KDWPT / KDWPT Info / Locations / Wildlife Areas / Region 4 / McPherson Valley Wetlands

McPherson Valley Wetlands Wildlife Area


967 Mohawk Rd.
McPherson, KS 67460
GPS: N38 24.025 W097 44.936

Contact Information

Manager: Brent Theede, Phone: (620) 241-7669

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.


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.


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. A haindicapped-accessible photo blind is another feature on the area and provides a unique opportunity for handicap wildlife viewing enthusiasts.

Special Regulations:
  • All hunters that hunt at the Wetlands must pick up and fill out a free daily hunting permit located at any of the nine permit stations on the area. This permit must be carried with the hunter while hunting and must be completed at the conclusion of their hunt.
  • 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.