Smoky Hill/ Kanopolis Wildlife Area

Marquette, KS 67464


Centrally located on Kanopolis Reservoir and managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Smoky Hill Wildlife Area consists of 4180 acres of land and 885 acres of water.  Kanopolis Reservoir covers approximately 3000 acres.  The entire US Army Corps of Engineers property extends along the Smoky Hill River for over 15,000 acres.


The wildlife area is open to public hunting with the exception of the refuge which is closed September 1 - January 31. Hunting pressure is generally moderate, but can be very high during opening weekends of firearm deer, spring turkey and upland bird seasons. Whitetail deer, turkey, and upland bird are popular game species. Treestands may be placed on the area 14 days prior to the season and removed within 14 days after the season. Upland hunters find pheasants and quail in the grassy expanses and brushy draws. Prairie chickens also use the area and adjacent crop fields. Waterfowl frequent the river and backwaters in good numbers as long as the water is open. Canada geese and mallards are common all season long. The weekly waterfowl report is kept updated throughout the fall and winter months.

Hunters frequently use boats, carts and backpacks when accessing the remote areas.


Fishing access through the wildlife area is limited. Most anglers access the area from the river or lake via boat.  The water in the wildlife area is on the upper reaches of the lake and usually fairly shallow.   White bass fishing along the river can be excellent in mid April if river flow is adequate. 


Several multi-use trails originating from Kanopolis State Park lead into the wildlife area. These trails allow hike, bike and horseback riding, and are closed to all but foot traffic from November 1 through January 31 annually. There is no horse access other than through the state park.  Hikers can access the trails from the Alum Creek parking lot. The wildlife area trails are closed from Nov 1-Jan 31 annually to limit hunter disturbance and for safety. If riding horseback or on a bicycle, please stay on the maintained trails to prevent disturbance and erosion. There are several gates along the trails-keep them closed and latched. The state park maintains the trails and park with your permit fees. Maintenance on the wildlife area is funded through hunting and fishing licenses as well as federal taxes on sporting goods.

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