By Pam Bates, FOTWW
Kanopolis Lake is a reservoir in Ellsworth County in the Smoky Hills of central Kansas. The lake is formed by Kanopolis Dam and was completed in 1948 as a flood control and water conservation project of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps manages Kanopolis Dam and Kanopolis Lake for the purposes of flood damage reduction, recreation, fish and wildlife management, and water supply and quality management. It also oversees 11,000 acres (45 km2) of land around the reservoir, conducting prairie restoration, prescribed burning, and tree planting in order to conserve soil and benefit wildlife. The Corps also leases 41 units of land totaling roughly 12,500 acres (51 km2) to area farmers to use with designated wildlife management requirements.
The Corps has an outstanding wildlife program on Kanopolis Lake according to Friends of the Wild Whoopers’ (FOTWW) President Chester McConnell who visited the lake a week ago as part of FOTWW’s continuing “Stopover Habitat” program. FOTWW is evaluating Whooping Crane habitat potential on Corps’ lakes and making recommendations to protect and improve where needed. McConnell explained that, “I have been very pleased at the Corps’ programs on the lakes I have visited and I have observed lots of very good Whooping Crane habitat.”
Eight Whooping Cranes (5 adults and 3 juveniles) visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Kanopolis Lake in Kansas this past weekend (Nov. 18-19), evidence that their habitat and wildlife management program is working.
***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.