Neosho Wildlife Area News

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.