Located in Crawford, Cherokee, and Labette Counties, the Mined Land Wildlife Area (MLWA) encompasses about 14,500 acres in 46 scattered tracts. Most of this wildlife area was once surface mined for coal. About 200 different surface-mined lakes hold enough water to support sport fish. Most of these lakes are inhabited by largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. Others also include walleye, crappie, and other sunfish species.
A special lake in MLWA #30 is the location of a yearling trout program. Rainbow trout are released bi-weekly from October through May each year. A Kansas trout permit is required by ALL anglers, and a fishing license is required by anglers normally required to obtain one for fishing.
The remainder of the Mined Land Wildlife Area is home to a variety of wildlife in diverse habitats. Although the mining disturbed much of the area, natural and artificial re-seeding has provided many acres of woodland and brushy areas. Excellent opportunities await the quail hunter in these areas. Quail, rabbit and squirrel populations continue to improve due to the establishment of native grass, timber stands, food plot and tree row plantings.
The wooded land provides good populations of whitetail deer where both firearms and archery hunters are successful. Wildlife found on the area include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, cottontail rabbits, fox squirrels, doves, and waterfowl.
Numerous types of songbirds, and other wildlife are also found here. While the area is managed for hunting, wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy the area throughout the year with no conflicts with hunters. All users should be aware that other people may be using the area at the same time. A bison herd is located on MLWA #1 just north of Pittsburg and Frontenac on US 69.
For more information visitors should obtain a map and information brochure about these wildlife areas, as well as hunting or fishing regulations, prior to their trip to the area.