Clinton Wildlife Area

Area News
Clinton Waterfowl Report
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A majority of the land lies within the Clinton Reservoir flood pool. Deer Creek, Rock Creek and the Wakarusa River are the three main drainages into Clinton Lake that flow through the wildlife area. There is a mix of native grassland, deciduous forest and cropland dispersed throughout these drainages.

Two man-made wetland complexes are found on the wildlife area. The oldest is the Coblentz Marsh Complex, which consists of the original West Coblentz marsh and the more recent East Coblentz marsh totaling around 160 acres in 5 different pools. These are located on the north side of the Wakarusa River and immediately east of the Shawnee-Douglas county line in Douglas County. The Elk Creek Marsh complex was completed in 2008 after several years of construction. These marshes are located on the south side of the Wakarusa River and are accessed from the parking lot located at Boat Ramp #9. The complex consists of 4 different marsh pools that total approximately 300 acres when full. The largest and newest pool is just over 100 acres in size and is located within the area's seasonal Refuge. All wetland cells except the refuge marsh can be filled by pumping water out of the Wakarusa River.

Management of native grassland is very important on the Clinton Wildlife Area. Clinton has over 200 acres of historical native prairie, most all of the non-native cool season grasslands have been converted to warm season native grasses and wildflowers.

Primary species hunted on the area include deer, turkey, waterfowl, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, squirrel, and rabbit. Also, a wide array of non-game birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians can be found on the area or migrating through. Trapping, fishing, and wildlife viewing are also popular past times on the area.

205 N. 1600 Rd.
Lecompton,KS    66050

Area Manager: Justin Hamilton

Office Phone: 785-887-6882

Clinton Wildlife Area is located approximately 7 miles west of Lawrence on the upper end of Clinton Reservoir

Area News - Updated: 08/02/2023

DON'T FORGET ABOUT CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT! Clinton Wildlife Area is utilizing an electronic check-in system. To check-in or check-out, please go to This is mandatory for all hunting activities. This system allows us to better gather harvest and usage data to help make better management decisions.

For wetland and waterfowl info please see 

Please remember that trapping is also permitted on the Wildlife Area.

2023 Managed Dove Fields

An interactive Statewide map can be found at the link below:

General Information
205 N. 1600 Rd.
Lecompton, KS    66050

Clinton Reservoir & WA (PDF 2.15 MB)

Area Manager: Justin Hamilton

Office Phone: 785-887-6882

Clinton Wildlife Area is located approximately 7 miles west of Lawrence on the upper end of Clinton Reservoir

Special Regulations
  • Camping, off-road vehicle use, and target shooting are prohibited.
  • Please take all trash with you.
  • Refuge area is closed to all activities from October 1st thru January 15th.
  • Hunters are required to check-in / check-out here, using your licensing login credentials. 

Special Features

  • Handicapped hunting area provides vehicle use in designated area with written permission from Area Manager.
  • Horseback riding is allowed on the southeast side of the Rock Creek Arm on designated trails only which are primarily located in the Corps of Engineers' Rockhaven Park.

Here is a complete list of Public Land Regulations or you can download the regulation summary.


Clinton Reservoir was completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1977. Approximately 9,000 acres are managed by KDWPT for use as a public Wildlife Area.

Clinton Facilities
Wakarusa River Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 53.552 W 95 28.805
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for upper Wakarusa River and Elk Creek Wetlands access.

Rock Creek Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 52.786 W95 24.591
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for Rock Creek area access

Coon Creek Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 56.488 W95 24.468
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for Deer Creek area access

Clinton Trails
Rock Creek Horse Trail
  • Trail Season: April through September
  • Length of Trail: 10 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Horse Riding
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N38 53.445 W 95 22.601
  • Click for more information

    Horse trail is open seasonally and is located on southeast side of Rock Creek arm of lake. Trail head is in Rockhaven Park.

    Camping can be found at Corps of Engineers Rockhaven Park

Clinton Waterfowl Report - 02/16/2024
Waterfowl numbers

Updated 2-16-24

BI-Weekly Waterfowl surveys are conducted on Clinton Reservoir every year from Sept. to March.

02/13/24 Survey Results:

Mallard- 330

Teal- 280

Wood duck-0

Wigeon- 42

Gadwall- 6

Northern Shoveler-12

Pintail- 180

Redhead- 0

Ring-Necked duck- 0


Bufflehead- 42

Goldeneye- 470

Hooded Merganser- 0

Common Merganser- 30

Canada Geese -1,620

Unidentified Geese- 0

White-Fronted Geese- 800

Light Geese- 80

total geese- 2,500

Total waterfowl- 3,932

Lake level
Lake Level is 876.45

Conservation Pool is 875.50

Clinton Wildlife Area Refuge is OPEN

 (Closed October 1-January 15)

Hunting conditions


Coblentz - SW and SE pools are 1/2 full; Middle pool 1/3 full, North pool is 3/4 full.

East Coblentz- 1/2 Full

Shadden-   Mostly Dry- filled by rainfall only.

Elk Creek- Elk Creek pools 1, & 2 are half full; pool 3 is 1/4 full and the refuge is mostly full. They are numbered West to East, starting with pool 1 next to boat ramp and parking lot.

Lake- Lake level is just above normal pool. There are many shallow areas of the lake that offer mudflats for waterfowl hunting opportunities.

ICE- There is no ice currently present at the time of update.


Clinton contains miles of creeks, rivers and oxbows on the wildlife area; each of which has unique conditions and frequently hold waterfowl when weather and/or hunting pressure pushes them from marsh pools.
Expected hunting success Poor

IMPORTANT! Clinton Wildlife Area is utilizing an electronic check-in system required of all hunters. To check-in / check-out, please go to using your licensing login credentials.   

Please remember that trapping is also allowed on the Wildlife Area.

Elk Creek (Wakarusa River) and Coon Creek (Lake) boat ramps are open. 

Rock Creek Boat ramp is closed; a gravel launch area for canoes and kayaks is available when lake is near normal pool.

Dove Fields Map