Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News
The mild Thanksgiving weekend did not alter the bird numbers or species composition at the Bottoms.. We estimate 5,000 to 15,000 ducks now on the Area. Green-winged teal, shoveler and pintail comprise more than 1/2 of the ducks. Goose numbers vary daily, but seem to be increasing overall. We estimate 120,000 to 170,000 total geese, with about 40% being snow geese and the dark geese about equally divided between Canada and white-fronts.
For the period of Nov 25 through Dec. 1, waterfowl hunters averaged about 1.5 ducks per hunter. For the same time period, they averaged about 0.1 goose per hunter. Remember, most waterfowl hunters are hunting ducks, and as a result the goose hunter average will likely be higher. It is impossible to sort out duck and goose hunters since most duck hunters will take a goose if the opportunity arises.
The fine waterfowl season continues. Current water levels in the Pools are: 1A near 27 inches, 1B and 1C each have about 31 inches; Pool 2 is about 19 inches; Pools 3A is about 13 inches, 3B, 4A, and 4B about 18 inches each and Pool 5 is about 14 inches.
The Area has less than 40% ice covered in the mornings and that ice is not thick. The forecasted cod weather coming in later this week will likely freeze the Area completely.
The roads are in good condition.
We have done some maintenance work at the Arkansas River diversion dam and have started placing rip-rap on the 2007 flood damaged dike between Pools 1B and 2.
We were able to plant more than 400 acres of millet in many of the hunting pools.The down side to the rain is that some of this millet is now drowned out.
Work on improving the efficiency of the inlet system is complete. Contractors are done and the final inspection is past. This project converted the open canal from Dundee to Dry Creek into buried pipe. This conduit carries the water we divert from the Arkansas River to Dry Creek. Tubing this stretch of the inlet will eliminate seepage of water from the canal, reduce illegal dumping. eliminate the loss of water to trees and reduce overall maintenance demands on that stretch of the inlet.
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 8 to 5, Sunday 1 to 5. The phone number is 620-566-1456.