Wilson Reservoir

Wilson 3D
Wilson Reservoir Map
This Location does have Boat Access Fishing Forecast State Park Wildlife Area

US Army Corps of Engineers 785-658-2551

GPS Location: N38 54.715 W98 30.066

Sylvan Grove, KS

Impoundment Type: Reservoir

Surface Acres: 9,040 acres

Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Normal Lake Level: 1516 msl. This lake generally has a fairly stable water level.

Current Lake Level: 7.6 feet below conservation, releasing 7 cfs

Lake Temperature: 57 degrees

Fishing PopulationCreel LimitMin Length Limit
Channel Catfish 10
Crappie 50
Flathead Catfish 5
Largemouth Bass 5 15"
Smallmouth Bass 5 15"
Spotted Bass 5 15"
Striped Bass 2
Walleye 5 15"
White Bass
White Perch
Blue Catfish 5 35"
* Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted Bass in Combination
** Striped Bass or Wiper in Combination
*** Walleye, Sauger or Saugeye in Combination

Fishing Report - Last Update: 10/16/2014

Species Rating Size Baits, Method, & Location
Crappie Slow 10-14 inches Look for the crappie in the deeper brush piles around Minooka, Hell Creek, Elm Creek, and out from the marina.  There may also be some around the deep structure along the river channel on the lower end of the reservoir.  Crappie tend to get much more active as the water cools down in October and November and anglers should have a better chance of harvesting some slabs in the fall.  The numbers still aren't very high, but the average size is 11 to 12 inches once you find them.
Stripers Fair to Good 3-8 pounds These next couple of months are a great time to catch stripers at Wilson.  The cooling water temperatures reinvigorate the stripers into feeding heavily on shad and white perch and anglers can take advantage of this increase in activity.  The best areas to try in the fall are points all over the reservoir.  Wind blown points are best, but stripers can be found on most of the major ones in the lake.  Slab spoons are the bait of choice right now, but you can also catch them on soft bodied jigs.  There may also be a migration of stripers to the west end of the reservoir around Duval and Elm Creek.
 Walleye Fair to Good 11-20 inches Like other species, the walleye activity level will increase in the fall.  We see lots of walleye in the shallows while netting in late October as they move in there to feed on shad and other forage fish.  The north shore betwen the dam and Lucas Point is a great place to find some walleye.  The old Lucas-Wilson roadbed is another hotspot to try.  It goes shallow to deep so it's just a matter of finding the fish or the bait fish.  Walleye are also often caught around Marshall Cove and Minooka this time of year.
Channel Catfish Good 2-10 pounds

Channel catfish actually remain active much longer than most folks realize in the fall.  When netting in late October we find most of our catfish on the upper half of the reservoir, from Minooka west.  Anglers can catch these guys on traditional catfish baits throughout the fall.

Be on the lookout for blue catfish which are also in the reservoir. They are not legal size yet so make sure and take care to return them to the water. There is a 35 inch minimum length limit on blue catfish at Wilson Reservoir!

White Bass Fair 12-18 inches, up to 3 pounds White bass, like the other species, will often concentrate on the points, especially if the wind is blowing into a certain one.  The Hell Creek area is traditionally an excellent spot to find whites in the fall.  Fishing around Elm Creek and in the river channel west of there is also a great place to find whites.  Slab spoons are a terrific option this time of year, but trollking a variety of crankbaits will also yield some whites.  Similar to crappie, the white bass numbers aren't real high, but the average size is excellent with fish up to 2.5 pounds not uncommon.
Black Bass Good 10-18 inches Bass fishing is excellent throughout the month of October and even into early November.  Both species will be feeding throughout the day and are very aggressive this time of year.  Smallmouth can be found anywhere from 4 to 20 feet deep around the rocky shorelines of Rock Town, Marshall Cove, Hell Creek, and Lucas Point.  Largemouth tend to hang out in the coves and can usually be found around brush or other submerged structure.
White Perch Fair 9 to 13 inches

White perch can also be found on points this time of year as anglers may catch a variety of species while fishing in these locations.  Small slab spoons and worms both work well for white perch in the fall.  The white perch will often be found in the deep brush piles at Minooka and even Elm Creek.  Anglers have the chance to catch high numbers of perch once a school is located. - IT IS ILLEGAL TO HAVE A WHITE PERCH ALIVE IN YOUR POSSESSION - IF YOU CATCH IT AND WANT TO KEEP IT - IT HAS TO BE DEAD IN A COOLER OR LIVEWELL. THEY ARE NO LONGER LEGAL AS LIVE BAIT FOR STRIPERS OR OTHER FISH!!!!!

The white perch numbers are down in Wilson right now which is the goal of managing aquatic nuisance species.  While this species will continue to thrive and reproduce in Wilson, they are still an ANS species and KDWPT has manged the predator base in such a way to limit their numbers.  The hope is that the white bass will be able to make a comeback at the expense of the white perch numbers declining.

General Comments


BOAT RAMP UPDATE: With the reservoir 7.5 feet low anglers need to be aware of the following boat ramp conditions and limitations.  In addition, the boat docks are high and dry for the most part and will likely stay that way until a water level rise floods them again.  Anglers are asked to use caution when launching and loading and unloading persons into boats with most of the docks unusable at this time.  The ramp conditions are as follows:

Cedar Point: Closed

Elm Creek: Both ramps at Elm Creek are high and dry.  Launching boats is not recommended.  The courtesy dock is high and dry.

Minooka: West Ramp:  Unadvised access.  Dock is high/dry, Middle Ramp:  Unadvised access. Dock is high/dry, East Ramp:  Ramp has adequate depth for most average fishing boats. Dock is high/dry.

Lucas: Ramp has adequate depth for most average fishing boats.  Dock is high/dry.

Spillway:  Poured 20 yards to the low water lane on April 1st. The dock is still accessible and moored on the shoreline.  This low water lane has deep water and good access.  This may be the primary ramp for many anglers to use this year.

Hell Creek: Hell Creek boat ramp is still usable and there is a courtesy dock in the water.

Otoe: This ramp is very shallow at the time, but still open.  The courtesy dock is high and dry.

The current lake elevation and water temperature are posted on the location page daily by the Corp of Engineers - it is linked to this fishing report page for your convenience.

We have two Aquatic Nuisance Species - white perch and zebra mussels and have joined Cheney and El Dorado as lakes with both species. The law now says that if anyone leaves the lake with water in your livewell or boat, you are subject to a ticket for transporting Zebra Mussels since they will spawn and the microscopic little mussels will probably be in every drop of water in the lake. Make sure you drain all water from the boat before you leave the boat ramp area!!! We have been taking veliger samples and the samples were high so be sure to drain and dry everything!!!!!!