South Central

This is a collection of all the South Central Waterfowl Reports

CHENEY - Last Updated: 11/10/2022

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

 Poor

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

Expected hunting success  Poor 
Comments

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

Cheney Wildlife Area is located in the Low Plains Late Zone

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

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

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

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

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

Daily bag limit: 6

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

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit.

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

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

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

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



BYRON WALKER - Last Updated: 11/17/2022

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

Horrible!                    

 

Expected hunting success    Extremely limited.   
Comments  



COUNCIL GROVE - Last Updated: 12/1/2022

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



EL DORADO - Last Updated: 12/2/2022

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

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

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

CANADA GEESE

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

WHITE-FRONTED GEESE

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

LIGHT GEESE

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

LIGHT GEESE, CONSERVATION ORDER

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



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

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

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

Season: Sept. 10-25, 2022

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

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit:18

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE

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

Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)

Daily bag limit:6

Possession limit: Three times the daily limit



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

Waterfowl numbers

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

Friday, 2 December 2022:

Waterfowl numbers remain low at this time. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATTENTION:

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Slate Creek Wetland Public Announcement

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

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

TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE

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

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS LATE ZONE

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

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

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

https://license.gooutdoorskansas.com/



MARION - Last Updated: 12/2/2022

Waterfowl Numbers

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

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

Numbers and conditions can change daily.

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

Fair.

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

Expected hunting success Poor.
Comments

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

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

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

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