Southeast

This a collection of all the Southeast Waterfowl Reports.

ELK CITY RESERVOIR/WILDLIFE AREA - Last Updated: 12/2/2022

Waterfowl numbers Duck numbers appear to have increased in the general area but duck numbers on the reservoir remain sporadic. There have been a few days where a good number of ducks are using the lake and a few days later, there are not many around. Snow goose numbers have increased. The waterfowl numbers are expected to fluctuate with migration, hunting pressure, and changing habitat conditions.
Water level There is a tiny bit of sheet water in a couple marshes, but ducks have not been seen using those marshes yet. 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 poor. 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 Poor. 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 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: 11/14/2022

Waterfowl numbers

11/14/22

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.  

Water level Lake level is 1.6 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: 11/15/2022

 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 above habitat conditions this year for waterfowl on John Redmond Reservoir, if we can catch some rain, and the lake level comes back up.  If it continues to be dry, conditions are going to be pretty poor.  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 3,500 Light Geese, 150 Dark Geese, 1250 mixed big ducks.  
Water level Current Level: 1041.05 Conservation Pool Level: 1041
Hunting 
Expected hunting success   Poor
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: 12/2/2022

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. 

Good number of ducks using the refuge units, mostly mallards.   Lower numbers than a week ago though. A few Canada geese and a decent number of white-fronted geese are around.    

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: 13.5"
  • A-East at ramp: 6.5"
  • C-South at outlet: 26.5"
  • F-East at outlet: 35.5"
  • F-South at outlet: 25"
  • F-West at outlet: 19.5" 
  • Unit G: 16.5"

 

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

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: 12/5/2022

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).

Currently seeing Teal, Mallards, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, a mix of diver species, Canada Geese, Snow Geese and White Fronts.

Water level

Talking with locals this seems to be the worst drought seen in this area since the 1950's.  A significant rain event (6+") is going to be necessary in the Neosho basin or pumping this fall will continue to be very tough.

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

Most of the water acres listed below are shallow sheet water 8 to 12" deep 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.

Pumping is essentially done for 2022.  Pumping efforts continue but with low river conditions pumping is extremely slow.  Pumping will continue as long as river will allow or our annual Acre Foot allocations have been met.    

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

Habitat for the upcoming season is a good 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 food for the fall migration.       

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

 

Expected hunting success
Fair to Poor - Success will be contingent on the weather received between October and the first of the year.  Without some rain it will be a tough season.    

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: 11/14/2022

Waterfowl numbers

11/14/22

Not many ducks around.  There are several small groups of ducks on the lake at any given time.  Some area pasture ponds have also been holding small groups of birds.  We have been seeing a few descent groups of geese sitting on wheat fields but almost exclusively on private land.

Water level Lake is 1.5 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.