Geese

Nine populations of geese occur in Kansas, with all but one, the Eastern Prairie Canada Goose Population, being at, or above, their population objective. Kansas is located within the Central Flyway and shares its goose resources with the other states of that Flyway, Canada, and to a lesser extent the Mississippi Flyway.

The primary goose populations occurring in Kansas originate from the Arctic regions of Canada, provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and east tier states of the Central Flyway (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas itself). Throughout North America geese are managed at the population level. Within the Central Flyway, goose populations are usually defined as being composed of one or more races or species, grouped in aggregations based on wintering range similarities. This approach is a mix of biology and politics which facilitates the management of these species.

CAgeese

Of the nine populations of geese that occur in Kansas, seven occur in significant numbers at some time during the annual cycle. The resident Canada geese are members of the Great Plains Population which range from the southern areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, through North Dakota and south into northern Texas. The other population of large Canada geese which occurs in Kansas is the Western Prairie Population, which nests in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba and winters from North Dakota south to northern Texas. These two populations are comprised of large birds ( Branta canadensis maxima, moffitti and interior), and are largely the results of restoration efforts throughout their range. The Great Plains and Western Prairie Populations are managed jointly through one management plan.

In contrast to the large Canada geese, small Canada geese, light geese and white-fronted geese tend to nest farther north in the Arctic regions of the continent. Although they nest farther north than large Canada’s, they tend to winter farther south, with small Canada’s, white-fronts and light geese being common along the GulfCoast and south into Mexico.

canada goose

Single Canada Goose

Two populations of small Canada geese occur in Kansas. Members of the Tall Grass Prairie Population are oriented to the eastern two thirds of the state, while the Short Grass Prairie Population is found in the western third of Kansas. These two populations are comprised of small races of Canada geese ( B. C. Parvipes and Hutchinsii).

One population of white-fronted geese and two populations of light (lesser snow geese and Ross') geese also occur here. The Mid-Continent Population of white-fronted geese ( Anser albifrons frontalis) occurs throughout Kansas during the migration and winter seasons, but is most common in the mid-section of the state. The Mid-Continent Population of light geese is composed primarily of lessor snow geese ( Anser caerulescens caerulescens), with some Ross’ geese ( Anser rossii), and is most common in the eastern third of the state, while the Western Central Flyway Population of light geese occurs on the extreme western edge of Kansas and includes a significant proportion of Ross' geese.

In addition to the seven primary populations of geese which occur in Kansas, two populations of Canada geese common to the Mississippi Flyway visit our state. The first, the Eastern Prairie Population (EPP), comprise a significant proportion of the geese which winter at, or near, the Marais des CygnesWA, and may contribute a major share of the Canada goose harvest at that area and throughout southeast Kansas during some years. EPP Canada geese consist of B. C. interior race and nest in the Hudson Bay Lowlands of Manitoba and winter primarily in Missouri. Unlike other populations of geese common to Kansas, and those in the Central Flyway, it remains very near, or below the population objective.

The second population of Canada geese that occurs in Kansas, but originates in the Mississippi Flyway, comes from the Mississippi Flyway Giant Population. A segment of the restoration birds from Minneapolis, Minnesota, which belong to this population, developed a migration pattern to Wichita, Kansas. It is possible that up to 40 percent of the Canada goose harvest in SedgwickCounty is composed of geese from Minnesota.

Currently, with the exception of EPP geese, all populations of geese common to Kansas are at or above their population objectives. In fact, light goose populations have increased to the point where they are causing significant long-term damage to their breeding habitat.

The history of goose management in Kansas and the Central Flyway is one of success. During the early 1960’s slightly more than 200,000 Canada geese were observed during the winter surveys in the Central Flyway. In January 2001, approximately 1.25 million were reported. Not all geese are observed or reported during operational surveys, but the trend is obvious, and utilized for management decisions. The numbers for white-fronts, Ross’ geese and Snow geese show the same trends, with light goose (Ross’ and snow geese) numbers being more than double the population objective. Wild nesting Canada geese occurred in fewer than six counties in our state immediately prior to 1980, when the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks initiated the most recent restoration effort. Since that time resident Canada geese have been established throughout the state where suitable habitat occurs, including all counties in the eastern two-thirds of the state.

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 License - 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

115-18-16 (PDF - 135.24 kB)

Light Goose Conservation Order - General Provisions and Restrictions.

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

115-18-14 (PDF - 9.65 kB)

Non-Toxic Shot - Statewide

GOOSE IDENTIFICATION

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 waterfowl identification go to http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/tools/waterfwl/waterfwl.htm

HARVEST

.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, click here.

 

Light Geese - The harvest trend of light geese in Kansas is surprising. Despite the population growth

Light goose harvest

through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, the Kansas regular season light goose harvest remained relatively unchanged during those years, averaging about 6,200 birds per year. However, harvest has jumped during recent years, averaging almost 18,000 for the 1999–03 period. Of particular interest is the harvest of Ross’ geese. For many years these small geese were considered rare, and the bag limit was held at no more than one bird per day. From 1962 through 1989 only 123 were recorded in the Federal Harvest Survey for the state of Kansas. Beginning in the mid 90’s they began showing up in the harvest on a regular basis and in 2003 an estimated harvest of 5,800 occurred in Kansas. It is believed that much of this harvest occurs in the western one third of Kansas, where Ross’ geese are commonly observed in light goose flocks belonging to the Western Central Flyway Population of Light Geese.

 

Light Goose Conservation Order - The present challenge associated with light geese is to correct overabundant populations and resulting habitat problems they cause. There had been a steady procession of hunting liberalizations from the mid 80’s through the mid 90’s, but these proved too little, too late, and light goose population continued to grow. It became obvious that the light goose harvest had been maximized through what could be accomplished within the hunting frameworks allowed by treaty. In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized a Conservation Order harvest of light geese. This Conservation Order allows the take of light geese outside the normal October 1 through March 10 treaty parameters, and authorized new regulations such as the use of unplugged shotguns, electronic calls, and shooting hours extending 1/2 hour after sunset.

Within Kansas, the Conservation order allows the take of geese beginning immediately after the end of the regular season until April 30. During this season, Kansas hunters have harvested about 23,000 additional light geese per year, in addition to those taken during the regular season. It is obvious from the harvest estimates that the Conservation Order Season is important to Kansas Hunters and the final harvest total.

It is too early to determine whether the added harvest allowed by the Conservation Order Season will reverse the growth of the mid-continent light goose population. However, to date the results are encouraging. Winter counts peaked in 1997-98 and appear to have stabilized or even declined slightly since then. Only time will tell. In any event, hunters will undoubtedly be major contributors to the solution of this problem.

 

White-fronted Geese – Historically, white-fronted geese have not been a major harvest species in Kansas. From 1962 through 1999, the harvest averaged less than 2,000, and never exceeded the 6,000 birds harvested in 1972. However, during recent years (2000–03) whitefront numbers have increased, and they are staying longer. The result is that the harvest has increased accordingly. During these four years the harvest has averaged about 9,000 birds.

 

Canada Geese – Canada geese are the primary target of Kansas goose hunters. There have been some impressive changes in the harvest of these birds in our state since the early 1960’s. During the

Canada goose harvest

60’s, Canada goose harvest averaged less than 10,000. The harvest gradually increased though the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. However, from the late 90’s through the 2003 season there has been a rather dramatic increase in the take of Canada geese in Kansas. During the 1999 through 2003 seasons, Kansas hunters harvested an average of almost 92,000 Canada’s, with a peak harvest of 124,000 in 2003. During 2002 and 2003, for the first time in history, the harvest of Canada geese exceeded the harvest of mallards in Kansas.

Another significant change in the harvest of Canada geese is the proportion of the harvest that is composed of large Canada’s. During the 1960’s only about 25 percent of the Canada goose harvest was large birds. This figure has increased over the years, and has occasionally exceeded 80 percent during recent years. What has occurred is that the total harvest of small Canada geese has remained relatively unchanged while harvest of large Canada’s has increased dramatically.

 

All Goose Harvest - The total Kansas harvest of all goose species combined has tracked the population trends, increasing from about 11,000 per year during the 60’s, to about 38,000 average

KS total goose harvest

during the 1990’s. However, during recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the total goose harvest, with an estimated average annual harvest approaching 118,000 during the past five years (1999-03), and peaking at 160,000 in 2003.

There have been some minor changes in the species composition of the harvest. During the 1960’s, Canada geese comprised 60 percent of the Kansas harvest, increasing to 72 percent during the 1990’s. This increase has come at the expense of white-fronted geese, which decreased from approximately 10 percent during the 60’s to 3 percent during the 90’s, and light geese, which saw their proportion of the Kansas harvest drop from 31 percent to 25 percent. This change in the species make-up of the Kansas goose harvest is due to the large increase in harvest of Canada geese.

The recreational value of the harvest and hunter opportunity provided by geese in the Central Flyway and Kansas is obvious. However, their widespread range, high visibility, and tolerance of close human contact results in geese, both resident Canada as well as winter concentrations, being the most observed wildlife in Kansas. Because of this, the non-consumptive benefits of geese, and waterfowl in general, are probably greater than that provided by any other species we manage.

The growth of our goose populations has been matched with the liberalization of hunting regulations. During the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s goose hunting regulations were relatively restrictive in the Central Flyway, as managers tried to build populations and establish nesting resident Canada geese. During the 1964 waterfowl season, Kansas hunters were allowed a 75 day goose season running from October 3 through December16, with a bag limit of 5 geese, which could include no more than 1 Ross’ goose, 2 Canada geese, or 1 Canada and 1 white-fronted goose. In 2005, Kansas hunters were allowed an 84 day white-fronted goose season with a bag limit of 2 whitefronts, a 95 day Canada goose season with a bag limit of 3 Canada geese, and a 107 day light goose season with a bag limit of 20.

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/

HISTORY OF RESIDENT CANADA GEESE IN KANSAS

The giant Canada goose ( Branta canadensis maxima) once occurred and nested over a large portion of the Great Plains, from the Great Lakes west to the continental divide, and from the prairie pothole region of south central Canada south to Kansas, Arkansas and Tennessee.

During the late 1800's and early 1900's their numbers were reduced as the settlement of that region took place. Excessive hunting and robbing of eggs were the main factors contributing to this decline. For a period of time many thought the giant Canada goose to be extinct.

Information on the early distribution of nesting Canada geese in Kansas is limited. It is believed that they nested on some of the major marshes such as Cheyenne Bottoms and the McPherson Wetlands as well as along some river systems. The last nesting Canada geese in Kansas were probably eliminated sometime in the early 1900's.

The earliest documented efforts to restore resident Canada geese in Kansas occurred at the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms in the late 50's and early 60's. In both instances, the geese were able to nest and produce young. However, the lack of an effective refuge with a food source at Cheyenne Bottoms resulted in an excessive harvest rate of those resident birds. The flock eventually declined to a remnant level where it remains today. At the Kirwin NWR, declining reservoir levels resulted in a reduction of available nest habitat on the reservoir itself. Some of the Kirwin birds began nesting on nearby privately owned stock ponds, returning to the refuge during late summer and early fall. As with the Cheyenne Bottoms geese, excessive harvest during the early portion of the season, prior to the arrival of large numbers of migrants, has resulted in only a remnant population remaining in and around the Kirwin NWR.

During the early to mid 70's, several Canada goose restoration projects were initiated by private individuals or groups. One, located on the Plumthicket Ranch in BarberCounty, was successful in establishing a flock which appears to have stabilized at about 100 birds. Another effort of greater magnitude was begun by individuals near Sylvia and Plevna in RenoCounty, and was very successful, with an estimated fall population of 700 in 1989.

In 1980, a project to restore resident Canada geese to Kansas was initiated by the Kansas Fish and Game Commission. This project has involved a number of approaches and techniques, including the release of geese relocated from other states, the release of goslings produced at several department facilities, and the relocation of unwanted birds from areas within our state.

From 1980 through 1989, approximately 10,000 Canada geese (6,000 goslings and 4,000 adults) were released in Kansas. In recent years nesting Canada geese have become a common sight on wetlands across our state. The primary problem at this time is maintaining a desired distribution, with fewer located in urban areas where they create nuisance situations, and more located in a dispersed fashion across the rural areas of our state..

Migratory Game Bird Season Dates

MIGRATORY DOVE (Mourning, white-winged)

  • Season: 09/01/2023 - 11/29/2023
  • 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: 01/01/2023 - 12/31/2023
  • 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: 09/01/2023 - 11/09/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 25
  • Possession limit: 75
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit

SNIPE

  • Season: 09/01/2023 - 12/16/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 8
  • Possession limit: 24
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Stamp

WOODCOCK

  • Season: 10/14/2023 - 11/27/2023
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit

TEAL, HIGH PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/21/2023 - 09/29/2024
  • 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: 09/14/2024 - 09/29/2024
  • 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: 10/12/2024 - 01/05/2025 and 01/17/2025 - 01/26/2025
  • 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: 10/12/2024 - 12/08/2024 and 12/21/2024 - 01/05/2025
  • 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: 10/26/2024 - 12/29/2024 and 01/18/2025 - 01/26/2025
  • 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: 11/09/2024 - 01/05/2025 and 01/11/2025 - 01/26/2025
  • 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: 10/05/2024 - 10/06/2024
  • Low Plains Early Zone: 10/05/2024 - 10/06/2024
  • Low Plains Late Zone: 10/19/2024 - 10/20/2024
  • Low Plains Southeast Zone: 11/02/2024 - 11/03/2024

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/26/2024 - 10/27/2024 and 11/06/2024 - 02/16/2025
  • 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: 10/26/2024 - 12/29/2024 and 01/25/2025 - 02/16/2025
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/26/2024 - 10/27/2024 and 11/06/2024 - 02/16/2025
  • 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: 02/17/2025 - 04/30/2025
  • 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: 11/08/2023 - 01/04/2024
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit

SANDHILL CRANE, WEST ZONE

  • Season: 10/21/2023 - 12/17/2023
  • Daily bag limit: 3
  • Possession limit: 9
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, Sandhill Crane Permit
POPULATION NUMBERS AND MIGRATION

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, click here

For current waterfowl numbers on Kansas wildlife areas during the fall and winter, click here

 

Light Geese - Light geese include greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’ geese. Lesser snow and Ross’ geese are the birds that concern the mid-continent region of the country, and Kansas in particular. Anyone who has an interest in waterfowl has likely heard of the problem of overabundant light geese and the damage they are inflicting on their Arctic breeding grounds. Such habitat destruction threatens not only light geese, but a host other species that utilize the Arctic environment.

The population objective for the Mid-Continent Population of Light Geese, those light geese important to Kansas, is 1 to 1.5 million, as measured during the Mid-winter Survey. The Mid-Continent Population began bumping against the upper limit of this objective in the late 1970s and surpassed it in 1986, never to return. Winter survey estimates peaked at nearly 3,080,000 light geese in 1998. Since then total population numbers appear to have stabilized, or even begun a slight decline. However, it is known that many geese are not observed and reported during this survey, and its results provide trend information only, not total numbers of birds in existence. Some researchers, using other estimation methods, have estimated a total light goose population in the neighborhood of eight million birds.

Within Kansas, light geese usually begin arriving in force during early November, and often peak during November or early December at somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 birds. Large numbers are regularly present in Kansas during February and March, but often do not orient to state and federal management areas, where counts are conducted. Despite this, counts in excess of several hundred thousand are not unusual at any time during the fall, winter, or spring periods.

In the past most light geese were oriented to the eastern third of Kansas. However, during recent years there have been light goose build-ups in the Central part of our state. Most of these birds are located on the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and Cheyenne Bottoms, Lovewell, Jamestown and Glen Elder Waterfowl Areas. This distribution shift became noticeable during the fall of 2000, and really grabbed attention during the fall of 2002, when these five areas averaged 233 thousand light geese, and peaked at 321 thousand during the fall and early winter period.

White-fronted Geese – The estimated numbers of white-fronted geese in the Mid-Continent population steadily increased from less than 100,000 during the early 1970’s, to over 500,000 in the fall of 1996. Since that time the population has stabilized, or possibly declined slightly.

Migration of whitefronts into Kansas begins early in the fall, with some birds arriving in late September and early October. Greatest numbers usually occur during late November or early December, when 200,000 to 300,000 are often observed. The number of white-fronted geese stopping and spending time in Kansas took a dramatic jump in 1997, when a total of 638,887 were reported during the 14 bi-weekly surveys conducted on our Management Areas. This total was more than double that reported during any previous year since 1970.

Canada Geese – Objectives of the various populations of Canada geese common to the Central Flyway are based on the Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey, conducted each January. Since 2002, the total number of Canada geese observed in the 10 Central Flyway states during this survey has exceeded 1,600,000 birds. All populations are at, or well above, established objectives.

The small Canada geese important to Kansas hunters belong primarily to the Tall Grass Prairie Population, which has an objective of 250,000. During January 2004 nearly 459,000 were reported from Central Flyway States. The geese most important to Kansas hunters are the large Canada’s belonging to the Great Plains/Western Prairie Population, which has a Mid-Winter Survey objective of 150,000 to 285,000. During the 2004 Mid-Winter Survey, 622,000 of these large geese were reported. This population continues to maintain these high numbers despite the liberal 95 day season with a bag limit of 3 birds that has been in place since 1998.

Canada geese nest in Kansas and are present throughout the year. However, migrant Canada’s begin entering the state in appreciable numbers in late October, when the small Canada’s begin arriving. The big push of large Canada’s usually occurs in late November, with peak numbers of 300,000 to 450,000 birds occurring during the first half of December. The timing of the Canada goose migration varies considerable from year to year, depending on weather in Kansas and states to the north.

REGULATIONS

Regulations governing the take of geeseare set annually. Click the links below for more information.

Goose Season Dates, Bag Limits, and Possession Limits,

Licenses, Fees, and Stamps,

Non-Toxic Shot Regulations and Areas,

Legal and Illegal Methods of Take

 

Other regulations that hunters frequently request information for:

Transporting

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.

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.

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 click on the following web site - 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.

 

Goose Management Unit Maps

 

Marais des Cygnes Valley and Southeast Unit Maps

 

 

Kansas City Early Goose Zone

 

Wichita Early Goose Zone

 

 

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 click the following web site - WWW.REPORTBAND.GOV

RESIDENT CANADA GEESE

Canada geese nesting in Kansas

In some urban and suburban areas in Kansas, Canada goose populations have increased substantially during the past 20 years. Some of these geese remain in Kansas to nest and are called “resident Canada geese”. As resident Canada goose numbers have increased, public attitudes toward them have become more negative. However, the same number of geese in a community can be viewed dramatically differently by individual homeowners. At one extreme, some people want to get rid of every goose and others are very protective of “their” geese. These conflicts among the human population make management of resident Canada geese challenging.

Landowners and homeowners associations can use a variety of techniques to manage resident Canada geese. These include landscaping to make their property less attractive to Canada geese, hazing or harassing geese with a dog or lasers, and repellents.

In some situations destruction of nests and eggs may be warranted. Such actions require a permit from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. For more information regarding Resident Canada goose managment, contact the appropriate KDWPT Regional Office for your area.

 

Locations Office Phone
Northwest and North-central Kansas Hays Region 1 Office (785) 628-8614
Southwest Kansas Dodge City District Office 620-227-8609
Northeast Kansas Topeka Regional Office (785) 273-6740
Kansas City Kansas City District Office (913) 422-1314
South-central Kansas Wichita Regional Office (316) 683-8069
Southeast Kansas Chanute District Office (620) 431-0380
Statewide Kansas Wetland Education Center (620) 566-1465
Waterfowl Reports

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

**Endangered whooping cranes have been observed in Northcentral and Northwest Kansas. Be cognizant of potential closures and restrictions, and as always, know your target before taking a shot. Shooting a whooping crane can carry fines up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in prison.**

**There have been outbreaks of disease among waterfowl in Northwest Kansas. While there appears to be low risk for human infection, domestic poultry and fowl are susceptible and extreme caution should be taken to reduce the risk of spreading disease. **

CEDAR BLUFF WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 3/18/2024 Print

 

NO Light GEESE

No Hunting Allowed from the Dam

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

Refuge Boundaries are also displayed on OnX.

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 - 2124.6 
Hunting conditions Ice still at west end and backs of coves.
Expected hunting success Fair
Comments

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

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

No Hunting Allowed from the Dam

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: 3/6/2024 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.

Please be aware that the Low Plains Early Duck Zone and Low Plains Late Duck Zone boundary is HWY 24. This means Glen Elder WA North of Hwy 24 is in the Early Zone.  The majority of the Glen Elder WA (South of HWY 24) is in the Late Zone.

--

Waterfowl numbers have dropped off this week as migration pushes north. Estimating about 20,000 snow geese. Duck numbers estimated at 10,000 or so with a variety of species present.  Maybe 1,000 or so dark geese.    

Numbers may change dramatically from day-to-day.

--

Glen Elder map

Water level Lake is currently 4.5 feet low and stable.  
Hunting conditions Fair.  Hunters still need to be cautious of DANGEROUS MUD CONDITIONS on the river areas.
Expected hunting success Fair for snow geese.  Not many birds left.  
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 (North of Highway 24) season is CLOSED

Low Plains Late Duck Zone (South of Highway 24) season is CLOSED

Dark geese season is CLOSED

Whitefront season is CLOSED 

Light geese season Conservation Season will be February 12, 2024 through April 30, 2024.

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: 2/29/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Bird numbers are fluctuating daily with ice conditions. The last few days the temps have been above freezing, thawing ice.

Birds today: Mallards, Green Winged Teal and Pintails are the primary species observed. DARK AND AND LIGHT GEESE ARE PLENTIFUL

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

Water levels

Ice that formed on all the marshes is not too thick and thawing. No big gains in water levels as they are at the same levels or slightly lower than they were for the end of duck season. The annual very slow,water drawdown of some of the marshes has begun.

Puddler Marsh: Dry. Gamekeeper Marsh: minimal water in the refuge; Gun Club West Marsh: drawdown beginning Gun Club East: drawdown beginning Greenwing Marsh; drawdown beginning Marsh Creek Marsh: drawdown begun Buffalo Creek Marshes: Dry Pintail Marsh: Dry 

Hunting conditions

ICE. Any night at or below freezing is making significant ice. Ice cover today is 95%. Ice is the main issue with access after nights of little wind and temperatures below 30 degrees. The past few days the temps have remained above freezing.

Excellent moist soil production and abundant flooded vegetation. The vegetation has broken down due to the heavy light goose use.

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 OPEN
Expected hunting success Fair, depending on ice and pressure.
Comments

We have had issues this season with reckless boating in the early morning hours. Please remember to be cautious while running the boat channels, as there is little to no room for more than one boat at a time. We have had several near collisions and mishaps. Also remember, ALL boating regulations will be enforced. Navigation lights (red and green bow lights along with an all around white stern light - light bars and headlamps do not qualify), life jackets, passenger capacities and boat registrations (even lay-out boats with a motor) ARE required. We have also had issues with hunters playing loud music while motoring out and setting up. Please remember to be courteous of other hunters on the area. Not everyone wants to hear it.

The MANDATORY electronic check  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 Early Duck Season (Second Segment): Dec. 23 - Jan. 7, 2024

Canada Geese:  Open now thru Feb. 11, 2024

White-Fronted Geese: Jan. 20 - Feb. 11, 2024

Light Geese: Open now thru Feb. 11, 2024

Light Geese Conservation Order: Feb. 12, 2024 - April 30, 2024

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 IS OPEN

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



LOVEWELL RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 2/29/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers  Good numbers of ducks and geese . Especially large numbers of light geese.
Mallard Migration Ranking  
Water level Lovewell Reservoir is at 1582.6 or FULL at Conservation Pool,( 100% full) and will remain at that level as the target reservoir elevation has been reached by the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District and the USBR. The BOR and Kansas Bostwick Irrigation ceased bringing in water on 2/24. The Guide Rock Diversion Canal from the Republican River was being used to refill the reservoir.
Hunting condition

NO ICE AS TEMPS HAVE AVERAGED ABOVE FREEZING THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS.

AL  FIELDS OPEN AND DRY

LOVEWELL RESERVOIR MAY STILL HAVE SOME POCKETS OF HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS.

CONTACT WITH THE DRIED ALGAE AND POCKETS OF VISIBLE ALGAE BLOOM AREAS IS NOT RECOMMENDED AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED, ESPECIALLY FOR DOGS.

Mudflats are ringing the entire reservoir and the water is a away from the normal shoreline but inching closer and the water is flooding the planted Japanese millet. There is sparse concealing vegetation close to the water.

ALL BOATS RAMPS ARE USEABLE AT THIS TIME. WHITE ROCK CREEK WILL OPEN MONDAY

ALL BOATS ARE REQUIRED TO USE NAVIGATION LIGHTS WHILE OPERATING BETWEEN THE HOURS OF SUNSET AND SUNRISE. PFD'S MUST NOT BE STOWED IN ANY COMPARTMENT WHILE THE BOAT IS UNDER POWER. KEEP THEM OUT OR BETTER YET ...ON! NON-MOTORIZED BOAT NEED SOME FLASHLIGHT OR LANTERN. 

Expected hunting success

POOR ON THE WILDLIFE AREA. WATERFOWL ARE USING THE WILDLIFE AREA TO ROOST.

CONSERVATION SEASON OPEN FOR LIGHT GEESE

WATERFOWL FEEDING IN PRIVATE CROPLAND FIELDS. PERMISSION REQUIRED FROM THE LANDOWNER.

DUCK AND DARK GOOSE SEASON CLOSED.

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.
  • DO NOT HANDLE DEAD WATERFOWL. DECEASED WATERFOWL INFECTED WITH AVIAN INFLUENZA ARE CONTAGIOUS AND A REAL HAZARD FOR TRANSMITTAL TO DOMESTIC POULTRY.

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: 2/23/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers The number of light geese at the lake is currently moderate, with moderate numbers of ducks also currently taking up residence on the lake. Small to moderate numbers of dark geese are also currently present at the lake. 
Water level The water level is higher than last year and is at a very desirable level for waterfowl with several areas of shallow water.
Hunting conditions

Be advised that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is present at the Norton Wildlife Area this year. Take proper precautions when handling waterfowl or other birds found dead or seemingly sick. 

Pressure from hunting is expected to be high. Expect to run into other waterfowl hunters. Lake surface is approximately 30% frozen. There are several areas that go from shallow to deeper suddenly and 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 at this time. Hunters should use common sense when planning on hunting and plan around ideal weather patterns to increase success.
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 2023 - 2024

Teal Season: September 16 - 24, 2023

Youth Duck Season (17 and younger): September 30 - October 1, 2023

Regular Duck Season:  October 7 - December 31, 2023 AND January 19 - 28, 2024

Canada Goose Season: October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

White-Fronted Goose Season: October 28 - December 31, 2023 and January 20 - February 11, 2024

Light Goose Season: October 28 - 29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Conservation Season: February 12 - April 30, 2024

Sandhill Crane: October 21 - December 17,2023

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: 1/18/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers several thousand geese and ducks on and in vicinity of Kanopolis Reservoir. Currently peak numbers for area
Water level 7.5'+ low
   
Hunting conditions  Fair with no cover/flooded vegetation on shorelines; backwaters on refuge dry due to drought. Most opportunities on private lands
   
Comments

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

Duck Season on Kanopolis Reservoir

October 28 - December 31, 2023 and January 20-28, 2024

Goose Season on Kanopolis Reservoir

Canada geese - October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

White-fronted geese - October 28 - December 31, 2023 and January 20 - February 11, 2024

Light Geese - October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Light Goose Conservation Order - February 12 - April 30, 2024



TALMO - Last Updated: 2/29/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

No ducks observed on the area this week. but lots of geese in the area.

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

Water level THE WARREN MARSH ON THE WEST SIDE OF 200 RD HAS HUNTABLE WATER. 
Hunting conditions Warren Marsh has water. Some of the other marshes have some sheet waterMoist Soil Conditions are excellent. Bird use dependent upon water levels.
Expected hunting success Will depend upon rainfall. DUCK AND DARK GOOSE SEASON SEASON CLOSED.
Comments

 Remember:

- TALMO IS IN THE LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE 

TALMO IS IN THE CLOSED SANDHILL CRANE ZONE

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season

 10/28/23 - 12/31/23 and 1/20/24 - 1/28/24

 

- 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: 2/23/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Snow goose numbers have been highly variable on Webster throughout the week. There was a small group loafing on the reservoir throughout the week but for the most part birds are migrating through quickly.

We sent in samples of suspected sick geese on 12/12. Snow geese sent in were all confirmed positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

Water level 1876.7'; 16' below conservation pool.
Hunting conditions 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. Most of the reservoir is surrounded by bare shoreline.
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

Refuge and non-motorized boat area dates: Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. Morel boat ramp is currently dry. The 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 9, 2023- September 24, 2023

Duck Season on Webster Reservoir - Low Plains Late Zone    

October 28, 2023 - December 31, 2023 and January 20-28, 2024

Youth Weekend, Duck and Goose

October 21-23, 2023

Goose Season on Webster Reservoir

CANADA GEESE  October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

WHITE-FRONTED   October 28, 2023 - December 31, 2023 and January 20 - February 11, 2024

LIGHT GEESE  October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Sandhill Crane Season on Webster Reservoir - Central Crane Zone

November 8, 2023 - January 4, 2024

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER

February 12 - April 30, 2024

 

 Webster Wildlife Area and Refuge Map

 Click here for PDF

Click here for Google Earth KMZ



WILSON - Last Updated: 1/31/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers Several thousand ducks and geese. currently peak waterfowl numbers with ice breaking up.
   
Water level 3 ft low; Conservation pool is 1516.0 ft
Hunting conditions Elm Creek boat ramp is iced shut. Limited food resources as lake level is low resulting in bare shorelines, little to no flooded vegetation;
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Waterfowl Seasons: 

Refuges are closed Sept 1-Jan 31 to all access except by special permit. This includes land and water refuge areas.

Cedar Creek boat ramp is dry and not accessible.

Duck Season on Wilson Reservoir

Season: October 28 - December 31, 2023 and January 20-28, 2024

Goose Season on Wilson Reservoir

Canada Geese - October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

White-Fronted - October 28, 2023 - December 31, 2023 and January 20, 2024 - February 11, 2024

Light Geese - October 28-29, 2023 and November 1, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Light Goose Conservation Order - February 12 - April 30, 2024

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



This is a collection of all the Northeast Waterfowl Reports

BENEDICTINE WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/26/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Mallard Migration Rank:  1 (Estimate of potential mallard numbers. 1=lowest, 10=highest) Some Teal are on the Wildlife Area 
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, Barnyard grass, and sunflowers. We also have some Milo and millets planted in the wetlands.

We are currently pumping the large wetland complex southwest of the shop, the west smaller wetland and the refuge marsh.

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 Waterfowl are moving into the area with colder temperatures. Refuge is holding at least a few hundred as of 12-26-23. 
Comments Cooler temperatures should move more birds into the area.



CLINTON - Last Updated: 2/16/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Updated 2-16-24

BI-Weekly Waterfowl surveys are conducted on Clinton Reservoir every year from Sept. to March.

02/13/24 Survey Results:

Mallard- 330

Teal- 280

Wood duck-0

Wigeon- 42

Gadwall- 6

Northern Shoveler-12

Pintail- 180

Redhead- 0

Ring-Necked duck- 0

Scaup-40

Bufflehead- 42

Goldeneye- 470

Hooded Merganser- 0

Common Merganser- 30

Canada Geese -1,620

Unidentified Geese- 0

White-Fronted Geese- 800

Light Geese- 80

total geese- 2,500

Total waterfowl- 3,932

Lake level
Lake Level is 876.45

Conservation Pool is 875.50

Clinton Wildlife Area Refuge is OPEN

 (Closed October 1-January 15)

Hunting conditions

WETLANDS ARE ICED OVER

Coblentz - SW and SE pools are 1/2 full; Middle pool 1/3 full, North pool is 3/4 full.

East Coblentz- 1/2 Full

Shadden-   Mostly Dry- filled by rainfall only.

Elk Creek- Elk Creek pools 1, & 2 are half full; pool 3 is 1/4 full and the refuge is mostly full. They are numbered West to East, starting with pool 1 next to boat ramp and parking lot.

Lake- Lake level is just above normal pool. There are many shallow areas of the lake that offer mudflats for waterfowl hunting opportunities.

ICE- There is no ice currently present at the time of update.

REFUGE CLOSED FROM OCTOBER 1ST TO JANUARY 15TH.

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
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: 1/19/2023 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.  Rains over the last month have brought marsh levels to a near maximum level.                      

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.

This week has been warm for the season with some highs in the upper 50's. Some rain, snow and cold wind has moved into the area and temperature look to be cool with possible snow in the coming days.  There is currently no ice on any of the marsh pools and the lake is all open. The most recent survey showed mostly mallards and canada geese in the area.  groups of 50-250 mallards were counted on all marsh pools.  Groups of 20-200 canada geese were also counted using all of the marsh pools.  There are still ducks and geese using the main body of the lake, and most of them are using the coves to stay protected from the wind. Groups of 100-200 goldeneye were also counted on the main body of the lake.  6 tundra swans were seen using Brown's wetland this week, so hunters should be aware and be sure of their target.                                                    

Water Level

Antioch Wetland - Full

Browns Wetland, Upper pool - Full

Browns Wetland, Lower pool - Full

Youth-Mentor Wetland - Full

Wade Branch Wetlands - North 1/2, South 1/4

Hillsdale Lake - See Army Corps Daily Report

ICE CONDITION - 0% ice cover on lake.  0% 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: 12/4/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Ducks: Approximately 250 mixed ducks on area

Geese: Approximately 200+ Canada geese on area and between 50,000-100,000 snow geese

Snow geese numbers fluctuate drastically on area day to day and even hourly. 

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: 1/18/2024 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 an average number of waterfowl viewed at the specific points of the waterfowl survey. 

Throughout the week, a low number of waterfowl have been viewed due to no open water.

Lake level Current Lake Level is 1140.99 and Conservation Pool is 1144.4 The dam is releasing 50 CFS. The inflow into the lake is 130 CFS. 
Hunting conditions

Vegetation growth and seed production has been above average this year. Pockets of thick vegetation present in some wetlands that could result in difficulty finding down birds.

Lower Smith has a decent amount of water in the wetland.

ALL OTHER WETLANDS have no water being pumped at this time, due the drought and low water levels for the pumps to be functional.

No activities/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 Poor, very little water in the river and the lake is currently 3' below conservation pool.  All of the open water is frozen, including wetlands, lake and river.  Will take some good scouting for a successful hunt.
Comments
Waterfowl Season Split:

Low Plains Late Zone (Milford Wildlife Area) is closed from January 1, 2024 to January 19, 2024. 

Low Plains Late Zone (Milford Wildlife Area) re-opens from January 20, 2024 to January 28, 2024.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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: 1/19/2024 Print

Waterfowl Updates
Update as of 1/19/24. All wetlands and the Delaware River are frozen over. With the duck season opening back up tomorrow, it is unlikely we will have any open water on the wildlife area for the near future. 

Pumping is complete in Northwest Marsh and Reichart Marsh with limitations on how much water we can pull and both units are approaching full. 

Pumping is complete at the Kyle Marsh with the East Unit 100% full and the West Unit is not high enough for some larger boats to get out of the boat lane still. 

Pumping is complete at the West River Marsh. We were unable to get the unit 100% full with the water rights we have and will rely on runoff to continue to fill it.  

Delaware River Level is low and launching at West River Boat Ramp on 150th Road is very difficult or impossible for most boats.  

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 2.3 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. 
   
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: Pumping is ongoing with water filling into both units. Overall dry conditions throughout the summer allowed for a good amount of pool work to be done in East Kyle and moist soil vegetation is plentiful. 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. HCR-5

West River: Pumping is ongoing with some huntable water in upper unit and middle of lower unit. Summer Draw downs were successful in both the upper and lower units which allowed for some disking, mowing, and millet planting. Upper Unit is about half Corn and half good moist soil vegetation. Lower unit had a small amount of Corn planted in the SE Corner that didn't grow too well. Moist soil vegetation and millet did very good. 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 we do not have a timeline on when we will have the new one installed yet. The refuge is closed Oct 1st thru Jan 15th to ALL Activity HCR-6.

Lassister: No Water. We left boards in the water control structures in an attempt to collect runoff throughout the year. We had some in July, but it has all evaporated now. No pool work could be done this summer because of holding water so some non-desirable vegetation established but overall it still had a good mix of moist soil vegetation.   HCR-5

Northwest: Pumping is ongoing and will continue. Corn was harvested with standing corn left in strips. Some millet and sorghum strips were also planted.   HCR-8

Headquarters: No Water. 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:  No Water. Disking was completed in this pool to remove some unwanted vegetation and the moist soil vegetation response was very good. We have boards in and are attempting to collect runoff. HCR-7

Hayward: No Water. Most of this unit was disked and planted to Millet that grew very well .  HCR-8

Reichart: Pumping is ongoing and will continue. Upper end of the marsh has corn planted, lower half of marsh was planted with sorghum strips and millet and did very well.   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: 10/24/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

1800 ducks   20 Canada Geese

Mallard Migration Rank (0-10) =2

Water level The lake is currently at 1069 and holding steady
Hunting conditions poor
Expected hunting success poor
Comments Please check in using https://ksoutdoors.com/checkin prior to hunting Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area. The bridge on Rolander Rd. has been shut down as it did not pass inspections for safe travel. 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. We have been pumping the Black Vermillion Marsh since 8-24-23. We have pumped around 90 acre feet. There are no other pools anywhere else on the WA.



This is a collection of all the Southwest Waterfowl Report

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS - Last Updated: 5/23/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Few nesting pairs of ducks and Canada geese

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 Pool 1A-Less than 6", Pool 1B-dry, Pool 1C-dry, Pool 2-dry, Pool 3A-dry, Pool 3B-dry, Pool 4A-dry,  Pool 4B-dry, Pool 5-dry.  All creeks and rivers that Cheyenne Bottoms diverts water from are completely dry. Cheyenne Bottoms has no ground water pumps to fill pools.  
Hunting conditions Pool 2-  A total of 996 acres of cattails and Phragmites were sprayed August 2023.  Blind islands are being rebuilt.  Refuge portion of Pool 2 open for teal season only.    Pool 3B- 34 acres of wheat planted in the fall of 2023.  Pool 3A-  4A- 4B- 5-  All blind islands in 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B have been rebuilt.
Expected hunting success Poor.  
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 2, 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B as the ditches have been cleaned out and are very deep.

No Special Hunts for the 2023-2024 season due to dry conditions.

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



ISABEL - Last Updated: 1/18/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers 3 mallards observed 1/18/24.
Water level The West pool is nearly dry.  The main lake is full with some water standing outside the waterway on the upper end. There is some water in the pool south of the main lake.
Hunting conditions 100% ice-covered
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Teal Season (Low Plains Zone):  September 9-September 24, 2023

Youth, Veteran, Active Military Waterfowl (Low Plains Late Zone):  October 21-22, 2023

Ducks (Low Plains Late Zone):  October 28, 2023 - December 31, 2023 (first segment) and January 20 - January 28, 2024 (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: 12/20/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Approximately 600-1,000 ducks - mostly mallards.  Also green-winged teal and pintail.
Water levels Currently, there is water in pools 1, 2, 3B, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  There is also water north of pool 6.
Hunting conditions 2ND SEGMENT OF THE LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE OPENS 12/23 AND RUNS THROUGH 1/7/24
Expected hunting success  
Comments

Teal Season (Low Plains Zone):  9/9/23 - 9/24/23

Youth, Veteran, Active Military Waterfowl (Low Plains Early Zone):  9/30/23 - 10/1/23

Regular Ducks (Low Plains Early Zone):  10/7/23 - 12/3/23 and 12/23/23 -1/7/24

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: 1/19/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers Staff have been noticing more birds in the area with the colder weather. Reminder duck season is closed until 1/20/24. 
Water level 5.6 feet below Conservation Pool on reservoir.
Hunting conditions

 Poor 

The recent rains have brought the lake up some. However, the water line is still far from the vegetation line. 

Percent Ice Cover 99% 

Expected hunting success  Poor 
Comments

Vehicles are not to be driven on the lakebed. This includes UTV, ATV, and E-Bikes.

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. 9-24, 2023

Low Plains Late Zone Youth/Veteran/Military Season is Oct. 21-22, 2023. 

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season is Oct 28, 2023 -Dec 31, 2023, and Jan 20-28, 2024.

Dark Goose Season Oct. 28-29, Nov. 1, 2023 - Feb. 11, 2024

White Fronted Geese: Oct. 28, 2023 - Dec 31, 2023 and Jan. 20 - Feb. 11, 2024

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: 1/17/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers Significant numbers of ducks and geese have moved in.  However, very little open water is available in the huntable wetlands.  All of the birds are in the refuge and even the river is frozen over.  Beware, 8 Tundra Swans are in with all the other birds.   
Water level Kingman State Lake is more than 1/2 flooded but all the huntable water is frozen in the lake.  The bison marsh, mitigation marsh and river have water but all are frozen over.   
Hunting conditions

 2024 shows some promise as recent rains and snowfall have increased water levels in the lake by 13 inches in December.  We drained the lake this summer to rehabilitate the fishery.  This fall, dry conditions have recurred and the lake is filling slowly.   

 

Expected hunting success    limited.    
Comments  



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 2/27/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers No snow geese observed.  Waterfowl viewing opportunities are good in shallow water habitats near the upper ends of the reservoir.                              
Water levels 1.7 feet below conservation elevation (1,274') on 2/27/24.    
Hunting conditions Lake levels have increased with recent snow melt and rainfall.  Lake was 0% ice covered on 2/27/24.  The lake remained relatively full during summer months until hot and dry conditions persisted in late July and August.  Lake levels then declined, pulling water away from cover edges within some portions of the lake, particularly on both upper ends.  As lake levels receded some moist soil vegetation became established within upper fringes of the lake but is mostly above the lake water level.  Some moist soil vegetation now contains sheet water providing enhanced feeding opportunities for some duck species.          
Expected hunting success Poor for snow geese.           
Comments Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season and Dark Goose seasons are CLOSED.  Light Goose Spring Conservation Order is open through April 30.                                  



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 1/22/2024 Print

Waterfowl Numbers No Ducks observed.  Approximately 2500 geese observed using the reservoir.
Water level 99% Ice coverage.  At 1334.06', approximately 4.94' below conservation elevation (1339').
Hunting conditions Poor-  Very low lake levels. Cover is limited due to the low lake level.  Moist soil vegetation established over the summer on exposed lake bed.  If we get rain to raise lake levels expect improved hunting conditions.  
Expected hunting success Poor
4Comments NOTE: El Dorado Lake is located within the Low Plains Southeast Zone.



KAW WILDLIFE AREA. - Last Updated: 1/19/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers Most of the river is frozen.  No waterfowl present.  
Water level Low
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 9-24, 2023

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 11, 2023 - January 7, 2024 AND January 13-28, 2024

Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit



MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS - Last Updated: 1/17/2024 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. 

17 January 2024:

THE LPEZ DUCK SEASON IS CLOSED FOR THE YEAR.  THE SECOND SPLIT OF WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE SEASON OPENS 20 JANUARY 2024.

All wetlands are 100% frozen.

Waterfowl numbers are near zero due to ice cover / limited water.

All activities in the north and south refuges in the Big Basin are prohibited.  

Current Information  Be aware of three new regulations in effect at McPherson Valley Wetlands:  (1) The Big Basin has been designated as "youth only" during the youth and military waterfowl weekend, (2) the use of motorized boats is prohibited, and (3) centerfire rifles and handguns are prohibited. 
Water levels

The wetlands are in serious need of abundant rainfall.  While we had decent rainfall this summer, we have had almost ZERO runoff.  Scouting will be critical in determining which wetlands have water, as the majority of the wetlands are dry. 

Groundwater pumping efforts are complete for the 2023 waterfowl season.  With conditions this dry, the amount of groundwater we have pumped will not "save the season" but it will provide a few small areas for waterfowl to forage, along with providing limited hunting opportunities.

SIGNIFICANT ICE IS FORMING WITH THE COLDER TEMPERATURES.  100% FROZEN.

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

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

Little Sinkhole Marshes:  Very limited water.

Hunting conditions Once again this year, we are treating undesirable vegetation during 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 150 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 Poor, unless we get abundant rainfall.  Limited water and crowded conditions will negatively impact 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.  Park in designated parking areas when possible, and not on the roadsides.  



SLATE CREEK WETLAND - Last Updated: 1/19/2024 Print

Waterfowl
numbers
There is no waterfowl on the area at this time.  All the water is frozen.    
Water
 level
Low
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

Slate Creek Wetland Public Announcement

Due to some renovations work at the wetland, we will not be able to hold water for the 2023-23 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. 9-24, 2023
  • 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. 28, 2023-December 31, 2023 AND Jan. 20-28, 2024
  • 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.

 

https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/



MARION - Last Updated: 12/22/2023 Print

Migration

Numbers of geese remain steady.

Numbers can change daily

Ice 0%
Water level Lake level is at 1346.0 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Fair.

The reservoir has been low for the entire growing season and has a large amount of exposed shore and lake bed that is covered with moist soil vegetation. There is a lot of yellow nut sedge and smartweed along with some barnyard grass. So, there is a lot of food for waterfowl around the reservoir but the water remains low and is a good distance from this food, and cover.

Expected hunting success Poor.
Comments

The boat ramp at Broken Bridge on the North Cottonwood river has been repaired.

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: 1/12/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers Waterfowl numbers fluctuate with migration, hunting pressure, and changing habitat conditions.
Water level Still have not had any significant rain in the area. We had an inch or so of rain around the area, but it did not result in much runoff. There are some small areas of shallow water in a few of the marshes. The Lake is 5.5 ft. low. 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. 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. A few have enough water to hunt now but others remain dry. There was pretty decent vegetative growth in a lot of the wetlands and around the edge of the lake. There will be a good amount of food available for waterfowl if we get more water. 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 Variable.  TEAL SEASON IS SEPT. 9-24 REGULAR DUCK SEASON IS NOV. 11-JAN. 7 AND JAN. 13-28
Comments Please do not leave trash on the public ground including empty shells. 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: 1/9/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

01/09/24

Decent numbers of dabblers on the lake at any given time along with small groups of divers. Area pasture ponds have been holding some small groups of birds but not many.

Water level Lake level is 1.35 feet above normal pool. Many area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions Conditions are going to be promising around the lake due to recent water rises that flooded the heavily vegetated mudflats.
Expected hunting success 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: 1/5/2024 Print

 2023 Regulations and Seasons

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: 09/10/2023 - 09/24/2023

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: 11/04/2023 - 11/5/2023

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

Season: 11/11/2023 - 01/07/2024 and 01/13/2023 - 01/28/2024

 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.

DARK GEESE: Canada, Cackling and Brant

Season: 10/28/2023 - 10/29/2023 and 11/01/2023 - 02/11/2024

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: 10/28/2023 - 12/31/2023 and 01/20/2024 - 02/11/2024

Area open: Statewide

Daily bag limit: 2

Possession limit: 6

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

LIGHT GEESE

Season: 10/28/2023 - 10/29/2023 and 11/01/2023 - 02/11/2024

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: 02/12/2024 - 04/30/2024

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 2023 Conditions- We expect below average habitat conditions this year for waterfowl on John Redmond Reservoir. We are in second year of sustained drought, and water levels have been low all summer.
Otter Creek Marshes, located below John Redmond Dam- Only the upper marsh will have water this year.  The DU crop field marsh on the east end, was planted to corn, and has a little water in it.     
The Sedimentation Basins located on west side, below dam, are not open for hunting, and are privately owned and operated.
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: 2/2/2024 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. 

LEGAL SHOOTING TIME FOR WATERFOWL ENDS AT SUNSET!

Waterfowl species observed: mix species of ducks, Canada goose, and white-fronted goose

 

Almost completely thawed.  What ice is left, is pretty rotten.      

     

Water levels

 Small satellite wetlands may not have water until later in the season, if at all.                

Water Level Gauges:

A-North (Reese Lake/north structure): 19"

A-North (middle structure):33.5"

A-North (boat ramp): mostly dry, lowest elevations have water. 

A-East at ramp (new location for 2023): 18"

A-East at outlet: 34.5"

C-South at outlet: 41.5" 

Unit D wetlands: a couple have water

Unit E wetlands: moderate water

F-East at outlet: >48"

F-South at outlet: 30" 

F-West at outlet: 27" 

Unit G: 27" 

Unit H: mostly dry

Refuge Units:

B-North: 26.5"

B-South: 42"

C-North: 

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?"  

Hunting/ Habitat conditions

Moist soil food production was average or better than average across the area.  Summer heat and dry conditions had the cocklebur growing really well.  We have dedicated lots of time to controlling it, but hunters should expect it throughout the area.   

Japanese Millet was planted in a few small areas, but didn't produce well. Corn was left in wide strips through C-South and F-East. 

Summer vegetation was good or better in: A-East, Unit G (made lots of food, but lots of cocklebur too)

Summer vegetation was fair to good in: A-North, F-South, E

Summer vegetation was poor to fair:  F-West

If you like the habitat or water levels in wetlands, be sure to thank the following staff: Seasonal technicians: Cody, Simon, Ron, Alex, and Bryan . Habitat Specialist: Danny. 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. 9-24, 2023

SOUTHEAST ZONE YOUTH/MILITARY: Nov. 4-5, 2023 

SOUTHESAT LATE ZONE DUCK SEASON OPENS Nov. 11, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024 and Jan 13-28, 2024

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE OPENS Oct. 28, - Dec. 31, 2023 and Jan. 20 - Feb. 1, 2024

DARK GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 28-29, 2023 and Nov. 1 - Feb. 11, 2024 

Light GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 28-29, 2023 and Nov. 1 - Feb. 11, 2024

Conservation Light Goose season is from February 12 - April 30, 2024

Comments

Please report all banded waterfowl to the appropriate agencies.   

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.

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: 2/29/2024 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. 

Date: 2/28/2024

Mallard: 3500

Wigeon: 25

Northern Shoveler: 80

Green-Winged Teal: 200

Redhead: 40

Ring-neck: 290

Goldeneye: 35

Unidentified Duck: 1050

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

Water level Lake level = 1036.11; Conservation pool = 1036.00; Target goal for the lake is 1036.00.         
Hunting conditions

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

3 Duck Marsh- The wetland is full.

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

Sundance Marsh- This wetland contains moist soil vegetation. The wetland is full.

Lowman's Cove- This wetland is full and moist soil production was high. 

Shoveler Slough- This wetland is prime moist-soil vegetation. Habitat conditions look 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.  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.  The Refuge Area is CLOSED October 1st through January 15th.

Expected hunting success good
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.

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: 09/09/2023 - 09/24/2023
  • 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)

  • Low Plains Late Zone: 10/21/2023 - 10/22/2023

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

  • Season: 10/28/2023 - 12/31/2023 and 01/20/2024 - 01/28/2024
  • 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, 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.

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 10/28/2023 - 10/29/2023 and 11/01/2023 - 02/11/2024
  • 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: 10/28/2023 - 12/31/2023 and 01/20/2024 - 02/11/2024
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 10/28/2023 - 10/29/2023 and 11/01/2023 - 02/11/2024
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 50
  • Possession limit: No limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

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



NEOSHO WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 2/29/2024 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).

Duck species present on area consist of Wood Ducks, Blue and Green Winged Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Mallard, Pintail and a mix of divers.  There are also Canada, White-fronted and Snow Geese utilizing the area. 

Water level

The SE part of the state is still in need of some rain.  Pool elevations are normal or slightly above average and staff will continue to stage up throughout the hunting season.      

Flood irrigation began in the hunting pools on July 13th and finished up August 2.  This was done to help preserve habitat, promote seed production, invertebrate production and keep moist soil plants from burning up.  Pump is currently on and are doing a stage up in all pools.  

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 during the regular waterfowl season 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.

Slow water drawdowns have begun to provide high quality spring migration feeding areas 

Pool 1- 300 Acres

Pool 2A- 130 Acres

Pool 2B- 165 acres

Pool 3 (Refuge)- 475 acres

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

Pool 4B- 57 Acres   Walk in and non-motorized boat hunting only

Pool 5-  Lower Pool is near full, Middle pool is near full, upper pool is near full.   

Pool 6-  Dry

Pool 7-  Dry

Pool 8-  20 Acres  Please remember that this pool is youth/mentor ONLY on weekends and holidays. 

Pool 9-  Dry 

South Unit- Near full and will not pump any more  

 

    

Hunting conditions

SE Zone waterfowl season Nov. CURRENTLY CLOSED will re-open Jan. 13th to 28th

***We had a hunter lose a gun along the roadway in the wildlife area...If you found one please report to area office @ 620-449-2539***

Habitat is looks extremely good, seed production was high and the vegetation is fairly tall and rank, so what water we have will be hard to see until vegetation begins to break down.  Pool elevations are good with lots of 12"water and we will continue to stage up through the hunting season. 

     

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

 

Expected hunting success
SE ZONE REGULAR SEASON CURRENTLY CLOSED 

***We had a hunter lose a gun along the roadway in the wildlife area...If you happened to find one please report to area office @ 620-449-2539***

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

We want to thank everyone for the continued cooperation with utilizing our new electronic check-in/out system. The agency continues to work diligently on improving the new system and are confident it will be working for the upcoming waterfowl 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.   

DRONES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON PUBLIC LAND IN KANSAS

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). This applies during the Youth and Veterans season, this pool is for youth only during youth and veterans season, unless the veteran is taking a youth hunting.
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: 1/9/2024 Print

Waterfowl numbers

01/09/24

Moderate numbers of dabblers on the lake at any given time along with smaller groups of divers. Area pasture ponds have been holding some small groups of birds but not many. Lots of geese in the area but almost exclusively on private land. 

Water level Lake is 1.40 ft. above normal pool level. Many area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions The lake has come up and submerged the mudflat vegetation. Hunting conditions will heavily dependent on weather.
Expected hunting success 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.