Neosho Wildlife Area

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Located on the broad, flat flood plain below the junction of Flat Rock Creek and the Neosho River, the wildlife area is a man-made marsh developed by the Department in 1960. The area covers 3,246 acres. The five largest pools on the area represent 1,675 acres of the 1,787 of intensively managed wetlands. There are sixteen independently managed wetlands throughout the area. The area was primarily designed, and is managed to furnish a resting and feeding place for migratory waterfowl.

Three of the sixteen pools are managed in a moist soil environment through a water level manipulation plan. Four green tree marshes ranging in size from five to fifteen acres offer a different type of hunting opportunity for the sportsman using the area. Area personnel plant an average of 400 acres of corn, milo, buckwheat or millet in the hunting pools. The grain is left in the field and inundated in the fall.

The 800-acre refuge pool is closed to all hunting, foot and vehicle traffic during the waterfowl season. The water level of this pool fluctuates naturally throughout the seasons and provides good aquatic habitat for waterfowl. Fishing is allowed from April 1 until August 31. Good fishing can be found at times in the Neosho River, Flat Rock Creek and Brogan Creek, existing in part on the wildlife area.

8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul,KS    66771

Manager: Monte Manbeck

Assistant Manager:  Travis Ratliff

Phone: (620)-449-2539

From St. Paul travel east on Highway 47 2 miles to Wallace Rd.; turn south and travel approximately 1.25 miles. Office on west side of road

Area News - Updated: 11/01/2022

Area News

Neosho Wildlife Area

September 7,2022

We have not received any measurable rainfall since the last update. Pumps were shut off 2 weeks ago in order to conserve our water allotment for the upcoming season. Most of the water pumped has soaked in or evaporated; however the water did exactly what we were hoping it would do and saved most of our habitat. Pumps were started back up September 6th to flood irrigate once again. Teal hunting opportunity will be limited due to very tall, thick, rank moist soil vegetation and millet. 

August 18,2022

Forecast was predicting heavy rains and though it did rain, most of it was about 10 miles away, the area received less than a measurable amount of rain 8/16-8/17. 40 acres of millet has been replanted in a last ditch effort to try and get something to grow in some places where we are unable to get water to at this time of year. Since we started planting millet in mid June we have received less than 1.5" of rain. We have pumped over 1200 acre/feet of water anticipating a worst case scenario, trying to store water and get it while we can and also to flood irrigate moist soil vegetation and millet to keep it alive and growing. We have been moderately successful in doing so. Pump is currently running but after conversations with Division of Water Resources, this may come to an end soon. Without a significant rain in the Neosho River Basin, upstream of the area expect pumping efforts to dwindle drastically or even stop all together.

2022 Habitat conditions: August 11,2022

The 2022 growing season has been a battle to say the least. Prices of fertilizer and chemical had tripled since last year and with fuel prices doubling we were faced with some tough decisions. The decision was made to not plant any corn this season. The spring started out dry and we were very close to getting into the marshes to do manipulations earlier than normal. Then the spring rains finally came, over half our annual rainfall fell in the month of May, delaying equipment from getting into the marsh until mid June. We began planting millet June 21. A total of 320 acres of millet was planted by the 7th of July but the drought was starting to take its toll. July 11th we began to reap the rewards of our renovation project by beginning to pump water on our millet and moist soil. The pump is still running as of today, August 11th and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Where we have been able to get water, the millet and moist soil is doing fabulous. The higher elevation areas in the hunting pools where we have not been able to get water to the millet has really suffered, staying short or even dying.  Overall, the habitat looks fabulous and is getting better daily as the water being pumped in is stimulating both growth and seed production.

The refuge pool was drawn down to roughly 100 acres of surface water. This allowed moist soil vegetation to grow, and it has flourished. Some of the best moist soil we have ever seen is growing in the northern half of the refuge. Once again the renovation and new pump is paying off, we are able to pump directly to the refuge and "flood irrigate". Currently there is around 400 acres of 8-12" water in the refuge and this will continue to be staged up as long as river levels allow us to pump.

The south unit is moist soil again this year, like last year, where we had an all time high harvest for any individual year. River levels allowed us to pump, and flood irrigate, the 2 main pools without any trees in them. 55 acre feet of water was pumped beginning the week of July 11th. The moist soil has responded incredibly and this has also allowed us to stress flood and kill the cockleburs that were coming on with a vengeance.

As of today things look very promising for this years upcoming waterfowl season. Please keep in mind things can change overnight and we are going to need some rain on the landscape soon to continue pumping efforts.

Moist soil production in last years Corn strips was outstanding, with wild millets and annual smartweed being the predominate species. Most of the water on the area is in the 6-10" deep range in very thick, rank, tall moist soil and millet vegetation. Open water for teal hunting opportunities may be limited. 


Hunters can check-in / check-out here, using your licensing login credentials. 

There are two new regulations for the 2021-2022 hunting season. First, NO centerfire rifles or handguns will be allowed for hunting. Second, NO ACCESS (FOOT, BOAT, ETC.) into the wetlands BEFORE 5:00AM, and MUST be out of the wetlands within an HOUR AFTER SUNSET (LEGAL SHOOTING HOURS).    

Other regulations to keep in mind are parking in designated parking areas ONLY, boats must operate at no wake speeds in the boating canals, and watercraft are not permitted within the hunting pools until the day of waterfowl season at 5:00am. Also Pools 4A and 4B are open to NON-MOTORIZED boats only (Note: An electric trolling motor is a motor and will not be allowed). 

Area staff has had a lot of questions on how the main parking area is going to work for this fall.  Parking will be allowed only where the gray curb stops are located.  The curb stops that are painted red symbolize no parking.  The most efficient use of the parking area will be to travel counter clockwise as the curb stops are angled for this direction of travel.  We realize that there are places in the parking area where there are no curb stops that look very appealing for parking but they are not designated areas to park and parking in such areas is not allowed and will not be tolerated.  We want to make sure there is ample room for every user whether it be trucks with trailers, cars or just  regular trucks.  All parking areas will be marked and are in the new area brochure.  Parking along roadsides will no longer be tolerated for safety reasons.  It is each users responsibility to know the regulations, so if you have questions or are unsure please feel free to contact us. 

South Unit 

No new news to report

Pool 9 Construction -Construction of a new 35 acre wetland is complete. This wetland will be located just east of the "Tin Barn" and south of 47 Hwy. Parking WILL NOT be allowed along Hwy 47. Parking will be allowed at the "tin barn" or along the road going to the "tin barn". This wetland will rely heavily on rainfall BUT we will be able to supplemental pump from Brogan creek when conditions allow

Hunting Pool Habitat 2021-2022

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350 45 60 135 45 65 0
2A 155 0 0 15 110 30 0
2B 190 0 0 65 95 30 0
4A 90 0 0 45 45 0 0
4B 65 0 0 20 45 0 0
5 85 0 0 35 30 20 0
6 15 0 0 0 0 15 0
7 7 7 0 0 0 0 0
8 33 0 0 10 23 0 0
9 40 15 10 10 30 0 0
South Unit 100 10 0 0 50 40 0

As always, if you have questions please feel free to call the office at 620-449-2539.  We are always happy to take your calls and please keep in mind that this is a field office, so if we do not answer please leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can.  

General Information
8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul, KS    66771

Neosho WA (PDF 340.27 kB)

Manager: Monte Manbeck

Assistant Manager:  Travis Ratliff

Phone: (620)-449-2539

From St. Paul travel east on Highway 47 2 miles to Wallace Rd.; turn south and travel approximately 1.25 miles. Office on west side of road

Special Regulations
  • Pool 8 is restricted to waterfowl hunters accompanied by a youth hunter, 16 years of age or less on weekends and holidays. The adults may hunt with the youth hunter.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.
  • All hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit utilizing the new "GoOutdoors KS" app. prior to the hunt and checkout after the hunt is completed.

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


In 1959, the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission purchased the initial 2,975.5 acres. In 1988 an additional 270 acres were purchased through a fifty percent cost share agreement with Ducks Unlimited Inc. The area was first opened to waterfowl hunting in the fall of 1962.

Neosho Facilities
Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 38.475 W95 8 3.920
  • Click for more information

    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 28 47.403 W95 7 47.013
  • Click for more information

    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 1.196 W95 9 11.662
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    Primitive camping

Pool 8 Youth Hunting Pool
  • Type of Facility:
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 35.356 W95 7 31.186
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    Youth hunting pool (16 or younger) on weekends and holidays.

South Unit Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • Location of Facility: N37 25 15.265 W95 7 28.138
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    Daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Pool 4 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.430 W95 08.894
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 4 for waterfowl hunting.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.140 W95 07.480
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    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 28.797 W95 07.789
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='' ><paragraph>Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='' >

    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 2 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.567 W95 08.944
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 2 for waterfowl hunting

Pool 1 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 30.036 W95 09.434
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 1 for waterfowl hunting

Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 49.903 W95 8 33.935
  • Click for more information

    Checkstation building and daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Neosho Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report - 11/21/2022
Waterfowl numbers
Hunters can check in here, using your licensing login credentials or download the "GoOutdoors KS" app. Check-in / check-out is required for all hunters!

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

Water level

Most recent rainfall events were not enough to have any runoff and pumping continues to be a struggle.  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 6 to 10" 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 has been running off and on since the first week of July.  However, evaporation loss has been significant and soil conditions are extremely dry.  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 if weather patterns do not change.  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- 200 Acres

Pool 2A-  100acres

Pool 2B- 145 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- Dry Middle Pool- Dry  Upper Pool- Dry )  

Pool 6-  Dry

Pool 7-  Dry

Pool 8- 25 acres  

Pool 9- Dry

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 - 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.    

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.)
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, 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.