Northwest

**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: 2/12/2024

 

Duck Season IS CLOSED

Very few geese.  Numbers change daily.

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: 2/29/2024

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.

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Dark geese and ducks are closed. Estimating 60,000 - 80,000 snow geese. Snow geese numbers fluctuating dramatically day-to-day as they bounce around other regional reservoirs.  Very little ice cover left. Area roads have improved, but still some ugly spots to be found.  

Waterfowl numbers may change dramatically from day-to-day.

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Glen Elder map

Water level Lake is currently 4.8 feet low and slowly starting to increase.  
Hunting conditions Fair.  Hunters still need to be cautious of DANGEROUS MUD CONDITIONS on the river areas.
Expected hunting success Fair for geese.  
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 October 7, 2023 through December 3, 2023 AND December 23, 2023 through January 7, 2024.

Low Plains Late Duck Zone (South of Highway 24) season is October 28, 2023 through December 31, 2023 AND January 20, 2024 through January 28, 2024.

Dark geese season will be October 28 and 29 AND November 1, 2023 through February 11, 2024.

Whitefront season will be October 28, 2023 through December 31, 2023 AND January 20, 2024 through February 11, 2024.

Light geese season will October 28 and 29 AND November 1, 2023 through February 11, 2024.  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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.