 Northern Shoveler

13 Northern Pintail

212 Blue Winged teal

72 Green Winged Teal

1 Canvasback

3 Redheads

23 Ringnecks

1 Goldeneye

465 Unidentified Ducks

Mallard Migration Rank = 0 (0 = no mallards and 10 = peak migration)

Water level Lake level = 1034.19; Conservation pool = 1036.00; Target goal for the lake is 1036.00.         0% Ice cover on Melvern Lake.
Hunting conditions

Melvern Lake and the Wildlife Area fall within the Low Plains Late Zone.  

3 Duck Marsh- The wetland contains prime moist-soil vegetation. Both units are full.

Willow Marsh- This wetland is full of moist soil vegetation and will provide excellent habitat. This wetland is full.

Sundance Marsh- This wetland contains moist soil vegetation. The wetland is 1/8 full. Wetland will be pumped when lake levels rise. 

Lowman's Cove- Due to drought conditions water levels are low but moist soil production was high. If we get some rain this wetland will be excellent. 

Shoveler Slough- This wetland is prime moist-soil vegetation. Habitat conditions are looking excellent. This wetland is full. The parking lot for this wetland is located at the intersection of 317th and S. Davis Rd. 

Price Marsh- This newly completed wetland has decent moist soil vegetation. This wetland is 1/3 full. Pumping will resume when river levels rise. The parking lot for this wetland is at 309th & Crawford. NO DRIVING ON THE LEVEE.

Refuge-The refuge is on the west end of the lake and directly east of Willow Marsh. It produced good moist soil vegetation but due to dropping lake levels there is very little habitat available. The Refuge Area is CLOSED October 1st through January 15th.

Expected hunting success Low
Comments

All hunters utilizing Melvern Wildlife Area are required to obtain a free daily hunt permit through the new electronic permit system. Hunters can register now to begin using the electronic system at https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials. Waterfowl hunters utilizing the main lake are only required to obtain a permit when hunting west of Hoch Road.

Please remember to fill out the permit 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.

The Refuge Area is CLOSED October 1st through January 15th.



NEOSHO WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 11/21/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers
Hunters can check in here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials or download the "GoOutdoors KS" app. Check-in / check-out is required for all hunters!
NO ENTRY (by foot, boat, etc) INTO THE MARSH (water) BY ANY HUNTER UNTIL 5:00AM AND MUST BE OUT OF THE MARSH BY 1 HOUR AFTER SUNSET (LEGAL SHOOTING TIME).

Currently seeing Teal, Mallards, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, a mix of diver species, Canada Geese, Snow Geese and White Fronts.

Water level

Most recent rainfall events were not enough to have any runoff and pumping continues to be a struggle.  Talking with locals this seems to be the worst drought seen in this area since the 1950's.  A significant rain event (6+") is going to be necessary in the Neosho basin or pumping this fall will continue to be very tough.

For Neosho WA hunters should expect considerably less than normal water levels throughout the season.

Most of the water acres listed below are shallow sheet water 6 to 10" deep at this time. Please see area news for habitat conditions

Boats are NOT required to hunt Neosho. Walk-in hunting is readily available with very few areas over knee deep. Hunters should take caution wading the boat lane (south end) in Pool 1 (tractor roads/foot crossings are in place); the very east side of 2A, and the oxbow area of 2B.

Pumping has been running off and on since the first week of July.  However, evaporation loss has been significant and soil conditions are extremely dry.  Pumping efforts continue but with low river conditions pumping is extremely slow.  Pumping will continue as long as river will allow or our annual Acre Foot allocations have been met.    

Hunters should expect much shallower than normal water levels for this waterfowl season if weather patterns do not change.  This means boat accessibility including mud motors will be tougher than normal, boats will be able to use the ditches or boating lanes, but hunters should expect to have to push their boat (this includes boats with mudmotors!) or walk outside of the boat lane.  We have had several boats stuck this year as the substrate is heavy clay soil and is hard.  PLEASE UTILIZE CAUTION AS OPEN WATER DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN DEEP WATER.         

Pool 1- 200 Acres

Pool 2A-  100acres

Pool 2B- 145 acres

Pool 3 (Refuge)- 300+ acres

Pool 4A- 90 acres   Walk in and non-motorized boat hunting only

Pool 4B- 45 acres   Walk in and non-motorized boat hunting only

Pool 5-  (Lower Pool- Dry Middle Pool- Dry  Upper Pool- Dry )  

Pool 6-  Dry

Pool 7-  Dry

Pool 8- 25 acres  

Pool 9- Dry

South Unit- Dry  Filled two pools (55 Acre Feet) in July to flood irrigate and had a great moist soil response.  Unfortunately, pumping will not occur again on this property without significant rainfall.

 

    

Hunting conditions

Habitat for the upcoming season is a good mixture of moist soil plants and millet despite the drought conditions and extreme heat we have been dealt this summer!!  Staff has worked hard pumping and moving water around since the first week of July to produce food for the fall migration.       

Please see the area news page for a breakdown of habitat types within each pool. 

 

Expected hunting success
Fair - Success will be contingent on the weather received between October and the first of the year.  Without some rain it will be a tough season.    

Please be respectful of other hunters and allow space between hunting parties. 

We want to thank everyone for the continued cooperation with utilizing our electronic check-in/out system. We encountered very few issues with compliance during this hunting season. Area staff look at and manipulate this data in many different ways to make management decisions for upcoming years and to also look at what management strategies worked during the hunting season.    

Comments
ATTENTION: Federal waterfowl stamps purchased online are only valid for 45 days after purchase. After 45 days of being purchased the actual stamp must be in your possession, signed across the face of the stamp, while hunting!
Reminder: Motorized watercraft are prohibited on the wildlife area until the day season opens. (5:00am, November 5,2022 for regular duck season.)
DAILY REGULATION:  NO ENTRY INTO THE MARSH (water) BY ANY HUNTER UNTIL 5:00AM AND MUST BE OUT OF THE MARSH BY 1 HOUR AFTER LEGAL SHOOTING TIME.   
All Boating regulations are enforced! (Lifejackets must be out and accessible, navigation lights, etc.)
All boats must operate at no wake speeds within boating canals (signs are posted)
No shooting is allowed from interior dikes
Legal shooting hours are 1/2 hr before sunrise to SUNSET!
Required Licenses/stamps: Hunting License, Federal Waterfowl Stamp, Kansas State Stamp, and Kansas H.I.P. Stamp. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the required licenses/stamps. You MUST also check in and check out here, https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin using your licensing login credentials or download the "GoOutdoors KS" app. 
Waterfowl hunting in Pool 8 is restricted to youth hunters and their mentor on weekends and holidays. There must be at least one youth per adult if the adult is hunting. (You can't have 5 adults and one youth).
Atv's of any kind are not allowed on the area (side by sides, utv's, amphibious vehicles, "argos"; this includes electric bicycles)
Campgrounds on the area are Primitive campground. (No electric, No water) Take your trash with you!!

Please remember to fill out the permit with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, each individual hunter needs to check in/out and report his/her harvest totals. i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.



TORONTO RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 11/14/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

11/14/22

Not many ducks around.  There are several small groups of ducks on the lake at any given time.  Some area pasture ponds have also been holding small groups of birds.  We have been seeing a few descent groups of geese sitting on wheat fields but almost exclusively on private land.

Water level Lake is 1.5 ft. below normal pool level. All area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions Hunting conditions will be fair.  If hunting the lake a boat will most likely be needed, otherwise one would have to deal with a large distance of mud flat from any cover to the waters edge.
Expected hunting success Low to Moderate
Comments Waterfowl reports will be posted on a bi-weekly basis throughout the fall and winter waterfowl seasons. Updates will be made when a significant change in bird numbers is observed.  For information pertaining to the Toronto Wildlife Area call 620-583-6783.