Southeast

This a collection of all the Southeast Waterfowl Reports.

ELK CITY RESERVOIR/WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 1/14/2022

Waterfowl numbers The duck numbers seem to have dissipated the second half of this week. They are not forced to be on the reservoir since the ice melted so hopefully there are still good numbers in the area, but they are just less visible. It appears that temps are going to drop again in the near future and some water will freeze up again. The waterfowl numbers are expected to fluctuate with migration, hunting pressure, and changing habitat conditions.
Water level The water levels in the marshes vary across the area. Some have huntable water and some are empty, but none of the marshes are full. 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. Today, the reservoir is 0.41 ft above pool level. 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. Heavy rain is still needed to improve hunting conditions.
Expected hunting success Fair. Opportunities are limited with the current conditions.   REGULAR DUCK SEASON IS NOV. 6-JAN. 2 AND JAN. 15-30
Comments 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: 1/14/2022

Waterfowl numbers

1/14/22

Descent amount of divers on the lake and some of the small ponds in the area.  Still seeing a few small groups of big ducks in the area. If conditions get cold and smaller bodies of water ice over you can expect to see much better numbers on the reservoir.  Geese are present in good numbers on fields in the area but not many using the wildlife area as of yet. Birds continue to move in and then out very quickly so scouting a day before any hunt would be advantageous.

Water level Reservoir is at conservation pool. 
Hunting conditions Conditions have been mild but frontal system should bring some colder temps and new birds in.
Expected hunting success Limited
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: 1/4/2022

Waterfowl numbers 1000 mixed divers, 1000 mixed pudlers, and 3000 dark geese, and some 3,500 snow geese.
Water level Current Level: 1041.2 Conservation Pool Level: 1041
Hunting conditions
 TEAL, LOW PLAINS ZONE
  • Season: Sept. 11-26, 2021
  • 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)

          Southeast Zone: Oct. 30-31, 2021

DUCKS, LOW PLAINS SOUTHEAST ZONE
  • Season: Nov. 6, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022 and Jan. 15-30, 2022
  • Area open: Southeast Zone (see map)
  • Daily bag limit: 6 (Limit Info)
  • Possession limit: Three times the daily limit
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp
DUCK LIMITS

6 ducks, 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.

Geese

CANADA GEESE

  • Season: Oct. 30-31, 2021 and Nov. 3, 2021-Feb. 13, 2022
  • 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: Oct. 30, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022 and Jan. 22-Feb. 13, 2022
  • Area open: Statewide
  • Daily bag limit: 2
  • Possession limit: 6
  • Stamps Required: Kansas HIP Permit, State Waterfowl Stamp, Federal Waterfowl Stamp

LIGHT GEESE

  • Season: Oct. 30-31, 2021 and Nov. 3, 2021-Feb. 13, 2022
  • 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: Feb. 14-April 30, 2022
  • 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 2021 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. It has excellent vegetation, and is currently full.   

The Sedimentation Basins located on west side, below dam, are not open for hunting, and are privately owned and operated.

Expected hunting success  Shallow water, and shorlines starting to ice up.  Boat ramps are currently open but could lock up with below average temperatures. I expect above average success for boat hunters out on the reservoir. 
Comments 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: 1/20/2022

Waterfowl numbers

NOTE:  Legal shooting hours are 1/2-hour before sunrise to SUNSET.  Late shooters (shooting after sunset) will be prosecuted.

All hunters must check-in daily using iSportsman electronic check-in from a PC, smartphone, or by phone before hunting and check out before midnight regardless of harvest.  We have a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman requirements. Please remember to fill out the check-out report with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA.  If you are having issues with iSportsman, call the office and leave a message. 

Good number of ducks keeping a couple holes open on the refuge.             

Hunting success was good for the second opener and until marshes froze up.    

Water levels

Ice Report: 01/20/22.  99% ice.  1"-1.5" thick at boat ramps.  Ice is expected to thicken more tonight.    

Due to shorter vegetation height, hunters can expect to have slightly shallower water than previous years. Boats may be difficult to launch and use in the majority of units.    

Water levels are good in the following units: A-North, A-East, F-West, F-South, F-East, C-South and Unit G.  Stage ups will occur through out the remainder of the season.  All refuge units have good water.  Most smaller units that can be pumped, have been pumped.  Unit E has very little water in it and will require a large rain event for that to change.  

With a little scouting, hunters should be able to find opportunities.  

Hunting/ Habitat conditions

Early flooding and late droughts made for an adverse growing season. In addition, there were several cycles of army worms that destroyed hundreds of acres of desirable vegetation, with Unit G being hit the hardest.  In spite of these factors, wetland food production across the area was only slightly below average.  Hunters should expect shorter vegetation and more shallow water than typical.  With the late season heat and drought, hunters may also have to deal with a little extra cocklebur.    

Japanese Millet was planted in a few small areas.

Milo was planted in C-South and F-East.   

Season Dates

SOUTHESAT LATE ZONE DUCK SEASON OPENS Nov. 6,2021 - Jan. 2, 2022 and Jan 15 - Jan. 30, 2022

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE OPENS Oct. 30,2021 - Jan 2, 2022 and Jan. 22 - Feb. 13, 2022

DARK GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 30 - 31,2021 and Nov. 3 - Feb. 13, 2022 

Light GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 30 - 31,2021 and Nov. 3 - Feb. 13, 2022

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!

If you are having trouble logging into iSportsman, PLEASE DO NOT create a new account! Please contact our office prior to hunting, (913) 352-8941, and leave a detailed message with your name and number and we will get back with you to assist with retrieving your log in information. Please do not wait until the morning of to make sure you can check in; take the time to ensure you can sign in and sign out before coming to hunt.

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.

Marais des Cygnes WA requires all hunters to utilize the daily permit system called iSportsman.  Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at Marais des Cygnes WA.  Hunters will be able to check in via PC, smartphone, or call in from cell phone or landline phone each day prior to hunting.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net to register prior to hunting season.



MELVERN LAKE/WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 1/19/2022

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.   

84 Mallards

27 Common Goldeneye

64 Common Merganser

4 Canada Geese

400 Snow Geese

Mallard Migration Rank = 5 (0 = no mallards and 10 = peak migration)

Water level Lake level = 1034.92; Conservation pool = 1036.00; Target goal for the lake is 1034.00.         30% Ice cover on Melvern Lake.
Hunting conditions

Melvern Lake and the Wildlife Area fall within the Low Plains Late Zone. Duck Season is CLOSED until the second split: January 22nd-30th. 

3 Duck Marsh- The wetland is a mix of corn and moist-soil production. 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 remained underwater until early August due to high lake levels. There was some response by moist soil vegetation and the wetland is 100% full. 

Lowman's Cove- Due to high rainfall totals this wetland remained full and produced little food within the marsh. There will be plenty of cover around the edges but lots of open water within the wetland.

Shoveler Slough- This wetland is a mix of corn and moist-soil production. 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. 

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 Moderate
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://kdwpt.isportsman.net/  For more information (click here). 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: 1/21/2022

Waterfowl numbers
iSportsman (electronic daily hunt permit system) is required for all hunters, We now have a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman.
NEW REGULATION IN EFFECT FOR 2021-2022 WATERFOWL SEASON: NO ENTRY (by foot, boat, etc) INTO THE MARSH (water) BY ANY HUNTER UNTIL 5:00AM AND MUST BE OUT OF THE MARSH BY 1 HOUR AFTER SUNSET (LEGAL SHOOTING TIME).
Duck season for the Low Plains Southeast Zone opens January 15th, 2022 and closes Sunday, January 30,2022 at sunset.
ATTENTION!!!! White-fronted goose season is CLOSED and does not re-open until January 22nd,2022- February 13th,2022
There are many Swans present on the area and are not legal to be harvested in the state of Kansas

Average numbers of birds. Mainly Mallards

Water level

Most of the acres of water represented below will be 12-18" deep or less in very tall, thick rank, smart weed and wild millet.

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.

Water levels are ideal for both hunting and foraging waterfowl.  We are still staging waterlevels and will continue to do so throughout the season.  

Pool 1- 250 acres 98%

Pool 2A- 120 acres 98%

Pool 2B- 150 acres 100%

Pool 3 (Refuge)-  600+ acres FULL

Pool 4A-  90 acres 95%  Walk in and non-motorized boat hunting only

Pool 4B-  50 acres 95%   Walk in and non-motorized boat hunting only

Pool 5- 80 acres 98%  (Lower Pool- 95% Middle Pool- 90% Upper Pool- 95%)  

Pool 6- 15 acres 100% 

Pool 7- 7 acres 100%

Pool 8- 25 acres 95% 

Pool 9- 35 acres 90%

South Unit- 95 acres 98%

 

    

Hunting conditions
Friday Jan. 21 ice is at least 3" in most places.  No open water in hunting pools.  Temps supposed to be a little warmer during the day Saturday through Monday but nightly lows will continue to be below freezing.  It is unlikely that we will open back up in the next week.     

Expect hunting conditions to become very, very difficult with thick ice. Very difficult for boats to access hunting pools. Please be courteous and allow safe distances between hunting parties.

Good mixture of moist soil plants and Corn are currently flooded.  Things look really good for the season!!  

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

 

Expected hunting success

Hunting pressure has been moderate with decent success. Harvest is currently higher than last year at this point in the season. 

SOUTHESAT LATE ZONE DUCK SEASON OPENS Nov. 6,2021 - Jan. 2, 2022 and Jan 15 - Jan. 30, 2022

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE OPENS Oct. 30,2021 - Jan 2, 2022 and Jan. 22 - Feb. 13, 2022

DARK GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 30 - 31,2021 and Nov. 3 - Feb. 13, 2022 

Light GOOSE SEASON OPENS Oct. 30 - 31,2021 and Nov. 3 - Feb. 13, 2022

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

2020-2021 Regular Waterfowl Season: 3,557 Hunters Harvested 6,141 Birds for a 1.73 BPH avg. Last season ranked 27th highest in number of Hunters; 13th highest in number of birds harvested; and 14th highest in BPH based on 54 years of data.

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.  However, there are still around 70 people checked in and in order to compile and complete the data we need you to please check out.  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 6,2021 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 daily using iSportsman while hunting.
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")
Campgrounds on the area are Primitive campground. (No electric, No water) Take your trash with you!!
If you are having trouble logging into iSportsman, PLEASE DO NOT create a new account! Please contact our office prior to hunting, (620) 449 2539, and leave a detailed message with your name and number and we will get back with you to assist with retrieving your log in information. Please do not wait until the morning of to make sure you can check in; take the time to ensure you can sign in and sign out before coming to hunt.

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.

Neosho WA requires all hunters to utilize the daily permit system called isportsman.  Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at Neosho WA.  Hunters will be able to login via PC, smartphone, or call in from cell phone or landline phone each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report back similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/to register prior to hunting season.



TORONTO RESERVOIR - Last Updated: 1/14/2022

Waterfowl numbers

1/14/22

Descent amount of divers on the lake and some of the small ponds and marshes in the area.  Still seeing a few small groups of big ducks in the area. If conditions get cold and smaller bodies of water ice over you can expect to see much better numbers on the reservoir.  Geese are present in good numbers on fields in the area but not many using the wildlife area as of yet. Birds continue to move in and then out very quickly so scouting a day before any hunt would be advantageous.

Water level Lake is at conservation pool and all marshes in the area are full.
Hunting conditions With recent warmer weather the ponds and other smaller bodies of water have opened up.  Smaller bodies of water will ice over with some colder weather.  
Expected hunting success Moderate
Comments Waterfowl reports will be posted on a bi-weekly basis throughout the fall and winter waterfowl seasons. Updates will be made when a significant change in bird numbers is observed.  For information pertaining to the Toronto Wildlife Area call 620-583-6783.