Modifications due to low water, increased waterfowl use expected

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has been considering implementing a deeper water waterfowl refuge at Wilson Reservoir for several years. While the water portion of the refuge designated on the west end in 1996 has been effective for sandhill cranes and early migrating waterfowl, the shallow water sometimes freezes early, which is not good for late-season migrating waterfowl.

Plans to develop a deeper waterfowl refuge area have become even more important this fall because drought has dried the entire water area of the current refuge. Because Wilson is now more than five feet below conservation pool, a small refuge addition will be established directly west of Minooka Park on the south side of the lake. This area will be closed to all activities from Oct. 1, 2006 to March 1, 2007. A similar refuge addition at Glen Elder Reservoir a few years ago significantly increased late-season waterfowl use.

Waterfowl numbers should improve with this addition in 2006 and provide better hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. This action should have little impact on other recreation opportunities at Wilson this fall and winter.

For more information, contact Greg Nichols at the Wilson Area Office, 785-658-2465.