Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area (7,654 ac) lies in the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River and is unique for its quantity of managed wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest. It provides habitat for a variety of migratory waterfowl and other wetland species.


Contact Information

16382 Vail Rd
Pleasanton, KS 66075
Phone: 913-352-8941
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Location Type

Natural Area

Site Info


Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area (7,654 ac) lies in the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River and is unique for its quantity of managed wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest. The array of wetland units are managed for a diversity of habitat types, producing abundant food and cover for migratory waterfowl and other wetland species. In general, wetlands are dewatered in the spring and reflooded in the fall with water pumped from the river.

Bottomland hardwood forests are dominated by oak and hickory and are excellent habitat for wild turkey, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and, during wet seasons, waterfowl that use forested wetlands. In addition to wetlands and bottomland forest, the area features upland forest, upland and wet-meadow prairie, restored native grasslands, and cropland.

Although the primary focus of the area is wetland and waterfowl management, angling for catfish in the Marais des Cygnes River and tributary streams can be excellent. In addition, fishing is allowed in marsh units from April 15 through September 15. Fish salvages are allowed by posted notice when marsh units are dewatered for wetland management.

Birding and wildlife watching are popular activities. Birding is particularly spectacular during spring migrations (April through mid-June). Pecan picking and mushroom hunting are also seasonally popular. Users of the Wildlife Area may also be interested in the adjacent Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Special Regulations: Waterfowl hunters are required to register before hunting and to report harvest at the end of the hunt. Closed area (refuge) is closed to all activities year-round. Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting. Target shooting is prohibited.

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