McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area
Currently the area holds 51 independently managed wetland pools, two refuges that include approximately 650 total acres and approximately 350 acres of water when full, and provides a total of approximately 1,750 surface acres of water when full for migrating waterfowl. The area is managed intensively for waterfowl, but also provides good opportunity for pheasant, quail, and dove hunting. The spring migration is a spectacular sight for viewing migratory birds in full plumage. Many species common to the central flyway can be found at the wetlands during this time. Most notably, for the first time in 100 years, whooping cranes visited the area in 1995. In the spring of 2016, 17 whooping cranes were observed in the Big Basin marshes.
ATTENTION: AS OF MAY 24TH, 2019 A LARGE PORTION OF MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS IS UNDER EXTREME FLOOD CONDITIONS. MANY TOWNSHIP ROADS ON AND AROUND THE WILDLIFE AREA ARE UNDERWATER DUE TO THE FLOODING. PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE AROUND BARRICADES OR ROAD CLOSED SIGNS, AND AVOID FLOODED ROADS. REMEMBER, TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!
In September 2016, McPherson Valley Wetlands completed the transition to the i-Sportsman electronic hunt permit system. There will only be one paper daily hunt permit box on the entire property, and it is located at 967 Mohawk Road near the area headquarters. Hunters that use paper cards from this box are asked to return their hunt permits to this box as well, as all other hunt permit boxes on the property will either be removed or closed. Please plan accordingly and register for i-Sportsman prior to the September 1st opener of hunting season. For those of you who have already set up an account with i-Sportsman, this is a good time to make sure you remember those user names and passwords!
You can find a link to i-Sportsman on the KDWPT web page, and all hunters are strongly encouraged to set up an account and begin using the electronic system, as i-Sportsman usage will be enforced this season.
For additional information please contact the McPherson Valley Wetlands office at (620) 241-7669.
Staff at the McPherson Valley Wetlands will be producing a newsletter that will include season results, upcoming projects, special opportunities, fall flights, and other information that hunters / users may need to know if planning to visit the area. The newsletter will be produced bi-annually, prior to hunting season (mid August to mid September) and following waterfowl season (mid March to mid April). This document will be distributed electronically, and if you are interested in getting on the mailing list Click here.
The newsletter is an attempt to get information to more of our constituents since attendance at our public information meetings has been very low.
In the past, area staff has been informed of regulation violations during the hunting season. Even though KDWPT Law Enforcement staff are routinely at the wetlands, they can't be everywhere all the time. If you witness a violation, please call the McPherson County Game Warden, Operation Game Thief, or the McPherson Valley Wetlands area office and leave a description of the violation including the vehicle tag number if possible.
Manager: Jason K. Black; (620) 241-7669; email@example.com
Due to low attendance at our annual public informational meetings, area staff is in the process of producing a bi-annual newsletter. If you are interested in recieving this newsletter CLICK HERE. The newsletter will include information about forecasted fall flights, upcoming projects, special hunting or other opportunities, harvest totals, and other information hunters / users need to know if planning a trip to the area. The newsletter will be distributed electronically, so you may "catch up" on area news at your leisure.
Location: McPherson Valley Wetlands are situated in three main units, the Big Basin Marshes, Chain of Lakes, and Little Sinkhole Marshes. The units start approximately 3.5 miles northwest of McPherson and expand to approximately 1 mile south and 1 mile east of Inman. The McPherson Valley Wetlands Complex lies within a 50-mile radius of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. McPherson Valley Wetlands will offfer a hunting alternative and supplemental habitat when water availability is limited due to drought.
THE NORTH AND SOUTH REFUGE AREAS IN THE BIG BASIN ARE OFF-LIMITS TO ALL ACTIVITIES, AND THIS INCLUDES DUCK HUNTING. THERE IS NO HUNTING OR PUBLIC ACCESS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THE REFUGES!!
MPWL has transitioned to a new daily permit system called i-Sportsman. Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at MPWL. Hunters will be able to login from PC, smartphone, or call in from a cell phone or landline phone each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report back harvest similar to the paper daily permits. Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/to register prior to hunting season.
Hunters must be aware of posted refuges, and stay out of these areas.
All hunters must use non-toxic shot for all species.
The entire McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area is now located in the Low Plains Early Waterfowl Zone. For exact season dates contact the area headquarters or CLICK HERE.
The Wetlands are open to the public year-round, and all areas, with the exception of posted refuges, may be entered on foot. Vehicles are allowed on maintained roads only.
Camping is not available but can be found only a few miles away in McPherson or Hutchinson.
Additionally, all statewide public land regulations, Secretary's orders, and posted notice regulations apply on the Wetlands.
Before their destruction by ditching, the wetlands of west central McPherson County comprised more than 9,000 surface acres of water in at least 52 separate wetlands, and were equal in importance to Cheyenne Bottoms. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) recognized the need to restore portions of this vital wetland complex and started buying land for development in 1989. To date, the area is 4,455 acres. KDWPT is currently interested in acquiring land from willing sellers when funding exists. Several tracts of land have recently been acquired through a North American Wetland Conservation grant. Development has been completed on these tracts, and will provide additional acreage and opportunity for hunting and wildlife viewing. KDWPT has set a goal to eventually acquire and restore 5,000 acres of this vital wetland complex.
|Waterfowl numbers|| |
ATTENTION: i-Sportsman is REQUIRED to hunt this area. All hunters MUST use the electronic daily hunt permit system! Please check in, report your harvest, and check out using i-Sportsman for each and every hunt.
Spring conservation order snow goose season: 18 February - 30 April 2019.
Friday, 08 March 2019:
The recent trend of warmer temperatures has some of the ice cover finally melting away; however, as of Friday morning the wetlands were still approximately 90% frozen. During the last week the spring migration has really picked up, with good numbers of ducks and geese arriving across the area. Approximately 3,000 - 3,500 geese were observed on the property Thursday morning. About half of the geese were snow geese. Goose numbers are highly variable, and have been changing daily. Scouting will be the key to finding a spot to shoot a few snow geese.
See "Water Levels" below for more information.
Remember that all activities in the refuge areas are prohibited, AND THE NORTH REFUGE UNIT IS NOW IN EFFECT, along with the south refuge in the Big Basin.
|Current Information||The roads around the wildlife area are in decent condition. Be prepared for changing road conditions as the next storm system approaches.|
|Water levels|| |
Big Basin: Most public hunting marshes are full.
Chain of Lakes: The boards have been pulled in the southwest unit to prep for cattail treatment. The Southwestern College tract will not be dewatered until after the close of goose season.
Little Sinkhole Unit: Most public hunting marshes are full.
|Hunting conditions||Now that duck season has closed, the geese are beginning to use more of the wetlands, which should improve hunter success.|
|Expected hunting success||Fair.|
MPWL has transitioned to a new daily permit system called Isportsman. Hunters will need to register with i-Sportsman prior to hunting at MPWL. Hunters will login (or call) each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report harvest similar to the paper daily permits. Please visit https://kdwpt.isportsman.net/ to register prior to hunting season.
Kansas hunters should be aware that iSportsman Electronic Daily Hunt Permits are required on 25 wildlife areas, including McPherson Valley Wetlands (check the 2018 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary or kdwpt.isportsman.net for a list).
iSportsman replaces the old paper permits and allows hunters to conveniently check in and out using a telephone, smartphone or home computer. As with the old paper system, information gathered helps area managers tailor management practices specific to an area and hunter preference. The paper system was inconvenient for hunters and labor intensive for managers.
**THERE IS A "NO TRASH POLICY" IN EFFECT AT MCPHERSON VALLEY WETLANDS. PLEASE CARRY OUT WHATEVER YOU CARRY IN, INCLUDING EMPTY HULLS AND OTHER TRASH. PLEASE TRY TO LEAVE YOUR HUNTING SPOT AS CLEAN OR CLEANER THAN IT WAS WHEN YOU ARRIVED. THANKS!!!
REFUGE AREAS: THE SOUTH REFUGE AREA IN THE BIG BASIN IS OFF-LIMITS TO ALL ACTIVITIES, AND THIS INCLUDES DUCK HUNTING. THERE IS NO HUNTING OR PUBLIC ACCESS OF ANY KIND ALLOWED IN THE REFUGE!!
The Little Sinkhole/Farland Lake marsh unit is included in the EARLY low-plains duck zone (as is the rest of MPWL).
All shotgun hunters at McPherson Wetlands are required to use non-toxic shot for all hunting. This includes upland birds.