Neosho Wildlife Area News

Area News

Neosho Wildlife Area


The renovation project has two objectives. The first is to improve the amount and quality of habitat available annually for waterfowl and other wildlife species. The second objective is to decrease the annual operation and maintenance costs at the area.

August 10, 2020

2019-2020 Season in Review.

Overall last season was a very productive season harvest wise. There was a lot of concern with not having any crops planted on the area due to record setting rain fall totals last year. Last year we received our first big push of Mallards around Halloween (very similar to 2018-2019). Totals for 2019-2020 were 3491 hunters harvested 6041 ducks for a 1.73 BPH average. 2018-2019 totals were 2753 hunters harvested 4759 birds. 

November Totals (23 days): 1,359 Hunters (39% of 2019-2020 hunters) harvested 2,766 birds, 46% of total harvest (54% Mallards, 30% Green-winged Teal, 4% Pintail) for a 2.03 BPH average. Average of 59 hunters/day harvesting 120 birds/day.

December Totals (31 days): 1,422 Hunters (41% of 2019-2020 hunters) harvested 2,166 birds, 36% of total harvest (82% Mallards, 5% Pintail, 4% Green-winged Teal) for a 1.52 BPH average. Average of 46 hunters/day harvesting 70 birds/day.

January Totals (20 days): 710 Hunters (20% of 2019-2020 Hunters) harvested 1,110 birds, 18% of total harvest (79% Mallards, 5% Pintail, 5% Ring-necks) for a 1.56 BPH average. Average of 36 hunters/day harvesting 56 birds/day. 

32 Youth Hunters Harvested 133 ducks for a 4.15 bph. 20% of the Harvest was teal, 53% Mallards.

We have finally had some cooperating weather! It has been and extremely busy summer and growing season; going from extremely wet conditions through May turning to very hot and dry conditions in June. We have been finishing up some final projects with the renovation. The road/levee that goes around the refuge (Pool 3) has been deteriorating badly over the last 15-20 years and part of the renovation plan was to protect the interior side of the levee with rip rap to protect from erosion. This levee is 2.5 miles long and over 11,000 tons of rip rap has been hauled and placed by area staff. This work is complete.

A new wetland, Pool 9, has been completed just south of 47 hwy, east of the tin barn. This pool will add another 35 acres of huntable water.

We are currently in the process of rebuilding the flood control levee along the Neosho River in the "Upper Pool of 5". This levee has been eroding for years and was becoming a real issue during flood events. Without this levee, our entire system is susceptible to flood events. The flood in May of 2019 destroyed this levee in several spots. Instead of just patching the holes in the levee it was deemed necessary to rebuild the entire stretch. To rebuild this levee we decided to borrow dirt from the high ground along the east side of the oxbow in 2B that never got any water over it. Borrowing this dirt has improved water levels throughout the entire "old south end of Pool 2"; what is now the north end of Pool 2B. We actually gain 7-10 acres of surface water within this pool while improving water depths across 20 acres. Hopefully dirt work is finished up this week with this project.

Also, the old pump on Flat rock creek has been pulled and is being renovated. Tentative re-installation dates are the week of August 17-21st. This pump serves as our back up pump but was worn out and not functioning after last season. 

Habitat wise this year once again looks exceptional!!! 240 acres of corn was planted across the entire area June 10th, 11th, and 12th. The corn is not completely done growing yet but with the cooler temperatures and timely rains we have had the last couple weeks happening while the corn is tasseling we expect to have some of the better corn we have ever had. The corn looks fantastic and is setting on some good sized ears as of today. 180 acres of Millet has been planted and is just starting to head out. The millet is looking exceptional as well. There is potential for another 15-20 acres to be planted in 2B and possibly Pool 9, depending on dirt work completion. 

Moist soil production is once again outstanding on the area with wild millets being the predominate species.

This years corn was planted in strips, similar to how it was roughly between 2007-2011. The strips are around 80 yards wide. For example 80 yards of corn, 80 yards of millet and/or moist soil, then 80 yards of corn and so on for the length of the pools where it was planted. This allows us to have a diversity of foods within all pools, which we feel is the most important.

At this point, everything is looking like it should be another great year. 

Water levels for September teal season are unknown at this time. Staff hopes to pump a little bit of water in 2A, 2B, and fill the ditches in Pool 1. Due to corn being planted in most pools expect huntable acres to be significantly lower than in the past 2 years for early teal season.  The refuge will NOT BE OPEN FOR TEAL SEASON.

September 8,2020

The levee project in the upper end of pool 5 has been completed and the old pump installed. We have been pumping into the refuge for about 3 weeks now after having to draw it down for renovation work. The habitat looks phenomenal. There will be little water available for early teal season with water having been pumped in the oxbow area of Pool 2B and the deeper areas of Pool 2A. Remember we are still along ways from our regular season and are waiting on the corn to fully mature. Expect crowded conditions for the early teal opener. 

Reminder: iSportsman daily permits are free and required of all hunters. This applies to all types of game, not just waterfowl hunting. Failure to comply with iSportsman regulations will not be tolerated and will result in a citation. Hunters are encouraged to access their iSportsman account to ensure that their information is up to date and that they have their username and password. Please do this by going to the iSportsman webpage ( and click on "My Account". You can edit any information here.The information acquired from this system is very critical to the future management decisions of the area. Thank you for you cooperation.

New brochure maps are in and will be available at the checkstation and Parking area KIOSKs so please feel free to grab one and make yourself familiar with these.

 A couple of the new regulations will be parking in designated parking areas ONLY , boats must operate at no wake speeds in the boating canals, and watercraft are not permitted with the hunting pools until the day of waterfowl season. 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). Staff has posted pictures showing new levee arrangements, parking areas, camping areas, boat ramps and boating canals. This is a very exciting time with all of the improvements being made. This site will be updated as work progresses and season nears and once again thanks for your patience while this much needed work is being completed!! 

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 Renovation

South Unit Renovation was completed early in 2019. Pumping of the South Unit is anticipated to begin in late October/early November. Please remember that we have to meet all of Division of Water Resources compliance requirements and pumping will only take place with river flows meeting their requirements.

All Water Control structures were replaced and levees were rebuilt and raised. This should make water delivery to the pools much more feasible and reliable. This has also increased the amount of hunt-able acres as well as the surface acres.

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 2020-2021

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350 110 90 70 15 65 0
2A 155 0 20 40 65 30 0
2B 190 0 0 45 115 30 0
4A 90 0 40 30 20 0 0
4B 65 0 20 0 45 0 0
5 85 0 40 0 25 20 0
6 15 0 0 0 0 15 0
7 7 7 0 0 0 0 0
8 33 0 10 0 23 0 0
9 40 15 0 10 15 0 0
South Unit 100 10 20 15 15 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.