Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area News
Rain is in the forecast, however, we remain dry due to the Arkansas River and Wet Walnut Creeks being dry. We did receive about 1.41 inches of rain Tuesday and Wednesday nights (May 7 and 8) but the amounts have only provided some shallow sheet water in the pools and these are alomost all gone as of May 16.
These small puddles have attracted a few mallards, shovelers and blue-winged teal and even a few shore birds (some peeps, yellowlegs, phalropes, willets and dowitchers) have also been seen feeding around these small pools of water.
The roads are in good shape. They could become a bit muddy if we get some rain this weekend, so stay away from the shoulders, as they can be soft.
While we remain dry, work progresses. We completed our upgrade of two boat ramps, one in Pool 4A, the other at the Pike Lot in Pool 3B. We have started rebuilding a few blind islands in Pool 2, and will continue that work as long as time and weather permit.
We burned some some grasslands on the west side of Pool 2 this spring. We plan several more burns this spring if the weather allows. During the winter, and continuing this spring, we have done some silt removal from the inlet canal, two small marshes in the perimeter portion of Pool 2 and built half of the mitigation potholes needed to offset the fill resulting from our inlet canal piping project.
We have also prepared several hundred acres of the interior pools for millet seeding to be done this spring.
We are doing repair work on the Ark River Dam and will continue addressing infrastructure maintenance.
Work has begun on improving the efficiency of the inlet system. Contractors have begun clearing trees and identifying materials and removing ole concrete structures on a project that will convert the open canal from Dundee to Dry Creek into buried pipe. This canal carries the water from the Arkansas River to Dry Creek. As of early this week they have buried more than 11,000 feet of the near 5 miles of the project. Tubing this strectch 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.