Rocky Ford State Fishing Lake


Manhattan, KS
GPS: 39.23922 -96.58595

Contact Information

Manager: Nathan Henry
Phone: (785) 539-9999


Rocky Ford Fishing Area was donated to the Kansas Forestry Fish & Game Commission by Kansas Power and Light in 1967. Native Americans used this site as a river crossing, The flat rock bottom made the crossing safe under normal conditions. The ford was used by pioneers for many years. A timber and rock dam provided hydro-mechanical power for a flour and saw mill that served the community for many years. The mill was converted to a concrete power dam, built by the Rocky Ford Milling and Power Company in the early 1900's. The hollow dam was also used by employees to get to and from work, from company owned housing on the west side of the Big Blue River to the power plant on the east bank. In 1988, a retaining walkway was constructed below the dam, improving angler access and fishery habitat. In 2005 and additional 55 acres of land and water were purchased through a National Recreation and Trails Grant. This added nearly one mile of river access on the east side of the Big Blue River from Tuttle Creek State Park Rocky Ford Campground to the original Rocky Ford Fishing Area and south to the bridge at Dyer Rd.


Rocky Ford Fishing Area is located 4 miles Northeast of Manhattan. The Trail Head may be accessed from the trail head either at Rocky Ford Campground at Tuttle Creek State Park or at Rocky Ford Fishing Area. The area offers some ideal fishing conditions. Fish which can be found in the area are Channel Catfish, White bass, Walleye, Saugeye, and crappie depending on the outflow from the Tuttle Creek Dam. The riffles below Rocky Ford Fishing Area Dam offer kayak and canoe enthusiasts a place to try their skills during certain water releases

Special Regulations:
  • The Blue River is not listed as a navigable stream. Therefore, you must obtain permission from each adjacent landowner before you kayak, canoe or boat the river. No camping.
  • No swimming and No hunting.