Neosho Wildlife Area News

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.