El Dorado State Park
The El Dorado State Park 2013 Spring Newsletter has been released and is attached to this writing. If you would like a copy of the Newsletter e-mailed to a friend, please make the request via e-mail to the El Dorado State Park Office, email@example.com. We hope you enjoy the latest happenings at the Big "E" - your El Dorado State Park.
Beginning in 2013, Kansas motor vehicle owners will be able to buy an annual park vehicle permit as part of their vehicle registration process. The permit – called a Kansas State Parks Passport – will cost $15.00 (county treasurers can elect to add a $0.50 service fee). This lower-price, non-transferable permit will be available only during the vehicle registration process at a motor vehicle registration office, through the online vehicle registration site (www.kswebtags.org), or when registering by mail. The Kansas State Parks Passport will expire when the vehicle registration expires a year later.
During 2013, persons who would like to purchase an annual park permit before they register their vehicles can do so at any KDWPT office, KDWPT license vendor or through the KDWPT website, (www.ksoutdoors.com/License-Permits), and then request a pro-rated refund for the difference in cost. Refund forms will be available from KDWPT state park offices or through the KDWPT website at ksoutdoors.com. Only Kansas State Park Passports purchased between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013 will be eligible for refund.
Two Boat Ramps Closed
Two of the six boat ramps in the El Dorado State Park are now closed, due to low water conditions. These ramps are the Shady Creek Area 1 Boat Ramp (adjacent to the old Bluestem Dam) and the Boulder Bluff Area 4 Boat Ramp (adjacent to the NE end of the Lake dam). These ramps are a bit shorter than the other ramps; therefore, the end of the ramp does not allow the boat trailer to be backed far enough into the water to launch. Please do not use these ramps, as you may cause damage to your boat and trailer if you do.
Archery Range Open
An adult and children's archery range is complete adjacent to the Teter Nature Trail parking area near the east end of the dam. Archers may use the range free of charge, with a State Park vehicle permit. The range has 3-D targets on the youth portion, and a raised shooting platform for adult archers' use.
New Reservation System Statewide
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has announced that its new online campsite and cabin reservations system is up and running. This good news followed reports that with the exception of a few downed trees and a temporary power outage at Kanopolis State Park, Kansas state parks survived unscathed by tornadoes that rampaged through the state on April 14.
Built by Active Network, Inc., a cloud-based activity and participant management™ solutions provider, the new system makes it easy to find and reserve campsites and cabins in the state parks as well as cabins at certain state fishing lakes and wildlife areas. It is hosted onReserveAmerica.com, a media property of Active Network for camping reservations. The online registration system powered by ActiveWorks® cloud technology was launched on schedule just after midnight on Tuesday, April 17. KDWPT has not taken online or phone reservations since April 1 to allow programmers to move reservations made before April 1 into the new reservation system. As a result, there is no need for customers to renew existing reservations.
The new reservation system allows KDWPT to take its paper- and phone-based camping reservations process online for the first time, creating tremendous efficiencies for both park staff and consumers. The centralized system allows guests to search multiple camping and cabin sites simultaneously and make reservations from the comfort of their homes. In many cases, park users will save money through reduced service fees and will be assured a site if they have made a reservation. Additionally, the system will enable KDWPT park staff to more effectively manage their statewide parks and facilities, and benefit from centralized reporting and auditing.
To make campsite and cabin reservations, guests can visit the KDWPT website, ksoutdoors.com, where they’ll be directed to the new reservation site at reserveamerica.com, or they can call a KDWPT state park office or the Pratt Operations Office at 620-672-5911. For the location of the nearest Kansas state park office, go to the KDWPT website and click “State Parks/Locations.” For those without computers or who still prefer using a phone, park staff will be able to use the new system to help callers with reservations.
The number of campsites available for reservation will vary by park – in most parks about half of the sites can be reserved. The rest will be available through the traditional “first-come, first-served” method. Shelter and group campground reservations will continue to be made only through the park office where the facilities are located.
For more information, contact the nearest KDWPT state park or phone the Pratt Operations Office, 620-672-5911, and ask for the Parks Division.
Park Office Hours -Winter Hours
The El Dorado State Park Office is open standard business hours, 8 - 4:30 Monday through Friday. Boat registrations close at 4:00 p.m. Park permits are always available at the self pay stations near the entrances to the Parks; at the Shady Creek & Boulder Bluff gate hosts; or the camp hosts in the Walnut River Campground.
Lake Level Down Below 4.5 Feet
(To get the most up to date Lake information, go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' web page, which is located at http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/ELDR.lakepage.html .) This news page may not always be current, due to staffing and scheduling.
Pool elevation is 1334.25 feet on Thursday 28Mar13 Time: 1500 hours. At this elevation the total amount of water stored in El Dorado Lake is 124096 acre-feet. Reservoir release is 5 cubic feet per second on Thursday 28Mar13 Time: 1500 hours.
Since the lake is less than 4.5 foot below normal conservation pool, it is recommended to be cautious of submerged stumps and objects. Remember that many of the shorelines and points are shallow, so when boating, stay further away from points and tree areas than you think may be necessary. Operate the boat at a slower speed when in questionable waters. Raise the lower unit when possible (under questionable conditions). Stay safe and be cautious!
2013 Park Permits Available (Current prices - Off Peak season prices through 03/31/13)
2013 Park permits and licenses are available at all KDWPT Park Offices throughout the state. Permits at El Dorado State Park are also available at all Camp Hosts, Gate Hosts, the Bluestem Point Permit Station (Adjacent to the Bait Shop), and all self pay stations. The only noticeable change is the daily vehicle permit, which is now $5/day during any season.
Long Term Camping (30 day) monthly rate = $401.50, which includes water, elec. & sewer. (User must also possess an Annual Camp permit).
Sign Up for Outdoor News!
Many Kansans are interested in the outdoors and the workings of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), but they don’t know how to keep up with the latest outdoor news. For those who would like to take advantage of Kansas outdoor opportunities and keep up to date on regulations regarding KDWPT, the agency has an easy solution — a free subscription to the KDWPT weekly email news package.
This KDWP service saves time when you don’t know where to find information you need or you forget to periodically check the KDWPT website, www.kdwpt.state.ks.us. Camping, fishing, hunting, wildlife education, state park, hunter education, wildlife management, conservation, proposed regulations, and much more information will be delivered to your email inbox automatically.
All you have to do is go online to www.kdwpt.state.ks.us. Click "KDWPT Info" in the upper left-hand corner of the page, then click "News." Enter your email address in the white box and hit the "Subscribe" button. You will then be sent a confirmation email. (Be sure to check "junk" or "spam" email boxes if it doesn't come to your inbox.) Follow the directions in this email, and you will receive a weekly package of stories containing the latest information concerning Kansas outdoors.
Make a New Year's resolution to reduce the amount of time you spend searching for updates on Kansas fish, wildlife, park, and conservation information. Sign up today for KDWPT email news. Share it with friends, and make sure your local newspaper is aware of this service.
Other Winter Reminders
Now is a great time to still make your way out to the El Dorado State Park and enjoy the outdoors. Eagle watching is a great past time for birders and photographers. In the event of a snowfall, sledding can be a great family adventure. Also, winter fishing (trout fishing, lake fishing, and possible ice fishing) can ease the fever for most anglers.
Long Term Camping
Long term camping is available in the Eagle Pass (Walnut River Loop #3) Camping Loop in the Walnut River Area. Please see the camp host or the Park Office to make long term camping arrangements.
Walnut River Trail
We have completed pouring the trail in the Eagle Pass Loop , the Frontier Loop, and the Big Oak Loop. You'll notice that we've connected the Trail with the sidewalk that traverses over the trout stream and into the Walnut Hollow Loop. We, once again, received trail grant money this year and we are in the process of constructing the trail in the Walnut Hollow (Area 4) day use area.
The trail was established several years ago as a walking trail, with a limestone screening surface. A trails grant was acquired recently, which allowed the funding of the concrete. The trail will be a 1.6 mile trail that will tie into the existing El Dorado City Linear Trail. Most of the work on the Walnut River Trail will be performed by the El Dorado State Park Ranger staff. The Trail will be a touring, scenic trail throughout the campground that will allow users a leisurely walk, ride, or jog along campsites and the outlet channel/river.
Boulder Bluff Horse Campground Update
You may not have heard that the Horse Campground in Boulder Bluff area 2 is ready for use. The interior sites have water and electric hookups; the corrals are finished; there has been a manure bunker and a wash bay added; and best of all, the large riding arena is complete. Bring out your horse and try it out.