Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Online Test for Sandhill Crane Hunters and Other Sandhill Crane Information

To buy your Sandhill Crane permit, CLICK HERE.

General Information

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane - photo by Mike Blair, KDWP

Sandhill cranes have been hunted in Kansas since 1993 and in the Central Flyway since 1961. Hunting is permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in nine of the 10 states in the Central Flyway. Although crane hunting is opposed by some people, crane hunting is done on a sustainable basis under a population management plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sport hunting also is justified for maintaining reasonable distributions of sandhill cranes. If concentrations become too high in some areas, crop depredation can occur and risk of disease to cranes increases. Crane hunting is extremely challenging because cranes are very wary and crane meat is considered excellent table fare, probably the best of all migratory game birds.

The sandhill cranes that migrate through Kansas, and sometimes winter here, are part of the Mid-continent Population. This population is one of nine in North America and by far the largest with about 500,000 birds. The next largest populations number about 20-25,000 birds.

Hunting regulations have been formulated and contingency plans utilized to minimize the chance of endangered whooping cranes being accidentally shot by sandhill crane hunters. Although sandhill cranes start concentrating in huntable numbers during late October, the start of the hunting season was delayed to the Wednesday following the first Saturday in November to allow most of the whooping cranes to migrate through the state. Shooting hours for sandhill cranes begin at sunrise rather than one-half hour before sunrise to minimize the chance of a sandhill crane hunter mistakenly shooting a whooping crane due to low light conditions. (Kansas is the only state in the Central Flyway to have delayed shooting hours to protect whooping cranes.) The federal-state, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area contingency plans provide guidance as to what actions to take if whooping cranes are present during hunting seasons.

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane - photo by Mike Blair, KDWP

Sandhill crane and waterfowl hunters need to be aware that whooping cranes are occurring more frequently in Kansas, especially in the Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira areas, and be able to identify whooping cranes. Whooping cranes and sandhill cranes are similar in size and shape, but whooping cranes are white with black wing tips. The penalty for shooting a whooping crane is a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in prison. For more information, go to:

Online Test for Sandhill Crane Hunters - This test is mandatory for all sandhill crane hunters. The test is 378k in size and will take a few minutes to download if you have a modem. Flash 6 is required, which most computers have. If yours doesn't, then you will be asked to download Flash 6.

Whooping Crane Brochure - Information on whooping cranes and how to distinguish them from species that look similar to them.

USFWS Information for Waterfowl and Sandhill Crane Hunters - The purpose of this web site is to provide waterfowl and sandhill crane hunters with information that will reduce the likelihood of shooting illegally at migratory birds that may look like sandhill cranes, but for which there is no open season and are protected by Federal law.

License Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

115-25-20 (PDF - 86.05 kB)

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

115-09-08 (PDF - 9.53 kB)

Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program - Requirements, Exemptions.

115-18-08 (PDF - 9.48 kB)

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

Research
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/

Online Test for Sandhill Crane Hunters and Other Information

Other Information

Sandhill Crane Test

Whooping Crane Brochure - Information on whooping cranes and how to distinguish them from species that are similar in appearance.

http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/SandhillCrane/SandhillCraneHunters.htm.

Waterfowl Reports

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

**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: 2/7/2023 Print

 

DUCK SEASON IS CLOSED

8,000-10,000 Canada Geese, 40,000-50,000 Light Geese, 500 Whitefronts

60% Ice coverage.   Currently NO Usable Boat Ramps 

No Hunting Allowed from the Dam

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

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

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

Cedar Bluff Waterfowl Refuge
Water level Reservoir Elevation - 2127.4 (16.6 ft low)
Hunting conditions

Lower lake levels will make shoreline access easier.

60% Ice CoverIce is NOT safe to walk on.

Expected hunting success Fair.  All waterfowl are feeding on private land fields.  (Permission Required to Hunt Private Land)
Comments

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

Low Plains Late Duck Zone Season Dates

Teal - Sept 10-25 

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

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

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

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

Water Refuge is in effect November 1- January 31

Land Refuge is in effect September 1 - January 31

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: 2/7/2023 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 (Season: 10/8/22 - 12/4/22 and 12/17/22 - 1/1/23). This includes the granite creek area North of the refuge and HWY 24. Glen Elder WA South of HWY 24 is in the Late Zone (Season: 10/29/22 - 1/1/23 and 1/21/22 - 1/29/22).  

Lake is 85 to 90% ice covered today with more water opening up daily. Estimating 12,000 ducks mostly mallards (duck season is now closed). Est. 2,000 dark geese and 125,000 snow geese (dark/snow goose season is open until 2/12/23). A few swans have been seen on GELR. Please make sure to get a good ID if you are hunting snow geese. 

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

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

 

Glen Elder map

Water level Lake is currently 5.3 feet low. The Bureau of Reclamation is dropping water level for dam and spillway repair projects.  Lots of bare mudflats around the entire lake.     
Hunting conditions Extremely Poor.  Vegetation near water is almost non-existent.
Expected hunting success Possibly good if hunters can find a way to conceal themselves. 
Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



JAMESTOWN WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/30/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Low duck numbers observed 12/30/22. 99% ice cover.

LPEZ DUCK and WHITE-FRONTED GEESE Seasons CLOSE at Sunset January 1. 2023

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE Season CLOSES at Sunset January 1. 2023 until REOPENING from 1/21-2/12/2023

ALL OTHER DARK AND LIGHT GEESE OPEN UNTIL 2/12/2023

LIGHT GOOSE SPRING CONSERVATION SEASON OPEN 2/13-4/30/2023

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

Water levels

99% ice covered as of today (12/30/22). The entire Wildlife Area is only holding less than 50% of normal, huntable water due to the dry conditions. Managers have stopped moving water out of Gamekeeper Marsh into Gun Club Marsh.  Due to low flows in the Republican river, managers will not be able to do any pumping on Buffalo Creek Marshes or divert water into Marsh Creek Marsh (due to restrictions in water rights) until we receive some rain, or the flows in the Republican increase.

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

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

Hunting conditions

Fair to Poor; Ice conditions are expected to improve with the warming temperatures in the forecast. REMEMBER, THE LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE IS OPEN AGAIN UNTIL SUNSET ON SUNDAY JANUARY 1, 2023. 

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

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

ALL vehicles must remain on designated roads and parking areas. 

REFUGE IS CLOSED
Expected hunting success Fair to poor. Bird use will remain very low until the ice thaws.
Comments

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

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

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

 
 

www.ksoutdoors.com/checkin

 
 

Waterfowl Seasons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kansas hunting license

State waterfowl stamp

Federal waterfowl stamp

Kansas Harvest Information Program Stamp (HIP)

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

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

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

HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :

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

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

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



LOVEWELL RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 2/3/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers  A few mallards. Dark geese numbers low. No light geese, one swan
Mallard Migration Ranking  
Water level  99% ICE. Lovewell Reservoir is at 1580.02 or 2.58 feet below Conservation Pool, (76.7% full) and slowly rising. The BOR and Kansas Bostwick Irrigation are bringing in 82.1 cfs of water into the reservoir daily this past week. The Guide Rock Diversion from the Republican River is being used to refill the reservoir.  0.2 cfs is being released. Irrigation season ended 9/16.
Hunting condition

99% ICE covered (see above). The waterfowl are keeping one, 3 acre hole ice-free in the refuge. Mudflats are ringing the entire reservoir and the water is a away from the shoreline. No shoreline and concealing vegetation.

ALL DUCK Seasons CLOSED 1/29/2023

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE OPEN from 1/21-2/12/2023

ALL OTHER DARK AND LIGHT GEESE OPEN UNTIL 2/12/2023

LIGHT GOOSE SPRING CONSERVATION SEASON OPEN 2/13-4/30/2023

ALL boat ramps iced in. Cedar Point boat ramp is the only low water ramp usable at this Lovewell Reservoir elevation. All other boat ramps on the Wildlife Area at Oak Hill, Pawnee Point and White Rock Creek are out of the water, iced in and are not useable at this time.

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

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

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

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

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

HUNTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO :

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

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

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



NORTON - Last Updated: 2/7/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers  There are a moderate number of ducks using the Norton Wildlife Area currently. Minimal dark geese have showed up. A moderate amount of snow geese have showed up but not peak numbers yet. 
Water level The water level is considerably lower than the last several years. The reservoir is currently 38% full.
Hunting conditions Pressure from hunting is expected to be high. Expect to run into other waterfowl hunters. Water loss from irrigation has created mud flats and some muddy shorelines. Most of the shoreline looks like a moon and hunters will have a tough time finding enough vegetation to hide in. The water lost to irrigation has created areas with steep shorelines that may drop off into water deeper than waders very rapidly and also created deep mud that may pose a risk to people trying to cross it. Lake is 95% frozen.
Expected hunting success Hunting success has been observed at a minimal success on the area for ducks and geese. 
Comments
Norton Reservoir is in the HIGH PLAINS DUCK ZONE

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

DUCK SEASON DATES FOR 2022 - 2023

Teal Season: September 17-25, 2022

Youth Duck Season: October 1-2, 2022

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

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

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

REMINDERS -

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

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

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

     



SMOKY HILL/KANOPOLIS - Last Updated: 12/13/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers 500 ducks; 40 Canada geese
Water level 1463.78 ft and declining. Summer conservation level is 1467 ft. Winter conservation level is 1463; 
   
Hunting conditions  Poor with limited cover on shorelines and low lake levels; backwaters on refuge dry due to drought
   
Comments

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

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

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

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

Additional information about hunting at Kanopolis Reservoir can be found HERE



TALMO - Last Updated: 2/3/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

No waterfowl on the area

ALL WETLANDS ON THE AREA ARE DRY

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

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

 Remember:

- TALMO IS IN THE LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE 

TALMO IS IN THE CLOSED SANDHILL CRANE ZONE

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season

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

 

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

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

-ALL shotgun hunters must use NON-TOXIC shot

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

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

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



WEBSTER - Last Updated: 1/19/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers 2000-3000 ducks, mostly mallards. 1000-1500 dark geese, and 60,000-70,000 light geese. Still lots of ice on the reservoir, however parts of it are starting to open up.
Water level 1882.76'; 9.69' below conservation pool; water levels slowly declining.
Hunting conditions There is zero inflow to the reservoir. Irrigation season resulted in drastically lower lake levels. Portions of the west end of the reservoir are dry while the lake has receded in many areas. Water levels are still dropping weekly so most of the reservoir is surrounded by bare shoreline.
Expected hunting success Average.
Comments

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

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

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

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

Blue/Green Algae

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

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

Teal Season

September 10-25, 2022

Duck Season on Webster Reservoir     

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

Youth Weekend, Duck and Goose

October 22-23, 2022

Goose Season on Webster Reservoir

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

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

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

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER

February 13 - April 30, 2023

 

 Webster Wildlife Area and Refuge Map

 Click here for PDF

Click here for Google Earth KMZ



WILSON - Last Updated: 1/20/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Survey ran on 1/20; ~ Geese - 3357; Mallards - 2915, Wigeon - 500, Pintail - 5, Mergansers - 3020, Goldeneye - 650
   
Water level 1514.43 ft; (Conservation pool is 1516.0 ft)
Hunting conditions Cedar Creek boat ramp is inaccessible due to low water level. Elm Creek boat ramp is inaccessible due to ice cover.  Cover will be hard to find due to lower water levels. Ice is in horseshoe bend and going east to elm creek boat ramp with some open water throughout that area. Ice and open water are dispersed east of midlake refuge.  Ice in hell creek with open water mixed in. All open water at Minooka and going east.
Expected hunting success Fair, ice and little cover due to low water will play a big part in success.
Comments

Waterfowl Seasons: 

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

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

DUCK LIMITS

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

CANADA GEESE

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

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

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

LIGHT GEESE

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

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

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

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

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



This is a collection of all the Northeast Waterfowl Reports

BENEDICTINE WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 1/19/2023 Print

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

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

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

ALL HUNTABLE WETLANDS ARE BEING PUMPED AND HAVE WATER. 

Refuge(NOT open to hunting)

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

Hunting conditions  Native vegetation such as annual smart weeds, barnyard grass, foxtail, and sunflowers are the most common vegetation.   
Expected hunting success The refuge wetland is holding afew hundred ducks geese at the moment. They are filtering between the refuge, the huntable wetlands, and the river. The warmer weather pushed a lot of birds out of the area but this cold front may bring some in. The Missouri River is holding quite a few birds with the river being so low. They are posted up in back waters along the bank. Per usual, the refuge is closed to hunting. Most birds have been on the large wetland west of the shop. 
Comments The wetlands were sheepsfoot to help them hold water, so there is no vegetation standing in the pools.  REFUGE IS CLOSED TO HUNTING. 



CLINTON - Last Updated: 1/19/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Updated 1-19-23

Waterfowl survey conducted on 1-9-23.

Waterfowl Survey Results:

Mallard- 2,230

Canada geese- 672

Bufflehead- 35

Scaup- 300

Ring-necked duck- 125

Goldeneye- 1010

Hooded Merganser- 18

Common Merganser- 568

White-fronted Geese- 280

Light geese- 3

Unidentified ducks- 200 (near middle of reservoir)

Total waterfowl counted- 5,451

Waterfowl numbers decreased since the last survey.  

Lake level

Ice- on 1/19 ice is not present

Lake level is 874.45 on 1-19-23

(conservation pool is 875.50)

 Clinton WA REFUGE IS OPEN to all activities

Hunting conditions

Coblentz - KDWP staff has completed pumping for waterfowl season. Water has been pumped into 3 Coblentz pools: the Southwest pool is full; the middle pool is full, and the North Pool is mostly full. The Southeast pool has only rainfall. Pumping was limited to 99 acre feet of water due to low water levels in the lake and river. 

East Coblentz- Mostly Dry- rain filled only

Shadden-   Mostly dry- rainfall only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



HILLSDALE - Last Updated: 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: 12/6/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Ducks:  Area is open to waterfowl hunting 12/7/2022. Mix of less than 200 ducks on area including mallard and goldeneye

Geese: Area is open to waterfowl hunting 12/7/2022. 200,000 plus snow geese on the area. Few Canada geese, less than 200. 

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: 1/31/2023 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 roughly 300 dabbler ducks, 150 divers, and 150 Canada geese. Throughout the later part of the week, large flocks of Canada geese and a mix bag of ducks have been observed around the wildlife area.

Lake level Current Lake Level is 1142.64 and Conservation Pool is 1143.58 The dam is releasing 225 CFS. The inflow into the lake is 70 CFS.
Hunting conditions

Vegetation growth and seed production has been above average this year. No pumps are currently running.

Wetlands that currently have water: Sugarbowl, Lower Smith, and Mall Creek

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

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

Expected hunting success

DUCK HUNTING IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. GOOSE SEASON REMAINS OPEN, CHECK REGULATIONS FOR SEASONA DATES

Fair, with a few pockets of open water.  Most of the river is now open.  Please use caution while hunting around frozen water.

Comments

 

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: 1/27/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers
A waterfowl survey was conducted on 01/20/2023 and duck and dark geese numbers are good. Lake Perry is completely open with no ice coverage, larger wetlands have a fair amount of open water, and smaller wetlands are mostly iced over.  Delaware River still has a good amount of ice on it as well so boat travel on the river may be limited. 

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 = 10 (0 = no mallards 10 = peak migration)
Lake level 0.4 Feet Below Conservation Pool
Habitat conditions
Mild flooding in the spring, followed by a dry summer has allowed for a good amount of wetland pool work to be completed and habitat conditions are overall good around the area. 
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments
Habitat Condition Rating (HCR): 1-10; 1-Poor habitat, 5-quality habitat, 10-Exceptional habitat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please remember to fill out the permit with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.

   



TUTTLE CREEK WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 1/24/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

12 ducks   20 Canada Geese

Mallard Migration Rank (0-10) =9

Water level The lake is currently at 1074 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. At the time of this writing there has been about 420 acre feet pumped at the Black Vermillion marsh which is all we are allowed to pump in a calender year so the pumping is done for 2022, it is now dry.  There is a mowed walking trail from Plum Hollow Rd. South to the pool at the north end of Rolander road, which we are now calling Shannon Creek as it really isn't at the end of Rolander Road anymore. The Olsburg, Swede Creek, and Irving marshes are all dry. Fancy Creek Marsh is dry as well.



This is a collection of all the Southwest Waterfowl Report

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS - Last Updated: 12/12/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers

Absolutely no water, therefore no waterfowl 

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

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

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

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

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

3A IS CLOSED TO MOTORIZED BOATS

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

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

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

LEGAL SHOOTING HOURS ARE 30 MINUTES BEFORE SUNRISE TO SUNSET.

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

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

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

NO TRASH POLICY ON THE WILDLIFE AREA.

CAMP IN DESIGNATED CAMPGROUND ONLY

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

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

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



ISABEL - Last Updated: 1/30/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers approx. 30 ducks - mostly mallard. observed 1/24
Water level The main lake is full. The pool south of the main lake has some water. The remaining pools are dry.
Hunting conditions  
Expected hunting success  
Comments

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

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

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

Daily check-in and harvest reporting is required

Check-in/Check-out on The Web

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

Check-in/Check-out on The App

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

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



TEXAS LAKE - Last Updated: 12/29/2022 Print

Waterfowl numbers A few ducks observed throughout the week of 12/26.
Water levels Currently, there is water in pools 1, 2, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.  There is also water north of pool 6. 
Hunting conditions The 2nd segment of the low plains early zone duck season runs 12/17/22-1/1/23
Expected hunting success  
Comments

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

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

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

Daily check-in and harvest reporting is required

Check-in/Check-out on The Web

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

Check-in/Check-out on The App

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

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



This is a collection of all the South Central Waterfowl Reports

CHENEY - Last Updated: 1/6/2023 Print

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

 Poor

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

Expected hunting success  Poor 
Comments

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

Cheney Wildlife Area is located in the Low Plains Late Zone

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

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

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

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

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

Daily bag limit: 6

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

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit.

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

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

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

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



BYRON WALKER - Last Updated: 1/27/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Though quite a few geese and some ducks are in the area, they are not staying long as the food value is minimal in the lake.  At times we may have 100-200.  Other times we are back to a dozen or two.  At 10:00 this morning no ducks or geese were on the lake.  
Water level Kingman State Fishing Lake is down almost 2 feet.  Significant mud flats are exposed on the north and west sides of the lake.  No marshes hold water.  I do not expect any of these conditions to improve without significant rainfall.  I received word from the Kansas Water Office that the Ninnescah river is not meeting minimum desired stream flow and was ordered to divert all inflow from the west water source back to the river.  This will prevent marsh filling while in place.  Once lifted, I will divert back through the marshes and lake.  However, we cannot predict when that will occur. 
Hunting conditions

Extremely poor.  The lake is starting to freeze over as are the ponds.  This week may well lock up the calm water.  Most marshes are still dry, however the bison marsh, mitigation marsh (both south of 54) and inlet canal all have some water.                   

 

Expected hunting success    Extremely limited.   
Comments  



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 2/7/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Approximately 2 Canada geese, 350 ducks (primarily mallards with some goldeneye and a few pintails), and 725 mergansers were observed on 2/7/23.               
Water levels 1.5 feet below conservation elevation (1,274') on 2/7/23.    
Hunting conditions Lake approximately 30% ice covered on 2/7/23.  Ice conditions are changing daily.  Full lake levels persisted through the summer and prevented the establishment of food producing plants along lake edges.  As such, food resources are diminished within lake environments.  Lake levels have been declining this fall, pulling water away from cover edges within some portions of the lake. 
Expected hunting success Poor.             
Comments Low Plains Late Zone Duck season is CLOSED.  Goose seasons are open through February 12.                             



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 1/19/2023 Print

Waterfowl Numbers Approximately 80 Canada geese, 2000 ducks ( mostly divers ) and 100 mergansers were observed.
Water level 0% Ice coverage.  At 1336.52' approximately 2.48' below conservation elevation (1339').
Hunting conditions Poor-  Through late July the lake was at or slightly above conservation pool.  Food producing plants in the reservoir were limited due to the higher water.  Now with drought conditions the lake level is dropping fast.  
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Season: 01/14/2023 - 01/29/2023

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

  • Season: 01/21/2023 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: 11/02/2022 - 02/12/2023
  • Area open: Statewide

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

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



KAW WILDLIFE AREA. - Last Updated: 1/23/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers There are several waterfowl using the river at this time.  Water is very low.
Water level Low
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 10-25, 2022

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

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit:18

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

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

Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit



MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS - Last Updated: 1/13/2023 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. 

13 January 2023:

THE LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE DUCK SEASON IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.

At the time of this posting, the wetlands were approximately 85% frozen.  Goose numbers have increased a little, but the number of geese present is highly variable depending upon time of day and ice conditions.  Warmer weather could improve conditions. 

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

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

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

Groundwater pumping operations are now complete for the 2022 - 2023 waterfowl season. 

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

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

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

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

ATTENTION:

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

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

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

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

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



SLATE CREEK WETLAND - Last Updated: 1/23/2023 Print

Waterfowl
numbers
There are a few waterfowl present on the area at this time. Pool 1 and pool 3 has some water, but the rest of the pools are dry.
Water
 level
Empty 
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

Slate Creek Wetland Public Announcement

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

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

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

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

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

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

https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/



MARION - Last Updated: 2/3/2023 Print

Waterfowl Numbers

Mallard 20, Goldeneye 50

Canada Geese 1600, Snow Geese 3500, White Fronted Geese 50

Numbers and conditions can change daily.

Ice 75% Ice is starting to break up. Use caution!!
Water level Lake level is at 1348.52 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Poor.

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

Expected hunting success Poor.
Comments

The boat ramp at Broken Bridge on the North Cottonwood river has 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: 1/11/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers Waterfowl numbers have decreased significantly after everything thawed out. The waterfowl numbers are expected to fluctuate with migration, hunting pressure, and changing habitat conditions.
Water level There are a couple of marshes that picked up enough water for ducks/hunters to use. The rest of the marshes are still dry. We do not have the capability to pump any of the marshes on the wildlife area. Heavy rains will be required to get runoff to fill the marshes. The lake is over 2 ft. low. For current Reservoir levels visit http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/ELKC.lakepage.html
Hunting conditions The water situation in the wetlands is still poor. There is ice in most areas still today but should be thawing. Heavy rain is still needed to improve hunting conditions. Habitat conditions vary across the area. Plant and seed production was poor in the majority of the marshes this year due to lack of rain. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET HIGH CENTERED IF USING A BOAT. SOME OF THE SHORELINE IS VERY SHALLOW A LONG WAYS OUT FROM THE BANK AND THE MUD IS VERY DEEP IN SOME AREAS. 
Expected hunting success Fair. Sporadic. Opportunities are limited with the current conditions.  TEAL SEASON IS SEPT. 10-25 REGULAR DUCK SEASON IS NOV. 5-JAN. 1 AND JAN. 14-29
Comments Please do not leave trash on the public ground. 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: 1/12/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

1/12/23

There are a few small groups of birds on the lake at any given time. Mostly divers. Area pasture ponds have been holding some small groups of birds but not many. We have been seeing some descent groups of geese on wheat fields in the area but almost exclusively on private land.  However bad weather and frontal systems seem to push them down into the river bottom.

Water level Lake level is 1.5 feet below normal pool.  All area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions Conditions are going to be challenging on the lake.  A boat will most likely be needed.  If attempting to hunt from the bank, you will have to contend with a large area of mud flat between the waters edge and any cover.
Expected hunting success Low to Moderate
Comments Waterfowl reports will be updated on a bi-weekly basis during the fall and winter waterfowl seasons.  Updates will be made when significant changes in waterfowl numbers are observed. For information pertaining to the Fall River Wildlife Area call 620-583-6783.



JOHN REDMOND - Last Updated: 1/19/2023 Print

 2023 Regulations and Seasons

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

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

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

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

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

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

CANADA GEESE

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

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

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

LIGHT GEESE

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

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

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

John Redmond and Otter Creek Wildlife Area Fall 2022 Conditions-I expect average habitat conditions this year for waterfowl on John Redmond Reservoir. Otter Creek Marshes, located below John Redmond Dam- Only the upper marsh will have water this year, if it rains.  It is currently dry.      The Sedimentation Basins located on west side, below dam, are not open for hunting, and are privately owned and operated.

Waterfowl numbers Quite a few geese, but not very many ducks.
Water level Current Level: 1041.7  Conservation Pool Level: 1041
Hunting 
Expected hunting success  Poor
Comments Lake is for the moment 100% Ice Free, boat ramps are open and accessible. 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: 1/27/2023 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!

Very low number of birds using the wildlife area for this time of year. 

Some ice present in the mornings.  Action is still slow.     

     

Water levels

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

Good water in both refuge units by the office.  

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

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

A-North at ramp: 20"

A-East at ramp: 10"

C-South at outlet: 33" 

F-East at outlet: 42"

F-South at outlet: 27"

F-West at outlet: 25" 

Unit G: 26"

 

Hunting/ Habitat conditions

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

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

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

Summer vegetation was fair to good in: F-South

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

There is no flooded corn or milo this year.  

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

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

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

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

   

Season Dates

LOW PLAINS TEAL: Sept. 10-25, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

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

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

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

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



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

Waterfowl numbers

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

6 Mallards

17 Wigeon

55 Gadwall

48 Northern Shoveler

13 Northern Pintail

212 Blue Winged teal

72 Green Winged Teal

1 Canvasback

3 Redheads

23 Ringnecks

1 Goldeneye

465 Unidentified Ducks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expected hunting success Low
Comments

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

Please remember to fill out the permit with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.

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



NEOSHO WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 2/6/2023 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).

Mallards, Pintail, Gadwall, Widgeon, Shoveler, Green Winged Teal and several species of divers currently present.  Geese consist of Canada, Snow and White-Fronted geese.  There is a good concentration of Swans so be sure of your target. 

Water level

Talking with locals this seems to be the worst drought seen in this area since the 1950's.  

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

Most of the water acres listed below are shallow 8 to 12" deep to sheet water at this time. Please see area news for habitat conditions

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

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

Pool 1- 225 Acres

Pool 2A-  110 acres

Pool 2B- 150 acres

Pool 3 (Refuge)- 300+ acres

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

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

Pool 5-  (Lower Pool- 15 acres very shallow water  Middle Pool- Dry  Upper Pool- Dry )  

Pool 6-  Dry

Pool 7-  Dry

Pool 8- 25 acres  

Pool 9- 10 acres

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

 

    

Hunting conditions

DUCK SEASON CLOSED

Habitat for the 2022-2023 season is a mixture of moist soil plants and millet despite the drought conditions and extreme heat we have been dealt this summer!!  Staff has worked hard pumping and moving water around since the first week of July to produce high quality food for the fall migration.       

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

 

Expected hunting success
DUCK SEASON CLOSED

 

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

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

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

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



TORONTO RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 1/12/2023 Print

Waterfowl numbers

1/12/23

Some good numbers of ducks showing up on the reservoir from time to time now.  When birds are present they seem to just be roosting in the deep water.  Numbers are very inconsistent from day to day.

Water level Lake is 1 ft. below normal pool level. All area marshes are dry.
Hunting conditions Hunting conditions will be fair.  If hunting the lake a boat will most likely be needed, otherwise one would have to deal with a large distance of mud flat from any cover to the waters edge.
Expected hunting success Low to Moderate
Comments Waterfowl reports will be posted on a bi-weekly basis throughout the fall and winter waterfowl seasons. Updates will be made when a significant change in bird numbers is observed.  For information pertaining to the Toronto Wildlife Area call 620-583-6783.