McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area

Find more about Weather in McPherson
Area News
Brochures
McPherson Valley Wetlands Waterfowl Report

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.

Address:
967 Mohawk Rd.
McPherson,KS    67460
County/Counties:
Area News - Updated: 08/25/2017

Area News

THE 2017 - 2018 HUNTING SEASON RAPIDLY APPROACHES!!!

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.

FIELDS MANAGED FOR DOVE HUNTING:

McPherson Valley Wetlands will have two dove fields for the 2017 season.  The first field is a 60-acre sunflower field located southeast of Inman in the Little Sinkhole Unit, one mile north of Arapaho Road at the intersection of 11th and Arrowhead.  Strips have been mowed in this field and dove numbers are fair.  The second field is a 7-acre patch of millets and sunflower, bordering a 60-acre wheat stubble field.  This field is located in the Chain of Lakes unit southeast of intersection of 9th and Frontier.  This field looks decent, but needs rain.  If weather permits, the wheat stubble will be burned and/or mowed prior to the season opener.

These fields are open to ALL hunters, and non-toxic shot is required.  Please register with i-Sportsman if you plan on hunting at McPherson Valley Wetlands.  Paper hunt permits will not be available at the dove fields, and the use of i-Sportsman will be enforced.

Newsletter:

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.

Wildlife Violations:

In the past, area staff has (after the fact) been informed of regulation violations during the hunting season. Even though selective law enforcement by Public Lands and Law Enforcement division employees, is done routinely at the wetlands, we can't be everywhere all the time. If you witness a violation, please call the area office at (620)-241-7669 and leave a description of the violation including the vehicle tag number if possible.

General Information
Address:
967 Mohawk Rd.
 
McPherson, KS    67460
County/Counties:

McPherson Wetlands WA (PDF 409.01 kB)

Manager: Jason K. Black; (620) 241-7669; jason.k.black@ks.gov

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.

McPherson Valley Wetlands Brochure/Map

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.


Special Regulations

REFUGE AREAS:

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.

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

History

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.

McPherson Valley Wetlands Waterfowl Report - 11/14/2018
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.

Low Plains Early Zone duck season:  13 October - 16 December, and 22 - 30 December 2018.

Canada Goose season:  07 November 2018 - 17 February 2019.

White-fronted Goose season:  27 October - 30 December 2018, and 26 January - 17 February 2019.

Light Goose season:  07 November 2018 - 17 February 2019; spring conservation order 18 February - 30 April 2019.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018:

Duck and goose numbers are changing daily.  Fair numbers of mallards arrived on the cold fronts during the last week, along with the first good waves of geese.  As of Wednesday morning, the marshes were approximately 75% frozen.  Waterfowl numbers and ice conditions will change daily with the approaching weather pattern, and scouting will be key to locating open areas holding waterfowl.  The majority of the ducks and geese have found the Big Basin refuge, which is off limits to all activities.  

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  At this time, road conditions are fair, but with more rain and snow in the forecast for the weekend you should proceed with caution.
Water levels

Big Basin:  Most public hunting marshes are full.  

Chain of Lakes:  Most public hunting marshes are full.  

Little Sinkhole Unit:  Most public hunting marshes are full.  

Hunting conditions Conditions will hopefully be stable after the October flood event.  There should be plenty of water for the rest of the season!
Expected hunting success Fair.  Abundant water and food should have the ducks and hunters spread out a little more.
Comments

ATTENTION:

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.