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: 05/14/2019

Recent flooding at Marion Reservoir 5/14/2019:

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

Wood Cutting on Marion Wildlife Area:

Recent flooding around the reservoir:

Marion reservoir is currently 6.65 feet above conservation pool (80% max flood pool). Most access roads around the wildlife area are flooded and are not safe to try and travel down. Many of the county roads are also flooded or have been damaged by flood waters. Durham cove campground is completely under water and the boat ramp is closed. The boat ramp next to broken bridge on the north Cottonwood River is open, but there is a lot of debris from the flooding so use caution while out on the water. The corps of engineers currently has the Marion Cove boat ramp open, but all other corps boat ramps and campgrounds are closed.

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 have sheared 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


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 - 02/10/2019
Waterfowl Numbers

Current Duck Numbers: approximately 300 - primarily Mallard along with a few Ring-neck. 

Current Goose Numbers: somewhere between 4000-5000 depending on the time of day, mostly Snow with a few Canada geese mixed in.

Mallard Migration Rating Current Rating=6  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 1350.74 (Conservation pool is 1350.50)
Hunting conditions

Good.

Lake levels have been below conservation pool for all of 2018.  Some of the boat ramps are still closed.

There has been very good moist soil production on the shoreline and mudflats (yellow nut sedge, smartweed, barnyard grass), and this vegetation is starting to see significant flooding now that the water levels have started to rise.  Crops in the areas surrounding the reservoir have been poor due to drought this year.

Expected hunting success Fair.  Waterfowl numbers and conditions will change daily.
Comments 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.