Keith Sebelius Reservoir / Norton Wildlife Area

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Keith Sebelius Reservoir / Norton ADA Compliant
Norton Waterfowl Report
Keith Sebelius Fishing Information

    The area attracts good numbers of waterfowl allowing for good opportunities to hunt all around the area.  With high numbers of waterfowl, the management takes a high priority in these species.  Starting November 1st, the middle portion of the reservoir is designated as a waterfowl refuge and is closed until January 31st.  While duck hunting can be good on the area goose hunting takes place mainly on the surrounding private grounds because hunting pressure is generally too great for feeding patterns to become established on the public lands and provide consistent successful goose hunting. 

      Hunters will find the area enjoyable with multiple opportunities to hunt.  Special draw hunts for waterfowl and deer are available by on-line application and provide good opportunities for kids to get into the sport of hunting.  Spring turkey hunters find plenty of competition while the fall pressure is light. Both white-tail and mule deer are present on the area with pressure the heavies during the firearms season.  Archery pressure is heaviest during the rut in early November.  With pheasant and quail populations up, it creates great hunting opportunities for hunters.

      The area provides great fishing spots for fisherman.  The primary sport fish on the area include saugeye, wipers, largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish.  Spotted bass, walleye, flathead catfish and bluegill are also present. Special creel and length limits may be in effect for some fish species. Make sure to check the Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary and all posted notices before fishing.  The area has boating access available depending on water levels, there are two high water ramps and one low water ramp. 

     Camping spots are available on the wildlife area on a limited basis.  It is only allowed on the six designated areas. Please do your part to keep the area enjoyable by taking your trash with you!

County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 07/13/2021

       This year on the wildlife area many projects have been planned and finished.  This year we sprayed and drilled about 300 acres back to native grass. The native grasses have come back nicely providing great cover for our wildlife.  There is about 250 acres of drilled cover crop on the area.  Although we did not get the rainfall we were hoping to, the cover crop still provides great food and cover options for the various wildlife.  We burned about 120 acres to reset the natural succession of the native grasses and forbs and all those areas have responded nicely.  With the water level down, it has created mudflats that we broadcasted cover crop and millet seed into that came up providing food for the various waterfowl that come in. 

General Information
County/Counties:

Manager: Luke Winge

Area Location: 4 miles west and 1 mile south from Norton, KS

Norton WA (PDF 557.58 kB)

2020 Refuge Line

Special Regulations

The refuge line fluctuates with the water level every year. Please check for the latest refuge line and make sure you are respecting the boundary.

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

History

The Norton Wildlife Area is a reservoir property that is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, but managed under a long-term agreement by Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for fish, wildlife, and recreation. The Norton Wildlife Area borders Keith Sebelius Lake which was created in 1964 when the Bureau of Reclamation completed construction of the Norton Dam.

The wildlife area comprises of 6,500 land acres and 2,181 water acres when full.  There are seasonal and permanent roads that provide great vehicle access to the area.  The only fees required are for fishing, hunting and boating which supports the management of the area.  There are kiosks placed around the area for more detailed information.  

Keith Sebelius Reservoir / Norton Areas

Three Jakes


Schoen's Cove


Norton Waterfowl Report - 03/23/2021
Waterfowl numbers Ducks - 545   Geese - 156   Snow Geese - 197    Until fall we will only update if a change happens.
Water level

The water level is similar to last year. 4 feet low - 64% of full.

Most shallow areas are frozen up. Ice is extremely unsafe - exercise extreme caution when on/around

Hunting conditions Hunting pressure has been high. Expect to run into other hunters. Water loss from irrigation has created mud flats and some muddy shorelines. In spots hunters will have a tough time finding enough vegetation to hide in. However, the water draw down has created a number of shallow areas that teal and puddle ducks will be able to utilize. The water is 40% frozen - mostly along the edges and the shallows.
Expected hunting success Moderate success can be expected ducks and geese. 
Comments
Norton Reservoir is in the HIGH PLAINS DUCK ZONE

Blinds may be used and must be constructed of natural herbaceous materials or woody debris that are present on the site.  Blinds constructed of non-natural materials must be removed from the property each day.  Please do not bring materials from off-site. 

DUCK SEASON DATES FOR 2020

Teal Season: September 19 - 27, 2020

Youth Duck Season: October 3-4, 2020

Regular Duck Season:  October 10, 2020 - January 3, 2021, AND January 22-31, 2021

Canada Goose Season: October 31 - November 1, 2020 AND November 4, 2020 - February 14, 2021

REMINDERS -

The refuge is NO ACCESS. Geese that have been shot at and land in the refuge CAN NOT be retrieved. Please use common sense and choose shots that will not allow shot geese to land in the refuge.

Leaving dead birds laying in the field/parking lots is prohibited. Goose meat taste delicious - there are multiple recipes online that can teach you how to cook it. Leaving dead birds on the wildlife area because you do not know how to cook them is not allowed.

Pick up all your trash. Leaving candy wrappers, pop bottles, and EMPTY SHELLS is considered littering and you will be ticketed.

     

Dove Fields