McPherson State Fishing Lake

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2450 Pueblo Road if on west side of lake; 2475 Pueblo Road if on east side of lake.
Canton, KS 67428
GPS: N38 28.73 W97 28.23

Contact Information

Manager: Cliff Peterson
Phone: 620-628-4592


In 1943, the Henry Maxwell Estate donated 2,560 acres of land to the Kansas Forestry, Fish, and Game Commission for the creation of a wildlife refuge and fishing lake. Of that area, 306 acres were used for the construction of a 46 acre fishing lake that was built in 1954, stocked in 1955, and opened to fishing in March of 1957.


McPherson State Fishing Lake is located 6 miles north and 2 miles west of Canton.The lake is set in a very scenic location in the southeastern tip of the Smoky Hills on the upper end of the Gypsum creek drainage and has a nice wooded campground on the west shore. It is impounded by an earthen dam and managed in conjunction with the adjoining Maxwell Wildlife Refuge. Fishing piers, fish feeders, boat ramp, courtesy dock, vault toilets, and camping and picnic facilitiesare provided for fishermen, primarily along the western shoreline. Boating is allowed for fishing purposes only. The lake is known for channel catfish and largemouth bass. Additional species include black crappie, bluegill, black bullhead, and several native sunfishes.

Special Regulations:
  • Alcohol and cereal malt beverages are prohibited.
  • Firearms are prohibited.
  • Off-road vehicle and horse use are prohibited.
  • Fireworks are also prohibited.
  • No camping is allowed on the fishing piers.
  • Fires may be built only in provided fire rings or personal grills. Take all trash with you when you leave or place it in the dumpster near the west toilet.
  • There is a 13 to 18 inch slot length limit on largemouth bass.
  • There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on channel catfish.
  • The creel limit for largemouth bass is 5 per day.
  • The creel limit for channel catfish is 2 per day.
  • Archery deer hunting is allowed in the state lake area, except for the campground area, with the main permit only -- no use of additional game tags is allowed. Archery turkey hunting is also allowed at McPherson State Fishing Lake.

Special Features

  • ADA Compliant - Courtesy Dock, Vault Toilets, and Floating Fishing Peir