Marion Reservoir

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The Marion Reservoir and Wildlife Area is located along the western edge of the Flint Hills in the Cottonwood River Valley of central Kansas. Sitting in the Neosho Basin, the area consists of 3,700 acres of mixed native grass and riparian timber, 2,350 acres of cropland and 6,160 acres of Marion Reservoir. Lying in close proximity to several major metropolitian areas, this allows visitors to enjoy the abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities that the state has to offer without having to travel far from the city. Anglers have ample opportunity to catch Walleye, Crappie, Wipers and Channel Catfish throughout the year. The area is managed for variouse game species including Pheasants, Quail, Rabbit, Turkey, and White-Tail Deer. Waterfowl hunters will find good populations of Canada, Snow and White-Fronted geese as well as all species of ducks found within the Central Flyway. An 800 acre Waterfowl Refuge that is managed to attract and hold waterfowl is located along French Creek. This area is closed to hunting all year and closed to all activities from Oct. 1 to Mar. 1. There is handicapped accessable fishing at Broken Bridge on the river. 171 campsites are located in four parks that are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 10/31/2019

Waterfowl Refuge:

Flooding at Marion Reservoir:

Waterfowl Hunters MUST Do Their Part To Stop The Spread Of Zebra Mussels:

Wood Cutting on Marion Wildlife Area:

Waterfowl Refuge:

The refuge at Marion Wildlife area, located on the south west part of the reservoir along French creek, extends out from the shoreline 100 yards into the water. What this means is that approximately 110 acres of water along the shoreline of the refuge are included in the restricted access area and are off limits to hunting. Accessing the refuge by boat or hunting near the refuge shoreline is not permitted. 

Flooding around the reservoir:

Marion reservoir is currently close to conservation pool. Most access roads around the wildlife area have been damaged by the flooding. Efforts are underway to place rock on area roads and get them back into good condition. Many of the county roads have also been damaged by flood waters. Durham Cove Campground is open, but there are still some areas of bare ground so please be careful in wet conditions. The boat ramp next to broken bridge on the north Cottonwood River is open, and the boat ramp at Durham Cove is open. The corps of engineers currently has many of their campgrounds and boat ramps open with the exception of Cottonwood Cove.

Waterfowl Hunters need to help stop the Zebra Mussel:

 With waterfowl season just around the corner, hunters need to be aware that Marion Reservoir now is infested with Zebra Mussels. Hunters need to follow three simple steps to ensure they do not spread these invasive mussels to other bodies of water. CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY:

  • Hunters should clean and remove all visible vegetation, mud and debris from decoy’s, bags, waders, boats, and any other equipment that gets wet.
  • All water should be drained from boats, decoys and decoy bags, etc. Research has found that vellegers (young Zebra Mussels), which are microscopic, are transported in large volumes of water.
  • Hunters should allow their equipment to dry for a 5 day period before returning to their favorite duck hunting spots. However, if hunters wanted to hunt before that, they can run through the car wash and hose their equipment down with high-pressure, hot water.

If hunters take a few minutes to inspect their equipment before leaving Marion Reservoir, they will keep Zebra Mussels out of other bodies of water.

Wood Cutting on Marion Wildlife Area:

This winter, KDWPT will be cutting trees in a few spots around the wildlife area. These trees have been piled to be burnt at a later date. If you are interested in cutting some of the wood for personal use, a wood cutting permit is required. You can pick up this free permit at KDWPT headquarters located at Broken Bridge.

General Information
County/Counties:

Marion Reservoir & WA (PDF 242.03 kB)

Area Manager: Scott Amos - Phone (620) 732-3946

Wildlife Biologist: Jeff Rue - Phone (620) 732-3946

Fisheries Biologist: Craig Johnson - Phone (316) 322-7513


Special Regulations
  • Camping on the KDWPT managed area is allowed only at Durham Cove.
  • Driving off established roads is prohibited this includes 4-wheelers.
  • This area has a no-trash policy. Please take all trash with you.

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

History

The 12,200 acre Marion Reservoir and Wildlife area was constructed in 1968 by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control structure. It was opened to the public for recreational use in 1969.

Marion Facilities
Cotton Wood Point
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 23.397 W97 04.615
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical and water hook-up's, several vault tiolets,and two restroom/shower buildings.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical and water hook-up's, several vault tiolets,and two restroom/shower buildings.


Hillsboro Cove
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 21.917 W97 06.071
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical and water hook-up's, several vault tiolets, and one restroom/shower building.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical and water hook-up's, several vault tiolets, and one restroom/shower building.


French Creek
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 23.275 W97 09.008
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical hook-up's and a vault toilet.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    This camping area is managed by the Corps of Engineers. It has electrical hook-up's and a vault toilet.


Durham Cove
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 26.232 W97 09.678
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>This is the only camping area on the wildlife area. </paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    This is the only camping area on the wildlife area.


Broken Bridge
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 27.128 W97 11.304
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>This boat ramp is located on the river for river access</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    This boat ramp is located on the river for river access


Marion Waterfowl Report - 11/08/2019
Waterfowl Numbers

Numbers seem to have declined through the week with current counts at approximately 200 ducks including Mallard, Ring-Necked, Canvas Back, and Shoveler.

Numbers can change daily.

Mallard Migration Rating Current Rating=2  The rank is subjective and is from (0= No Mallards, 1=Very few Mallards, 5=Moderate numbers, 10= Peak numbers).
Water level Lake level is at 1350.10 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Fair.

Lake levels have been above conservation pool for most of 2019.  Some of the boat ramps are still closed.

The reservoir was at or near max flood pool for several months this summer and much of the vegetation was flooded out. Now that the water has receded moist soil plants like yellow nut sedge and barnyard grass have come in on the flooded acres near the shore, however the shoreline and coves still lack cover.

Expected hunting success Poor.
Comments

The refuge at Marion Wildlife area, located on the south west part of the reservoir along French creek, extends out from the shoreline 100 yards into the water. What this means is that approximately 110 acres of water along the shoreline of the refuge are included in the restricted access area, and are off limits to hunting. Accessing the refuge by boat or hunting near the refuge shoreline is not permitted.

Remember Marion Reservoir has ZEBRA MUSSELS. Make sure to Clean, Drain and Dry your equipment. Clean all visible vegetation and mud from decoys, bags, waders, etc. Drain water from decoy bags and boats. Allow equipment to Dry for a five day period before using it at another area, OR wash with high-pressure hot water. Many of the roads around the reservoir can get very greasy after rain, or melting snow, please use good judgement about which roads you try to travel on.