Byron Walker Wildlife Area
Byron Walker Wildlife Area - All photos by Jim Mason
|Biodiversity at its best! One of the premier wildlife spots in the
state, this site was named for its long-time manager. It has streamside woodlands, native
prairies, food plots, shrub plantings, several ponds, a state lake, a developed wetland,
and 8 miles of the South Fork Ninnescah River.
|Birders, photographers, and other wildlife enthusiasts will find many
opportunities to see wildlife. Just west of the Penalosa road, an entry drive (red dot on map below) leads south into a scenic portion of the
wildlife area. The rolling sand prairie has abundant thickets of sandhill plums.
Several ponds scattered throughout the area (blue dots on the
map) further enhance the wildlife options.
One of the ponds at Byron Walker
Watch for pheasants, quail, doves, meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows,
and other prairie birds. Running through much of the area is the South Fork Ninnescah
River. The sandy-bottomed river runs shallow and clear. Watch for belted kingfishers and
herons out-fishing the anglers! Deer are abundant and a wild turkey population is well
established. This is a public hunting area, so wear visibility clothing during
Kingman State Fishing Lake
Tall cottonwood trees shade the campground at Kingman State Fishing Lake.
|Kingman State Fishing Lake is popular for fishing and camping. The woods
around the lake support many nesting birds, including Mississippi kites, orioles,
kingbirds, robins, and indigo buntings. Eastern bluebirds nest in boxes provided for them.
During migrations, warblers, vireos, and flycatchers are abundant.
A good way to view the wildlife is to hike the trail beginning at the
northeast corner of the lake. The resident raccoons, beaver, muskrats, deer, and bobcats
are very secretive, but watch for tracks and other signs. A marsh on the west side of the
lake is home to mallards, teal, and nesting wood ducks. While hiking the dikes be alert
for rails, grebes, herons, and cormorants, as well as reptiles and amphibians. Painted
turtles, sliders, and northern water snakes often bask in the sun. At the water's edge
watch for bullfrogs, plains leopard frogs, and tiny cricket frogs. The Great Plains toad
and Woodhouse's toad, two favorites of kids, are abundant.
In Kansas, an arm of the Southern High Plains
reaches beyond the 100th Meridian and squeezes between the Great Bend Dune Tract and the
Red Hills into the south-central section of the state. Byron Walker is
located within this area.
The porous Ogallala sands and gravels in this part of the High
Plains work as a sieve that allows water from the Arkansas River aquifer to flow under the
Great Bend Dune Tract and charge High Plains streams like the Ninnescah River.
Picnic tables, Shelterhouse, Grills, Pit toilets, Boat ramps.
camping. 2 cabins at Kingman State Fishing Lake
(make a reservation
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Kingman State Fishing
Lake Nature Trail (3 mile loop)
Click the icon to find a birding list for Kingman County.
Click the icon to locate nearby Geocaches
From Kingman (45 miles west of Wichita)
drive 7 miles west on U.S. 54/400.
For the Google Map for Byron Walker Wildife
For the Google Map for Kingman State Fishing Lake,
The entity responsible for management of these sites is
the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
Contact them at (620) 532-3242 if you have
specific questions about use or management of the sites. 4,530 acres
You may download the KDWPT brochure for Byron Walker
Wildlife Area and Kingman State Fishing Lake from
their web site.
Funded by the
Chickadee Checkoff Program
Click here for a brochure!
Kansas web site
the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
Re-publication of site content in any form other than for personal use
requires written permission. If you are a Kansas resident, please
assist with this and other wildlife viewing and conservation programs
by contributing to the Chickadee Checkoff on your state tax form.
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism