Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area

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Cedar Bluff Reservoir Fishing Information
Cedar Bluff State Park

 Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area varies in size with the fluctuating reservoir. The Smoky Hill River, which originates in Eastern Colorado, intermittently flows into the reservoir. At full pool the reservoir is 6,800 surface acres and the surrounding Wildlife Area encompasses approximately 7,000 acres. The reservoir is currently only 3,000 surface acres and the surrounding Wildlife Area is 11,000 acres. The area lies in the mixed grass prairie and chalk bluff region. Cedar Bluff derives its name from a 1/2 mile of 100 foot chalk bluffs located on the SW portion of the property.

Watchable Wildlife

You can see and photograph a diversity of wildlife species. In winter, bald and golden eagles visit. Deer, turkey, and pheasant roam freely. Waterfowl stop on their migrations, and a small Canada goose flock make the area home. The Bluff Overlook is also a scenic place to visit.

Hunting

Public hunting areas are limited in Kansas, so demand is high. Management continually seeks to enhance hunting quality.

  • Big Game: In the past archery and firearm hunters have recorded one of the highest public land success rates. Most deer are whitetails with a few mule deer on the area.
  • Turkey: Turkey populations have improved in the last 10 years due to conservation, habitat improvement, and relocation efforts. Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area is located in Turkey Management Unit 4. There is a limited draw for spring turkey permits and no fall turkey hunting in Unit 4. Youth turkey permits are valid statewide.
  • Upland Game: Pheasant populations fluctuate, with the most hunting pressure during the season opener. Diverse habitats with grass, crops, and weeds produce the best results. Quail numbers are good and populations vary with weather and habitat nesting conditions.
  • Migratory Birds: Doves are plentiful until cold weather moves in. Geese and ducks use the area during migration, numbers vary with habitat conditions. Most goose hunting occurs when the geese leave the area to feed.
  • Special Hunts: Special waterfowl, deer, and various youth hunts are available by application. Contact the area office for more information.
  • Youth / Mentor Hunting Areas: Youth Mentor hunting areas are provided in strategic locations. The youth / mentor area east of the dam is shotgun / archery only, and the youth / mentor area west of the dam is open to all seasons and equipment. Both areas provide good opportunities for geese, deer and pheasant. At least 1 youth hunter aged 17 or younger is required per adult mentor. Adult mentors may hunt. Every kid is waiting to be invited outdoors, just ask them!

Refuges

A 320 acre refuge directly below the dam is in effect year-round. From Sept. 1st thru Jan. 31st, 500 acres of land and from Nov. 1st thru Jan. 31st, 200 acres water are closed to all access except by special hunt permit only.

Fishing: Black bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish have benefited the most from water level rises. Walleye, white bass, and wiper fishing will improve as the forage conditions stabilize in response to water quality improvement.

Length Limits
Walleye - 21 inch minimum

Crappie - 10 inch minimum

Black bass - 15 inch minimum

Catch and Release: Voluntary catch and release extends fish resources which are becoming more limited. Reduced harvest of small fish allows more fish to reach a larger, more desirable size. Releasing larger fish increases their recreational use and keeps them in the water to help control undesirable fish by predation. A fish released properly is an investment in future fishing opportunities.

Other Opportunities

  • Boating: Currently there are 3 usable boat ramps located on the reservoir. A “no wake” policy is enforced near boat ramps.
  • Camping: Campers are encouraged to use the State Park where modern and primitive camping sites and rental cabins are available the year round. Camping on the Wildlife Area is primitive and limited to three designated areas. These areas have no fees for camping, so all we ask is to leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Cedar Bluff Google Earth Map (kmz file)

Phone:
Address:
32001 HWY 147
Ellis,KS    67637
County/Counties:
Wildlife Area News - Updated: 01/17/2019

Wildlife Area News

  • Youth Hunting Opportunities Increase at Cedar Bluff 

Youth Hunting Opportunities at Cedar Bluff

The Kansas Dept of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism began implementing strategies in September 2011 to increase the amount of youth hunting opportunities on the Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area. Approximately 1000 acres that was previously refuge area are now be managed as a Youth / Mentor hunting area. Opening these areas to hunting provides quality youth and mentor hunting opportunities for whitetail deer, uplands birds and waterfowl. Only walk in access will be allowed and vehicles should utilize approved parking areas.

Youth hunters 17 years of age and younger will be eligible to hunt in these areas but must be accompanied by a licensed mentor 18 years of age of older. The mentor may hunt and only one mentor is allowed per hunting youth. Mentors may take more than one youth.

 All areas will be posted with appropriate signage. Nearly 800 acres in the North Cove 1 / Threshing Machine area will be open to youth / mentor hunting for any species and 200 acres east of the dam will be open to shotgun and archery hunting only. 500 acres of land and 250 acres of water in the southern portion will remain refuge and Closed to All Activities.

For additional information contact Wildlife Area Manager Kent Hensley - (785) 726-3212 or kent.hensley@ks.gov

General Information
Phone:
Address:
32001 HWY 147
 
Ellis, KS    67637
County/Counties:

Cedar Bluff WA (PDF 388.11 kB)
Cedar Bluff WA (PDF 388.11 kB)

Area Manager: Kent Hensley
Phone: (785) 726-3212 


Special Regulations
  • Special Deer and Waterfowl Hunts are available by drawing through the Headquarters in Pratt.
  • Off Road Driving or ATV use is NOT allowed.
  • Camping is only allowed in designated sites.
  • Land Refuge Areas are Closed Sept. 1st thru Jan. 31st.
  • Water Refuge is Closed Nov.1st thru Jan. 31st.
  • Other designated Refuge Areas are Closed Year Round.
  • Youth / Mentor Hunting Areas are available.
  • Contact the Cedar Bluff Area Office for more information.

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

History

The Cedar Bluff Property is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for outdoor recreation. The construction of the Cedar Bluff Dam began in 1949 and was completed in 1952 The reservoir initially filled in the same year the dam was completed. The reservoir has been in constant fluctuation since it initially filled and was at an all time low of 998 surface acres in 1992. The reservoir refilled in 1998 and has declined since. The wildlife area is well known for exceptional deer hunting and waterfowl hunting. Upland birds fluctuates with weather conditions but pheasant and quail hunting is generally good.

Cedar Bluff Facilities
Scenic Bluff Overlook
  • Type of Facility: Viewing
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 31.81 W99 48 34.68
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>1/2 mile of 100 ft. chalk bluffs. A scenic place to visit.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    1/2 mile of 100 ft. chalk bluffs. A scenic place to visit.


Parking
  • Type of Facility: Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 19.62 W99 50 16.51
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Parking located at the entrance to the Switchgrass Area</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Parking located at the entrance to the Switchgrass Area


Mossyhorn Camping Area
  • Type of Facility: Camping Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 20.95 W99 52 31.73
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites


Riverview Camping Area
  • Type of Facility: Camping Parking
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 01.63 W99 53 15.21
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Primitive Camping Area with no improved facilites


Cove Three Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N38 47 35.58 W99 47 56.48
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Usable from elevation 2144 to 2130.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Usable from elevation 2144 to 2130.


Area Office
  • Type of Facility: Office
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 48 43.00 W99 43 58.50
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>The Area Office is a full service office that provides information permits and licenses. Park, Fisheries and Public Land Divisions staff are included in the Cedar Bluff Area Office.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    The Area Office is a full service office that provides information permits and licenses. Park, Fisheries and Public Land Divisions staff are included in the Cedar Bluff Area Office.


Stilling Basin
  • Type of Facility: Fishing Pond
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N38 46 48.91 W99 43 06.68
  • Click for more information
    xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' ><paragraph>Stilling Basin is located at the South end of the dam on the East Side. Trout are annually stocked Mid October and intermittently through the winter.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='http://ez.no/namespaces/ezpublish3/xhtml/' >

    Stilling Basin is located at the South end of the dam on the East Side. Trout are annually stocked Mid October and intermittently through the winter.


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Cedar Bluff Waterfowl Report - 02/06/2019
Waterfowl Numbers

  18,000 Ducks.  Mix of most Species -DUCK SEASON CLOSED

    5000 Canada Geese, 8,000 Snows, 800 Whitefronts (Snow Geese numbers changing daily)

    MMR 10

Water level 20.4 ft. low
Hunting conditions Flooded phragmites and cattails will make shoreline access difficult.  Reservoir 20% Ice.
Expected hunting success Geese are scattered throughout the lake. Low hunting pressure and Fair to Good success.
Comments

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area and Reservoir are in the Low Plains Late Zone 

Season Dates:  Youth Season - Oct. 20-21, 2018. Regular Season - Oct. 27-Dec. 30, 2018 and Jan. 19-27, 2019.

Contact Cedar Bluff Area Office 785-726-3212 for more information.

Water Refuge is in effect November 1- January 31

Land Refuge is in effect September 1 - January 31

North Shore State Park is Closed to Hunting.

Youth / Mentor hunting is also available

Zebra Mussels are present in Cedar Bluff Reservoir.  Please clean and dry all equipment, decoys and boats before hunting other bodies of water.

Cedar Bluff Wildlife Area

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