Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News
Summer is here, and with the high temperatures and wind our water levels are starting to drop. However, the rains and runoff we received in June and July should see us through the hot days of August.
We should be set for this falls migration, as the natural food production in the marsh, prior to these rains, was excellent.
We have pelicans, great blue and little blue herons, snowy egrets, great egrets, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis and cormorants on the Area in good numbers. The ducks we have on the Area now likely nested here. One can see broods of ducks on occasion. We still estimate about 15,000 total ducks, mostly blue-winged teal.
Current water levels in the Pools are: 1A near 56 inches, 1B and 1C each have about 37 inches; Pool 2 is about 17 inches; Pools 3A is about 15.5 inches, and 3B is about 12 inches, 4A about 13, and Pools 4B and 5 are both near 14 inches.
The rains have prevented us from planting millet in the pools. However, the natural, moist-soil plants are flourishing. Smartweed, bulrush, barn yard grass and sprangletop are doing very well in the perimeter pools. This should provide some excellent food resources for the fall migration. Most of the areas that were planted to Japanese millet last year have come up to volunteer miller this year and will be adding significant acreage to the overall food producing plants for ducks.
The roads are in good condition.
The annual Cheyenne Bottoms Information Night has been scheduled for Monday, August 25, at 7 PM. It will be held in the Kansas Wetland Education Center on Kansas Highway 156 in the southeast corner of the Wildlife Area. Conditions on the Wildlife Area, the forecast for the fall waterfowl migration as well as the fall hunting season dates will be presented.
Visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms. They have educational exhibits directed at describing the role wetlands play in the natural world with a focus on Cheyenne Bottoms. Find out the wide variety of wetlands found in Kansas, you may be surprised at the diversity in this grassland state. Their location is in the southeast portion of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area along Kansas Highway 156. Their hours are Monday through Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 1 to 5. The phone number is 620-566-1456.