South Central

This is a collection of all the South Central Waterfowl Reports

CHENEY - Last Updated: 2/9/2021

Waterfowl numbers Large numbers of Canadian and Snow geese using reservoir and area crop fields.
Water level  1.07 feet below Conservation Pool on reservoir. Area ponds are dry.
Hunting conditions

 Poor

The reservoir was at a nearly full level most of the summer, so very few native food producing plants were able to establish along the shoreline. The recent drop in water level has left a large stretch of bare ground between concealment cover and water around most of the wildlife area. Despite the lack of food plants, hunting should improve if the reservoir comes back up. 

Expected hunting success  Poor
Comments

Cheney Wildlife Area is located in the Low Plains Late Zone

Low Plains Late Zone Youth/Veteran/Military Season is Oct. 24-25, 2020. 

Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season is Oct 31, 2020-Jan 3rd, 2021, and Jan 23-31, 2021.

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, 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 are in the process of being upgraded - please use caution as some gravel may not have been fully spread. 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: 1/19/2022

Waterfowl numbers We are now carrying around 150 ducks and at times 250 geese on the area.  With the duck season closed currently.  The water is open today (Wednesday) but may close up again tonight if the wind lays down.  
Water level Kingman State Fishing Lake is full.  All 8 marshes just north and west of the lake are full.  The west 2 of the 3 marshes south of the highway are holding huntable water.  During this week's cold nights, most of the marshes froze over at least partially.   
Hunting conditions

Hunting conditions are dominated by closed ice conditions on the marshes, ponds, and lake.  There is limited open water available on the river and some of its oxbows.                     

 

Expected hunting success    Limited by number of birds in the area.  
Comments  



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 1/13/2022

Waterfowl numbers Approximately 2,500 Canada geese and 1,500 ducks (primarily mallard) observed on 1/13/22.        
Water levels 0.4 feet below conservation elevation (1,274') on 1/13/22.    
Hunting conditions Difficult.  Ice conditions have been changing daily.  Lake 99% ice covered on 1/13/22.  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.  
Expected hunting success Fair/Good.                
Comments Low Plains Late Zone Duck Season is CLOSED.  Remainder of season is January 22 thru 30.                       



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 1/20/2022

Waterfowl Numbers Approximately 800 ducks  (mostly Mallard and diver ducks) and 500 Canada geese observed on 1/20/22.
Water level At 1338.70' approximately .30' below conservation elevation (1339'). 
Hunting conditions Most of the summer the lake was at or slightly above conservation pool.  Food producing plants in the reservoir were limited due to the higher water.  
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

Season: January 15-30, 2022



KAW WILDLIFE AREA. - Last Updated: 1/20/2022

Waterfowl numbers There are some waterfowl in the area at this time.  Mostly flying around.  The river has floating ice in it.
Water level Low
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 11-26, 2021

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 6, 2021 - January 2, 2022 AND January 15-30, 2022

Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit



MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS - Last Updated: 1/13/2022

Waterfowl numbers

ATTENTION:  i-Sportsman is REQUIRED to hunt this area.  All hunters MUST use the electronic daily hunt permit system!  Please check in, report your harvest, and check out using i-Sportsman for each and every hunt.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 13th 2022:

***THE LOW PLAINS EARLY ZONE DUCK SEASON IS CLOSED***

***WHITEFRONTED GOOSE SEASON IS CLOSED.  THE SECOND SPLIT OPENS JANUARY 22nd***

At the time of this posting, the wetlands were still 100% frozen.  Duck and goose numbers have been near zero again this week.  This will likely be the case until warmer conditions open up some water.

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

Current Information  Be aware of new regulations in effect for the 2021 season:  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 continue to decline, but all three units have at least some huntable water.  Scouting will be critical in determining which wetlands have water. 

Pumping efforts are complete for the 2021 season.

Big Basin:  Decent water in some of the wetlands that are open to public hunting, and good water in the refuge.

Chain of Lakes:  Water is very limited in this unit.  Be aware that the majority of the pond on the east boundary is privately owned. 

Little Sinkhole Unit:  Huntable water in a few of the wetlands.

Hunting conditions We have treated approximately 500 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 as the season moves forward.  Waterfowl food production (native moist soil vegetation) has been fairly good across the area this year, and approximately 400 acres of millet was planted in various wetlands.  The rain before teal season was a tremendous help, but the area needs more rain to hold water all season.
Expected hunting success Fair if significant thawing occurs.
Comments

ATTENTION:

MPWL has transitioned to a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register with i-Sportsman prior to hunting at MPWL.  Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report harvest similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.

Kansas hunters should be aware that iSportsman Electronic Daily Hunt Permits are required on 25 wildlife areas, including McPherson Valley Wetlands (check the 2020 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or kdwpt.isportsman.net for a list).

iSportsman replaces the old paper permits and allows hunters to conveniently check in and out using a telephone, smartphone or home computer. As with the old paper system, information gathered helps area managers tailor management practices specific to an area and hunter preference. The paper system was inconvenient for hunters and labor intensive for managers. 

**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.



SLATE CREEK WETLAND - Last Updated: 1/20/2022

Waterfowl
numbers
There are no waterfowl present on the area at this time. Ice coverage is 100%. 
Water
 level
Low  
Hunting conditions Poor
Expected hunting success Poor
Comments

Slate Creek Wetland Public Announcement

Due to some erosion problems at the wetland, we will not be able to hold water for the 2021-22 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 imagery/survey of the area.  This will help us resolve current erosion issues and help us map the whole wetland system for future development.  We thank you for your understanding and patience.

SCWL is using a new daily permit system called Isportsman.  Hunters will need to register prior to hunting at SCWL.  Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report back harvest similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

  • Season: Sept. 11-26, 2021
  • 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. 30, 2021-Janaury 2, 2022 AND Jan. 22-30, 2022
  • 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.



MARION - Last Updated: 1/20/2022

Waterfowl Numbers

The reservoir has approximately 6,500 geese consisting of Canada and Snow's with a few White-Fronted Geese mixed in.   Approximately 500 ducks were observed with a mix of Mallard, Pintail, and Goldeneye.

Numbers and conditions can change daily.

Ice The reservoir currently has approximately 95% ice coverage.
Water level Lake level is at 1348.79 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Fair.

The reservoir was at or near conservation pool most of 2021. 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 look good. Water levels are dropping leaving behind exposed mud between the water and shoreline.

Expected hunting success Fair.
Comments

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.