Neosho Wildlife Area

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Located on the broad, flat flood plain below the junction of Flat Rock Creek and the Neosho River, the wildlife area is a man-made marsh developed by the Department in 1960. The area covers 3,246 acres. The five largest pools on the area represent 1,675 acres of the 1,787 of intensively managed wetlands. There are sixteen independently managed wetlands throughout the area. The area was primarily designed, and is managed to furnish a resting and feeding place for migratory waterfowl.

Three of the sixteen pools are managed in a moist soil environment through a water level manipulation plan. Four green tree marshes ranging in size from five to fifteen acres offer a different type of hunting opportunity for the sportsman using the area. Area personnel plant an average of 400 acres of corn, milo, buckwheat or millet in the hunting pools. The grain is left in the field and inundated in the fall.

The 800-acre refuge pool is closed to all hunting, foot and vehicle traffic during the waterfowl season. The water level of this pool fluctuates naturally throughout the seasons and provides good aquatic habitat for waterfowl. Fishing is allowed from March 31 until August 31. Good fishing can be found at times in the Neosho River, Flat Rock Creek and Brogan Creek, existing in part on the wildlife area.

8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul,KS    66771
Area News - Updated: 08/24/2018

Area News

Neosho Wildlife Area



Kansas outdoorsmen enjoyed their first season of waterfowl hunting at the Neosho Wildlife Area (WA) in 1961. Today the Neosho WA, managed by the KDWPT, anchors the premier SE Kansas waterfowling region which lies along the Neosho River. With the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Neosho WA approaching, it is beginning to show its age. Much of the area’s original infrastructure has exceeded its design life and badly needs replacing. Not only does this aging infrastructure require an increasing amount of annual maintenance and manpower to operate, it is also beginning to fail to provide the vital food resources waterfowl rely on in the region.

As this milestone anniversary approaches, the KDWP and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) have begun planning a major renovation of the area. This work will ensure that the citizens of Kansas are able to continue enjoying this historic place.


The renovation project has two objectives. The first is to improve the amount and quality of habitat available annually for waterfowl and other wildlife species. The second objective is to decrease the annual operation and maintenance costs at the area.


August 15,2018

Renovation on the main unit is 95% complete and the area will be 100% operational for this upcoming season. This is based on the assumption that the river levels are stable and conditions continue to allow pumping. Keep in mind  that we have to meet all of the Division of Water Resources requirements and should a drought persist pumping opportunities could become very limited.

We were able to utilize the new pump in July to put some water into Pools 1 and 4B. In doing this we were able to stress flood and kill cockleburs and irrigate many acres of moist soil. The pump is currently running and we will have roughly 220 surface acres of water within the hunting pools by the end of the week.

The refuge pool is still currently 2.5' low. We have not received enough runoff throughout the summer to fill the refuge back up. Currently there is over 550 surface acres of water in the refuge. This is over 2.5 times the amount of surface acres that we had last year.

Overall the habitat for this upcoming year is great to excellent and we are very excited for the upcoming waterfowl seasons. 

Reminder: iSportsman daily permits are free and required of all hunters. This applies to all types of game, not just waterfowl hunting. Failure to comply with iSportsman regulations will not be tolerated and will result in a citation. Hunters are encouraged to access their iSportsman account to ensure that their information is up to date and that they have their username and password. Please do this by going to the iSportsman webpage ( and click on "My Account". You can edit any information here.The information acquired from this system is very critical to the future management decisions of the area. Thank you for you cooperation.

New brochure maps are in and will be available at the checkstation and Parking area KIOSKs so please feel free to grab one and make yourself familiar with these.

 A couple of the new regulations will be parking in designated parking areas ONLY and boats must operate at no wake speeds in the boating canals. Also Pools 4A and 4B are open to NON-MOTORIZED boats only (Note: An electric trolling motor is a motor and will not be allowed). Staff has posted pictures showing new levee arrangements, parking areas, camping areas, boat ramps and boating canals. This is a very exciting time with all of the improvements being made. This site will be updated as work progresses and season nears and once again thanks for your patience while this much needed work is being completed!! 

Area staff has had a lot of questions on how the main parking area is going to work for this fall.  Parking will be allowed only where the gray curb stops are located.  The curb stops that are painted red symbolize no parking.  The most efficient use of the parking area will be to travel counter clockwise as the curb stops are angled for this direction of travel.  We realize that there are places in the parking area where there are no curb stops that look very appealing for parking but they are not designated areas to park and parking in such areas is not allowed and will not be tolerated.  We want to make sure there is ample room for every user whether it be trucks with trailers, cars or just  regular trucks.  All parking areas will be marked and are in the new area brochure.  Parking along roadsides will no longer be tolerated for safety reasons.  It is each users responsibility to know the regulations, so if you have questions or are unsure please feel free to contact us. 

Spring and Summer 2018

Refuge road is typically open April 1st to August 31st.  With renovation continuing the road around the Refuge will be temporarily closed until further notice. 

South Unit Renovation

Work on the South Unit has continued and progress is coming along nicely. O'toole Construction is in the process of raising all the levees to a uniform elevation, reshaping and re-sloping, and removing undesirable trees from the edges of levees. Scrapers are being used to rebuild the levees and dirt is being borrowed from the higher elevations within the two open wetland cells. This will allow for better manageability of the water and provide a more uniform water depth beneficial for waterfowl foraging. Also, by borrowing the higher elevations, this will allow for more hunt-able acres and will allow water to be flooded throughout an entire pool. 

With this renovation we will also be replacing 9 water control structures. The new structures will be aluminum stop log and will replace plastic Agri-drains that are currently leaking and have out lived their life expectancy.

With this renovation there will be NO WATER PUMPED OR CAPTURED  at the South Unit from rain events during the 2018-2019 waterfowl seasons. 

Hunting Pool Habitat 2018-2019.

Pool Acres Beans Corn Millet mix Moist Soil Greentree Buckwheat
1 350 70 105 15 95 65 0
2A 155 0 0 5 105 30 15
2B 190 0 0 25 125 30 10
4A 90 0 60 15 65 0 0
4B 65 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 85 0 45 20 0 20 0
6 15 0 0 0 0 15 0
7 7 7 0 0 7 0 0
8 33 0 33 0 0 0 0
South Unit 100 0 0 0 0 40 0

As always, if you have questions please feel free to call the office at 620-449-2539.  We are always happy to take your calls and please keep in mind that this is a field office, so if we do not answer please leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can.  

General Information
8705 Wallace Road
Saint Paul, KS    66771

Neosho WA (PDF 341.92 kB)

Manager: Monte Manbeck

Assistant Manager:  Travis Ratliff

Phone: (620)-449-2539

From St. Paul travel east on Highway 47 2 miles to Wallace Rd.; turn south and travel approximately 1.25 miles. Office on west side of road

Special Regulations
  • Pool 8 is restricted to waterfowl hunters accompanied by a youth hunter, 16 years of age or less on weekends and holidays. The adults may hunt with the youth hunter.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.
  • All hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit utilizing the new isportman checkin prior to the hunt and checkout after the hunt is completed.

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


In 1959, the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission purchased the initial 2,975.5 acres. In 1988 an additional 270 acres were purchased through a fifty percent cost share agreement with Ducks Unlimited Inc. The area was first opened to waterfowl hunting in the fall of 1962.

Neosho Facilities
Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 38.475 W95 8 3.920
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    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 28 47.403 W95 7 47.013
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    Primitive camping

Camping area
  • Type of Facility: Primitive camping
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 1.196 W95 9 11.662
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    Primitive camping

Pool 8 Youth Hunting Pool
  • Type of Facility:
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 35.356 W95 7 31.186
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    Youth hunting pool (16 or younger) on weekends and holidays.

South Unit Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • Location of Facility: N37 25 15.265 W95 7 28.138
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    Daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Pool 4 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.430 W95 08.894
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 4 for waterfowl hunting.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.140 W95 07.480
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    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 3 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 28.797 W95 07.789
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    xmlns:xhtml='' ><paragraph>Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.</paragraph></s xmlns:xhtml='' >

    Access into refuge pool from March 1 through October 1 for fishing and wildlife viewing.

Pool 2 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 29.567 W95 08.944
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 2 for waterfowl hunting

Pool 1 Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: N37 30.036 W95 09.434
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    Boat ramp for access into Pool 1 for waterfowl hunting

Waterfowl Checkstation
  • Type of Facility: Information center
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N37 30 49.903 W95 8 33.935
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    Checkstation building and daily permit booth to obtain Daily Waterfowl Permits

Neosho Wildlife Area Waterfowl Report - 02/12/2019
Waterfowl numbers
Duck Season is CLOSED!!!

iSportsman (electronic daily hunt permit system) is required for all hunters, We now have a zero tolerance policy on failure to comply with iSportsman and check station requirements. 

25,000 ducks; mainly Mallards and mixed divers. 2000 Canada Geese, 3500 White-fronted Geese and Snow Geese are varying daily.   

Mallard Migration Rank


0= No Mallards, 1= Very Few Mallards, 5= Moderate Numbers, 10= Peak

Water level

Pool 1- FULL

Pool 2A- FULL

Pool 2B- 95% full

Pool 4B- FULL

Pool 4A- FULL

Pool 5- Middle and lower pool are both FULL.  The upper end structure is leaking, staff have attempted to fix twice with no luck.  Pool will be dry this season.

Pool 6- FULL

Pool 7-FULL

Pool 8- 75% full

Refuge - roughly 12" low 

South Unit- Dry and will remain dry for 2018-2019 seasons for renovation work (see "Area News").

All pools are between 18 and 24 inch average depth.  

For more information on the water level conditions for upcoming season please see the area news by clicking link below and clicking on the "NEWS" icon.

Hunting conditions

Duck Season is CLOSED!!

Fair. Area is 99% iced up as of 2/10/2019. Expected to thaw based on forecasted temperatures 

Corn and millet production was exceptional this year. Moist soil seed production was some of the best we have seen on the area and we are extremely pleased. Habitat and water levels are excellent for this time of year. 

Please see the area news page for a breakdown of habitat types within each pool.  


Expected hunting success
Southeast Zone Regular Duck Season is CLOSED!!
Dark Goose Season Closes February 17, 2019
Duck Season totals for 2018-2019

2758 Hunters harvested 4720 ducks for a 1.71 BPH average; 81% (3823) Mallards; 8% (378) Green-winged teal; and 3% (127) Pintail. Number of hunters ranks 19th, Harvest ranks 17th and BPH ranks 11th out of the last 33 duck seasons on Neosho Wildlife Area

November (21 days): 1142 Hunters harvested 2259 ducks (48% of the total harvest) for a 1.98 BPH average; 70% (1584) Mallards; 15% (347) Green-winged Teal; and 4% (100) Pintail.

December (31 Days): 1093 Hunters harvested 1387 ducks (29% of the total harvest) for a 1.27 BPH average; 93% (1289) Mallards; 2% (24) Green-winged Teal; and 1% (19) Ring-necked ducks.

January (22 Days): 523 Hunters harvested 1074 ducks (23% of the total harvest) for a 2.05 BPH average, 92% (991) Mallards; 3% (33) Gadwall; and 3% (33) Ring-necked ducks.

We still have 50 hunters that have not checked out of the iSportsman system.  Please check to make sure it is not you and please remember to check out by 11:59pm daily.  Thank You!!!      

If the red check out sign is out at check station all hunters are required to stop.  Thanks

Neosho WA requires all hunters to utilize the daily permit system called isportsman.  Hunters will need to register via PC prior to hunting at Neosho WA.  Hunters will be able to login via PC, smartphone, or call in from cell phone or landline phone each day prior to hunting to get a daily permit, and report back similar to the paper daily permits.  Please visit register prior to hunting season.

Please remember to fill out the permit with accurate information. THIS INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF THE AREA. FILL OUT ONLY YOUR INDIVIDUAL HARVEST EFFORTS, each individual hunter needs to check in/out and report his/her harvest totals. i.e., NOT A GROUP HARVEST TOTAL.

Waterfowl hunting in Pool 8 is restricted to youth hunters and their mentor on weekends and holidays.

For additional area news please visit the area website at: