Clinton Wildlife Area

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A majority of the land lies within the Clinton Reservoir flood pool. Deer Creek, Rock Creek and the Wakarusa River are the three main drainages into Clinton Lake that flow through the wildlife area. There is a mix of native grassland, deciduous forest and cropland dispersed throughout these drainages.

Two man-made wetland complexes are found on the wildlife area. The oldest is the Coblentz Marsh Complex, which consists of the original West Coblentz marsh and the more recent East Coblentz marsh totaling around 160 acres in 5 different pools. These are located on the north side of the Wakarusa River and immediately east of the Shawnee-Douglas county line in Douglas County. The Elk Creek Marsh complex was completed in 2008 after several years of construction. These marshes are located on the south side of the Wakarusa River and are accessed from the parking lot located at Boat Ramp #9. The complex consists of 4 different marsh pools that total approximately 300 acres when full. The largest and newest pool is just over 100 acres in size and is located within the area's seasonal Refuge. All wetland cells except the refuge marsh can be filled by pumping water out of the Wakarusa River.

Management of native grassland is very important on the Clinton Wildlife Area. Clinton has over 200 acres of historical native prairie, most all of the non-native cool season grasslands have been converted to warm season native grasses and wildflowers.

Primary species hunted on the area include deer, turkey, waterfowl, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, squirrel, and rabbit. Also, a wide array of non-game birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians can be found on the area or migrating through. Trapping, fishing, and wildlife viewing are also popular past times on the area.

205 N. 1600 Rd.
Lecompton,KS    66050
Area News - Updated: 08/17/2016

DON'T FORGET ABOUT I-SPORTSMAN! Clinton Wildlife Area is utilizing an electronic check-in system. To register, please go to This is mandatory for all hunting activities. This system allows us to better gather harvest and usage data to help make better management decisions.


Dove season begins Sept 1st. Starting this year, all fields are NON-TOXIC shot.  One field is closed on September 1st for a youth dove hunt, but will open to everyone on September 2nd.  All other fields open on September 1st.  Check the map below for locations of all dove fields.  Happy dove hunting!!

For wetland and waterfowl info please see 

Please remember that trapping is also permitted on the Wildlife Area

2016 Dove Field Map

General Information
205 N. 1600 Rd.
Lecompton, KS    66050

Clinton Reservoir & WA (PDF 2.15 MB)

Area Manager: Justin Hamilton

Office Phone: 785-887-6882

Clinton Wildlife Area is located approximately 7 miles west of Lawrence on the upper end of Clinton Reservoir

Special Regulations
  • Camping, off-road vehicle use, and target shooting are prohibited.
  • Please take all trash with you.
  • Refuge area is closed to all activities from October 1st thru January 15th.
  • A free daily hunting permit is required to hunt on the area.  The permit is obtained through

Special Features

  • Handicapped hunting area provides vehicle use in designated area with written permission from Area Manager.
  • Horseback riding is allowed on the southeast side of the Rock Creek Arm on designated trails only which are primarily located in the Corps of Engineers' Rockhaven Park.

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


Clinton Reservoir was completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1977. Approximately 9,000 acres are managed by KDWPT for use as a public Wildlife Area.

Clinton Facilities
Wakarusa River Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 53.552 W 95 28.805
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for upper Wakarusa River and Elk Creek Wetlands access.

Rock Creek Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 52.786 W95 24.591
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for Rock Creek area access

Coon Creek Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 56.488 W95 24.468
  • Click for more information

    Boat ramp for Deer Creek area access

Clinton Trails
Rock Creek Horse Trail
  • Trail Season: April through September
  • Length of Trail: 10 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Horse Riding
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N38 53.445 W 95 22.601
  • Click for more information

    Horse trail is open seasonally and is located on southeast side of Rock Creek arm of lake. Trail head is in Rockhaven Park.

    Camping can be found at Corps of Engineers Rockhaven Park

Clinton Waterfowl Report - 12/20/2019
Waterfowl numbers


Waterfowl numbers have increased again. Both puddle and diving ducks have been observed in the marshes and river, as well as the shoreline and open water of the reservoir.

The following waterfowl were observed during the last waterfowl survey:

Mallards, Goldeneye, Mergansers- both common and hooded, Canada Geese, Bufflehead, and Redhead.

Several thousand Snow Geese have been moving through the area, though none reported 

On 12-20-19 over 3,000 Mallards and 4,000 Canada Geese were on or adjacent to Clinton Reservoir.

Lake level

 875.64 -0.14 feet above pool, releasing 7 c.f.s.

 The water level is back at normal pool.

Hunting conditions

---ICE--- The marshes and shallow water on the reservoir are covered in ice. Warming forecast w/expected rain will open up the marshes.

Coblentz & East Coblentz- There is very little water in the north pool of Coblentz; the parking lot is accessible. The three south pools and the East Coblentz pool are full.

The road to East Coblentz (E100 rd.) is no longer flooded and the marsh parking lot is now accessible. The road beyond the parking lot is extremely muddy. Please beware of muddy or water covered roads and tread lightly on newly opened roads. 

The final phase of the wetland grant for Coblentz is nearly completed. We have placed an additional structure on the north pool to allow us the option to use an adjacent stream to fill the north and middle pools. This is in addition to the electric pump, which was completed in 2018. 

Shadden marsh (10 acres) is full and has good vegetation. It should provide hunting opportunity for a limited number of hunters. 

Elk Creek wetlands are open for hunting. The road to the wetlands (E100) was flooded for months, as well as all pools, dikes, and structures and parking lot. Please use caution when driving on muddy roads.

Pool 1 and pool 3 are nearly half full, pool 2 is full.

There are currently no plans to run the marsh pumps this fall due to the extensive flooding.

The refuge marsh pool is CLOSED to all activities until January 16th.

Ducks and Canada Geese were observed loafing in open water around the main body of the lake, as well as shallow floodwater in the upper reaches of the tributaries, and on harvested corn fields. Good numbers of geese have been seen on harvested grain fields as well as rocky shorelines, and on ice.

As the weather warms, the amount of ice in marshes and on the reservoir will decrease, greatly increasing utilization by waterfowl and hunters alike. 

Breaking ice will likely stay open for several days.

Expected hunting success Good

IMPORTANT! Clinton Wildlife Area is utilizing an electronic check-in system required of all hunters. To register, please go to This will be mandatory for everyone hunting the wildlife area, not just waterfowl hunters. The card survey stations have been removed. Plan ahead and sign up for I-sportsman now.  

Please remember that trapping is also allowed on the Wildlife Area.


 The REFUGE is currently CLOSED to all activities from Oct. 1st to Jan. 15th

Dove Fields Map